Travel with H4 Extension pending?


My wife’s H4 visa expires Mid May, 2022 along with my H1B. We are approaching the window where we can file our extensions together. But my wife needs to travel to India in couple of weeks; so will not have her extension approved in before she leaves the country. My question is two-fold here:-

a) Will her H4 extension be forfeited should she leave the country while it is in process?
b) Is it better we file her extension after she returns (In January 2022)?

Our situation is made more tricky by the fact that her H4 EAD has expired Sept 2021 and we haven’t received extension yet for it. And now we need her approved EAD to be able to file for another EAD extension for the one which expired mid-May.

Would really really appreciate some guidance from this amazing community here. Thank you!

Generally, EOS application may keep processing and are not treated as abandoned while the beneficiary travels outside of the US.
If the beneficiary travels while EOS is pending and enters back with a valid visa before the EOS is approved, the person will end up with two different I94, one issued by CBP at port of entry and another attached to the I-797 approval notice for EOS. This does not impact the status of the beneficiary and can be fixed by traveling at Mexico border and entering back using the EOS I797/I94

This is your choice.

You can use copy of last approved EAD card and the receipt of EAD extension application for applying H4 EAD along with H1B & H4 EOS applications. Talk to your immigration lawyer and they should be able to help.

@Kalpesh_Dalwadi Thank you for your response; I have couple of follow-ups-

  1. If we choose to not renew the h4 right now, will her i-94 at port of entry be extended to my new i-797 approval which will be till May 2025 (assumption is my approval comes before returning back from India)? If so, then is there a need to file for h4 extension(i-539) at all after returning since the i-94 would have been extended already?

  2. To your suggestion about EAD extension, is it allowed to have 2 pending i-765’s in process simultaneously if we choose to do all H1B, H4, H4-EAD extensions together right now? Could there be an RFE in the first one for filing 2nd extension while first one was still in process?

Dependent do need approval for their status. Primary I-797 is used to make sure the primary is in valid status for the dependent to be admitted. So yes you still need I-797 approval notice for H4. CBP issues I-94 based on underlying approved petition/visa.

Yes this is okay.

Sure there could be and you/attorney will need to respond with the facts.

I am in similar boat. I traveled early.

Here is my post.