Question - Extending H4 I-94 based on Approved H1B Extension (No H4 extension application in process)


Some background: My H1B was recently extended till Jan 2025 (I-140 approved), we could not file my wife’s H4 extension because she was out of the country. Her current visa stamp, I-94 and I-797 is valid till Oct 2022. We want to apply for her H4-EAD (first time EAD). Questions:

  1. If we apply for an EAD using her current I-94, the EAD’s validity will only be until Oct 2022. Is this understanding correct?
  2. If H4 and EAD are filed concurrently, the processing times seem to longer than standalone EAD. With this in mind, should we get an H4 visa stamped (either India or Canada) and then apply for her EAD?
  3. Can we go to a Canadian land border and extend her I-94 till Jan 2025 using my H1B approval notice? Does USCIS do this when there is no H4 visa application pending? Or should we file a H4 extension application and then go to the border for the I-94 extension?

Thank you.


If she is currently in India, she can travel back before her visa and I-94 expires and can present the copy of your I-797 to the CBP at the port of entry. CBP should be able to issue her H4 I-94 till the validity of your H1B. This way you dont need her to go for stamping and she can apply EAD after entering back to the US using the I-94 issued by CBP.

I-94 extension using primary H1B I-797 have been hit or miss at the border.
If she is currently in the US, it is better to fly to Mexico, say Cancun over a weekend and come back. Make sure her visa and I94 are both valid while you do this so that she dont need tourist card for Mexico. The CBP will issue her I-94 extension to match your H1B. This works 100% of time.

Thank you Kalpesh. This is very helpful.