immigration - H4 visa question
July 16, 2008 3:57 PM   Subscribe

If you hold H4 visa applied by both previous company and new company (not approved yet). Can you go back to India and get your visa stamped on H4 applied by previous company? more info follows...

My indian friend was on L1 visa for 2-3 years. While in US, he applied for H1 visa and changed his job to that company (company 'A'). Company A also applied for his wife's H4 visa in jan 2008. Now he wants to switch to company B, they are obviously applying for (transfering) his H1 again. His wife's H4 visa applied by company A (lets call it H4-A) is still in the pipeline and not approved. Company B is not applying for his wife's H4 because they said it's not required if you have it (H4-A) already.

My friend is worried that if he switches now and a query (regarding H4-A) comes from IRS to company A, they may not take appropriate action or may not intimate my friend or worse, they may tell IRS that my friend is not working there anymore and H4-A may get rejected.

There are 2 solutions -
1. delay switching company. let H4-A get approved. Once you have the approved H4-A copy, switch company.
2. ask company B to apply for H4 again (lets call this H4-B).

problem with solution 1 is he does not want to delay switching company because that means applying for GC by company B also gets delayed. Time is already running out of hand. if he applies for GC now and get labor in time, he may have a shot at applying for I-140 and I-485 soon.

Problem with solution 2 is - his wife wants to go back to India in dec 2008. If they apply for H4-B, they are not sure if H4-B will be approved before dec 08. She may not have the approved H4-B to take to India for visa stamping. ( Note that if he or his wife wants to visit India now, they will have to get their visas stamped from US embassy in India. )

Is it ok if she does not have the approved H4-B (she will have her receipt of application - LIN no) for visa stamping in India?

Assuming that while they have applied for H4-B. H1-A gets approved before dec 2008. Can she take H1-A to india to get the stamping done (even though H4-B is applied)?

What would be the best solution? Please help!
posted by tvjoshi to Law & Government (2 answers total)
IANAL. U.S. Immigration law questions can be tricky. In this case, relying on either Company A or B to process H4 visa applications appropriately seems ill advised, and your friend should probably engage his own immigration attorney. As I understand it, H4 visas are dependent on H1 visas to which they are attached; any change in the H1 visa, as between employers, "triggers" a concomitant change in the H4. So, perhaps it is necessary first, that any change of H1 required by the change in employer be processed and approved, before H4 can even be re-applied. I doubt that the H4 application currently in process by Company A can be "switched" without "restarting the clock" on processing; essentially, a new H4 application would need to be made, after the Company B H1 visa is approved.
posted by paulsc at 5:02 AM on July 17, 2008

This is complicated and tricky enough to reqire a lawyer. If your friend messes up, people might not be able to reenter the country.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:24 AM on July 17, 2008

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