H1 to H4, then back to H1B (Work from Receipt Date?)

H1 to H4 to H1B change of status cannot work from receipt date. H1B COS should be approved to move from H4 to H1B. H1B to H1B transfer can work on receipt.

Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta    Updated  12 Jun, 20

H1 to H4 to H1B change of status work start date?

You have to wait for H1B change of status approval to start work.

You converted from H1 to H4 status within the US and now filing H1B change of status again. You should start work for an H1B employer only after your status is changed to H-1B.

Your current status H4 will stay with you until the H1B application is finally approved by USCIS.

Small consulting companies might lure you to start working immediately on filing H1B, but, beware that you will be violating your H4 status rules and this can put you in USCIS bad books.

H4 to H1B change of status work start date?

In simple H4 to H1B case as well, where you filed H1B with change of status in lottery. You can start working on Oct 1 or the start date of your H1B as approved by USCIS.

The change of status happens automatically on the H1B approval date and you should START working i.e. your payroll should be run to keep you in H1B status.
If you do not start working on H1B after its approval, you are violating your H1B terms.

Even in case of H1B premium processing, you should wait for approval before starting work.

Can I work in H4 Status while my H1-B transfer is in progress?

As answered above, you CANNOT work on H4 status unless your H1B is approved and status is officially changed to H1B.
You will get a new i94 on your H1B transfer approval which will correctly show your H1B status.

H4 EAD to H1B transfer, Start work on Receipt date?

You can apply for H1B transfer while on H4 EAD.
Since you are on H4EAD work permit, you can keep working on H4EAD status until your H1B transfer is finally approved and your status is changed to H1B.

Until you get the new H1B transfer i797 approval with new i94, your status will still be H4 and work authorization with H4EAD.

H4 to H1B cap exempt

You had an approved and stamped H1-B visa from outside USA which was never utilized. You quit the H1B sponsor employer and came to US on H4 visa as a dependent.

Now, a consulting company here in US filed a cap exempt H1-B transfer I-129 through Premium processing.
The consulting company has informed you that you can start working immediately after filing the case to USCIS i.e. even before getting the approval of H1 status.

DO NOT START WORKING based on H1B receipt if you are currently on H4 status.
It is not legal as your status does NOT change until USCIS approves it.

In this case, do NOT listen to consulting company as they just want to make money.

Since, you do not have a valid SSN and H1B work permit, you will be violating your H4 status rules.
DHS takes visa status violations seriously and can deny your other visa application in future.


Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta           

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Suresh_Kumar_Patel

    The above article discuss clearly about COS process.
    I have follow up Question ,

    Current status --> H4 ,H4 EAD ,Valid until 11/02/2020.
    H1B New CAP COS petition filed in April 2020 @CSC.{Waiting for decision}
    if we file extension for H4,H4 EAD now with Primary application H1B extension receipt number ,going by the current processing time H4,H4EAD will not get approved before current i94 expires which is 11/02/2020.

    if in case H1B petition decision goes beyond 11/02/2020 ,will USCIS issue RFE after 11/02 ,to prove valid status in US (assuming h4 petition is pending) ?
    or they may or may not issue RFE , are there any exception from USCIS end on these situation ?

  2. Suresh_Kumar_Patel

    @Anil.Gupta Could you please provide your thoughts.

  3. anil_am22

    They may issue an RFE to submit valid status proof.

  4. Suresh_Kumar_Patel

    Per attorney : while filling COS to H1B from H4 , petitioner should be in valid status per USCIS . COS h1B was filled on 16 Apr 2020, and H4 is valid until Nov 02 2020, hence at the time of filling COS petitioner was in valid status .
    there is a bit ambiguity around it if USCIS will adjudicate COS H1B without RFE or not . however it seems that petitioner can stay in US beyond Nov 02nd without filling a H4 extension as COS has already been filed.

  5. ask_help

    I have below scenario and need suggestion asap on how to proceed.

    • Last day of work with employer A Jul 31

    • Applied for both h4 and h4 EAD through spouse’s employer around Aug second week and got USCIS receipts for both on Aug 24th

    Now an opportunity through employer B is in process and as I have valid h1b ( have approved i140 and last h1b approval/ i94 was till Sep 2021) I want to continue on my h1b.

    Is it possible to continue with h1b with out any issues? what does my new employer or I need to do, in terms of process/paperwork for USCIS?

    Thank you very much in advance, any insight is greatly appreciated.


  6. Anu_R

    Hi Anil,

    I am currently on H1B and and my current H1B is going to expire in Feb 2021 while my H1B Max out is Sept 2022.

    I am talking to my company but I am not sure if they will file my H1B extension or not. My wife is also on H1B and her i-140 is approved. So I am planning to move to H4(EAD), if my company does not file my H1B extension.

    My question is - If I file my H4 and later (may be in Dec 2020 OR JAN 2021) my company says that we are going to file you H1B extension and by that time my H4 is not approved, then Can I still be stay on H1B or if my H4 is approved later, I need to go to H4.

    Can you please help on this ?

  7. rockzilla


    I was working in USA on OPT and then H1B visa. Later my extension was denied and came back to India. Now going back to USA on H4.
    Am I eligible to again transfer back to H1B after going there ?

    I don’t have H1B visa stamp on my passport as I never got a chance to go for H1B stamping. (Have old F1 student visa stamp)


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