10 Aug 2022

When I entered the U.S. in L-2 status in 2020, I applied for an EAD. Now that I am authorized to work based on being in L2S status, is there any benefit to applying to extend my EAD?

Answer There does not seem to be much benefit to having an EAD based on one's L2S status. When the policy was announced, granting work authorization to L-2 dependent spouses incident to their status, the EAD was useful while waiting to obtain an I-94 updated with...

04 Aug 2022

If I get a U.S. master’s degree while in H-4 status, would that make me eligible for next year’s H1B master’s cap, or do I have to be in F-1 status to qualify?

Answer If you earn a U.S. master's degree from a qualifying university, you normally would qualify for the master's cap. There is no requirement that a person be in F-1 status while attending the school in order to qualify for the master's cap. (03.Aug.2022)Sheela Murthy and...

13 Jul 2022

I filed an application to extend my H-4 status shortly before my I-94 expired. However, the USCIS rejected the package because I forgot to include the filing fee check. The rejection noticed indicated that I am allowed to reapply. If I refile now, does that mean the new filing will be considered as having been filed on time?

Answer No, if the refiling is done after one's I-94 has expired, that application will not be considered to have been timely filed. When the USCIS rejects a package, they typically include a form notice that indicates the person may be eligible to reapply. However, this...

07 Jul 2022

I need to file to extend my H-4 status and the H-4 status of my son. My son is turning 21 next year, so he is only eligible for about 10 months of H-4 time. Is it ok to file his application as an I-539A supplement with my I-539 application?

Answer It is normally possible to file a dependent child's H-4 extension as an I-539A, along with the parent's I-539. However, the USCIS typically will issue the same I-94 expiration date for all the H-4 applicants, included in the I-539 and I-539A/s. So, in a case...

07 Jul 2022

I am doing various freelance jobs based on an H-4 EAD, which is valid through 2023. My H1B registration was selected in the lottery, and that H1B change-of-status request is pending. If the case is approved, do I have to stop using the H-4 EAD immediately?

Answer For an H1B case that was selected in this year's lottery, the petition should have requested a start date of October 1, 2022 or later. If the petition and change-of-status request are approved prior to the requested start date, you should be able to continue...

15 Jun 2022

I am working based on an H-4 EAD, and I have a pending I-485 based on my husband’s EB2 case. My husband’s I-485 was just approved. Can I continue working based on my H-4 EAD?

Answer Once the principal spouse's green card is approved, that individual generally is no longer considered to be in H1B status. And, if the principal spouse is no longer in H1B status, the dependent spouse typically cannot be maintaining valid H-4 status (or continue to use...

02 Jun 2022

My H1B extension was approved recently, but my wife’s H-4 extension is still pending. She now needs to travel to India. Can she apply for an H-4 visa now? Or does she need to wait for the USCIS to approve the H-4 extension?

Answer Normally, there is no need to wait for an I-539 to be approved in order to apply for an H-4 visa at a consulate. If the applicant can show that the principal spouse is in valid H1B status, the consulate typically has the authority to...

12 May 2022

My wife and I both need to apply for new visa stamps, and we are both eligible for dropbox appointments. I was able to schedule my appointment in the near future, but there were no slots available for my wife for several months. Do we each need separate dropbox appointment slots, or can she just apply with me during my slot?

Answer Each spouse needs to apply based on his or her individual appointment slot. After the appointments are scheduled, the consulate has discretion to then grant an expedite appointment to the spouse with the later appointment date. There is no guarantee that this will be granted,...

28 Apr 2022

I entered the U.S. a few months ago in H-4 status, and my I-94 was only granted through the end of May, based on my passport expiration date. I have now renewed my passport. How can I get my I-94 extended to match my H1B husband’s I-94? Can I go back to the port of entry to get the officer to correct my I-94?

Answer If this was an error by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at a port of entry, one normally can contact a CBP deferred inspection site to request that the I-94 be corrected. But here, it does not sound as though an error...

14 Apr 2022

My husband was in L1A status and I have L2S status valid for several more months. His change of status to H1B was recently approved, while my change to H-4 status is still pending. Can I continue to work based on my L2S status?

Answer Generally speaking, once the principal spouse is no longer in valid L1A status, the dependent spouse is no longer considered to be in valid L2S status. Therefore, it normally would not be permissible to work in this situation. (13.Apr.2022)Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide...