I understand that the USCIS has said, if an H1B worker is laid off, they may apply for a change to B-1 status to search for a job. And, if you find a job while the B-1 is pending, the employer can file the H1B petition using premium processing, and the USCIS will adjudicate the B-1 application at the same time as the H1B. Does the same rule apply for H-4 applications? In other words, if I apply for a change of status to H-4 instead of B-1, and then an H1B is filed for me while it’s pending, will USCIS expedite the H-4?


That’s a good question without a clear answer. The USCIS has specified that a B-1 (or B-2) change of status application would be expedited if it is still pending when an I-129 requesting premium processing is later filed for the same person. But no mention is made for a person applying for a change of status to H-4 (or any other status), who then is the beneficiary of an I-129. It only would be logical for the USCIS to apply this same policy for a pending H-4 case. Without specific guidance on this point, however, we cannot say for certain whether the USCIS is routinely expediting H-4 cases in this situation. (10.Aug.2023)

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