Questions And Answers
H1B Visa

H4 to H1B Processing Time for COS, Premium and New H1B

Can anyone please let me know how long does it takes to convert my H4 to H1B, if a company is ready to sponsor a job?

H4 to H1B processing time depends on 2 factors

  • Is this going to be new H1B that comes under quota?
  • H1B processing time by USCIS

Based on your question, looks like this will be applying for new H1B visa 2014 application. With new H1B application, your employer could apply for H1B petition with USCIS in April.

If H1B Visa is approved, you can start working from/after H1B Approval Date. Typical approval date will be on or after October 1 for application filed between April to September.

If your employer applies for H4 to H1B conversion in April 1, 2013 and after H1B Visa petition approval, most likely start date will be from October 1, 2013.

So, you are looking at H4 to H1B processing time of 6 months before you can start working.

H4 to H1B Processing Time of 6 months includes H1B approval time and actual H1B Visa start date.

If employer applies for H1B Visa with Premium Processing, you can get H1B approved in less than 3 weeks. But, you would have to wait till actual H1B Visa start date ( typically October) to start working.

H4 to H1B Transfer Processing Time

If you already had an approved H1B and applying for H4 to H1B  COS transfer, then processing time is the time it takes for USCIS to process your H4 to H1B transfer.

If H4 to H1B is done via premium processing, you can get approval with few weeks than few months.

Hope, this answers your question.

Next – EAD for H4 Visa if rule is approved.

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  1. I hold an approved I-797 petition(H1B visa) valid till August 2019.

    Visa status : H1B visa APPROVED.

    H1B visa got selected in lottery system and its got approved. I never worked on H1B visa.

    Currently I’m in USA on dependent visa i.e Normal H4 Visa.

    Is any employer can transfer my H1B visa petition ?

    1. Hi Vijay. I am in the same situation as yours. Wer u able to find an employer to convert from h4 to H1b visa ?

  2. I am travelling on H1b and my wife will have H4 from same employer A in INDIA. I want her to work in USA, but acknowledging that H4 VISA wont allow her. I am planning to apply for H1B for her from Consultant, then take her to USA on H4 VISA. My concern is:
    If her name is selected in H1B, how will she manage to work as she has entered US with H4 and now has H1 as well.

    Please help Guys, It’s very very urgent. I might fly by March 3rd week.

  3. Mine is H4 to H1B transfer case.
    I am currently on H4 which expires on 31st March 2016. My spouse applied the extension for her H1B now. Expecting the extension approval in few weeks. Sametime, i have valid H1B which expires in 2017. If i get a job now, can i apply for the H4 to H1B COS after 31st March 2016 provided H4 extension is not approved by that time?

  4. Hi Raghuram – Could you please provide your inputs for my scenario-
    My fiancée applied for h1b through a consultancy company and before it got approved, we got married and she came with me to the US on h4 visa. Now, her h1b visa is approved which she had applied before getting married. My question is:

    1) Can she continue to remain on H4 visa (valid for 3 years) even after Oct 1st and convert from h4 to h1b the next year or say after couple of months from oct 1st? This is because she is still getting adapted to the new environment here and she needs some more time.

    2) Does she have to return to India and get her h1b stamped and have a new i94 to start working on h1b or for applying h4 to h1b conversion?

    3) Do you see an issues at the time of h4 to h1b conversion if she has not started working from Oct 1st?

    Hopefully, you could answer my questions soon. Thank you in advance for all your help.

      1. My Daughter is in USA with H4 EAD Working
        Employer has applied and now she got HIB Lottery in Change Status
        But she has to come to India for a month trip for a June 2018
        Since the travel will be after lottery..before Approval Notice,..

        So Will get H1B Approved but Change of Status denied ?
        She will go back to US in July on on EAD till September 2018 and
        then SHE Want to rest till February 2019 without going for work..

        In March 2019 , she again plan to come to India on and while returning
        she plans to get H1B Stamping done at India.

        Will US Consulate permit stamping in March 2019 while Start date is Oct 1,2018?

        Do you foresee any other issue ?

        Thanks in advance

        1. COS would be denied if H1B will not be approved before her travel to India this year. And she can go for stamping in 2019 for H1B.

  5. Hi,

    My applied for h1 visa through an consulting firm when she was in US on H4 visa , after applying for h1 , we went to india for brother marriage in mid of april and later we came back to US in a 20 days(she got new I94).
    now h1 is approved with I94 , now she has two I-94 , will it be problem, how to deal with it, also while applying to SSN , would it be a problem ?

  6. Hi Raghuram,

    Mine is H4 to H1b case
    June 8th 2012 – APplied for H1b and also got the receipt
    August 30th – it went into RFE
    OCT – sometime in mid oct they responded to it
    Jan 7th – USCIS updated their website saying “notice sent but returned undelievered”
    When the lawyer probed further they came to know that,It was sent to the wrong address and after that their has been NO response from USCIS despite repeated follow up
    What should i do now ? How should i proceed?

    Your reply is truly appreciated

      1. Mine is H4 to H1B Change of Status case, as am currently in the US in H4 and looking for a job. However, my spouse’s H1 expires on Mar 31, 2016. Her extension will be filed in USCIS sometimes in mid of March under normal processing. My question is when can I file for COS from H4 to H1. Given that my spouse’s H1 Extension approval will not be received earlier than May mid/end (as it is done under normal processing),

        a) is it possible for me to file my H4 to H1 COS while my spouse’s H1 Extension is in progress with USCIS?
        b) If a is not true, what is the earliest I should file my H4 to H1 COS to USCIS?

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