Immigration Issues/H4 Change Of Status

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Question
Sir,
I came US (from India) in Feb-2009 in L1 visa (I-94 valid date is Nov-2011). My wife and kids came US in L2 visa in Apr-2009 (I-94 valid date is Nov-2011). I got H1 approved (with COS) in Oct-2010 (till not get H1 Visa stamping in passport), but mistakenly my employer didnt apply H4 for my wife and kids at time of my H1 application.

My question is what is the best approach to get the H4 approval for my wife and kids.
1. Do I send them back to India to get them H4 stamping. What is the chance of H4 rejection
2. Do i go for H4 premium processing in US so that i can get H4 approval for them within 180 days ,as there is 30 days left to cross the days since I get the H1 approved (i.e. 1-Oct-2010). What is the chance of rejection. is the H4 visa apply before 180 days is the valid period for COS?

Answer
Hi,

As H4 application cannot be filed through premium processing (unless accompanied by H1B petition which is filed through premium processing), I recommend that your wife and children depart the U.S. immediately and then apply for H4 visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate in their home country.

Since any violation of status is less than 180 days if they depart the U.S. immediately, the Consulate should issue the H4 visa stamp. However, in most cases the Consulate will require that the H1B family member have unexpired H1B visa stamp in his passport before issuing H4 visa stamp to family members, so you should expect to travel to your home country and obtain H1B visa stamp before your family is issued H4 visa stamp.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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