Multiple I-539 application pending, where to stamp H4 - Canada or India

H1B to H4 COS filed and pending

My wife’s H1B visa was maxed out on 06/15/2018 (end of 6 years cap).
Prior to her visa expiry, we have applied for her change of status (I-539) from H1B to H4 based on my H1B petition which was expiring on 08/16/2018.

Primary H1B extension filed with H4 extension

This COS application is still pending with USCIS. Later on 08/01/2018 my employer filed my H1B extension along with my wife’s H4 extension (based on the pending change of status application) and H4 EAD.

H1B extension approved, H4 extension pending

Recently my H1B extension got approved, but my wife’s H4 extension and H4 EAD applications are still pending with USCIS.

2 H4 i539 pending

In total there are two I-539 applications pending for my wife. I have got my H1B extension approved till 06/11/2019.

H4 stamping in India?

Now my wife wants to go for a trip to India, when I stay in US. She will have to go for H4 stamping.

  1. With my wife’s multiple pending I-539 cases, what are the chances of getting her H4 stamped in India?

  2. With the increasing cases of admin processing and 221-G in India, we are planning to go to Canada together where we want to stamp both my H1B visa and my wife’s H4 visa.
    What are the chances of getting both H1B and H4 stamped in Canada?

Pending H4 COS does not affect H4 stamping

Your wife can go for H4 stamping. There is no problem.
Just apply for withdrawal of both i539 applications once she gets H4 stamped using this withdrawal letter:

Stamping in Canada or India

Chances of H1B or H4 stamping depend on your individual paperwork.
Nobody can guess if you will get issues or not.

There are cases where people are getting 221-g but they are the ones where they have multiple vendors involved.

Thanks Anil for your response. In my case I work for a leading American staffing firm and for a direct client (no C2C). We are weighing the risk between Canada and India.

To me, both have the same level of risk.

If you (primary H1B) does not have the need the travel, i suggest to avoid it at this time.

Let your spouse get H4 stamping in India and her status would fall in place with it.

Because of delay in processing H4 and H4 EAD, my wife decided to get her H4 stamped in India. She traveled to India last weekend and her H4 visa interview is scheduled for 27-Nov-2018. Today (11/22/2018) I see in USCIS website that her H4 EAD application status is updated to "New card is being produced" and the change of status application (first I-539 got approved). However there is no update on the H4 extension (2nd i-539 form). Now is it safe to go for H4 stamping on 27-Nov-2018 or she would reschedule the appointment? Will it raise any red flag for her that her H4 EAD got approved when she is out of US (for last 5 days now)? Will she expect any question in the consulate for this situation? What should be her stand on this?

Earlier you mentioned that we should withdraw the petitions after the H4 stamping done. But the H4 EAD got approved prior to the visa interview which was not expected from our end. What should we do?

Well, your wife is lucky that her H4 COS and H4 EAD got approved even though she traveled outside USA.

I suggest to go for stamping as scheduled as USCIS might realize their mistake and may reverse their decision later.
So, it’s better to get stamping done to be on safer side in your case.

Your wife should tell the truth if the visa officer asks about H4 COS and H4 EAD approvals.
She should not lie and it’s not her mistake.

Thanks Anil for your response. I will let you know how it goes.

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My wife got her H4 visa stamped. I have a question. She has 6 months of visa. Will there be any issue at the port of entry if she travels after 2 weeks when she would have less than 6 months of H4 visa?

No issues. Don’t worry.

Hi Sushil,

I’m in a similar boat with you. Could you share which one was approved first? You wife’s EAD card or her first H4 I539 COS?

Both my wife’s COS and H4 EAD card got approved around the same time. I believe the I-539 first and in another 2 days EAD was approved. It was done last year Nov-2018.



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Thank you for the reply. Does your second H4 i539 filed in PP?


H4 cannot be filed in Premium processing. It’s only available for H1B application.

I think he said it’s filed with H1B extension. Back to 2018, USCIS still process H4 in PP if with H1B

Another question. When was your H4 extension got approved? (Second i539)?