Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: I have a valid H1B visa stamp. But my employer in the US does not have a project for me to work on at the moment so I cannot come to the US using my H1B visa. My husband also has a valid H-1B visa stamp and is in the US. For personal reasons I need to travel to him urgently. Can I apply for an H4 visa? If I am granted an H4 visa will that cancel my H1B visa? If I come to the US on an H4 visa, can I change my status to H1B later?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: Someone with a valid H-1B visa in their passport is still able to obtain an H-4 visa in their passport as well, where their spouse is in H-1B status. Obtaining the H-4 visa does not cancel the H-1B visa. You are allowed to have more than one valid nonimmigrant visa at the same time. However, you can only use one visa at a time. So someone with both a valid H-1B visa and a valid H-4 visa would have to use one or the other when they travel to the US. If the person enters on the H-4 visa and then wants to work in H-1B status for their H-1B employer, they will first need to leave the US and return on their valid H-1B visa. Alternatively, their employer could file a new H-1B petition for them to change their status from H-4 to H-1B, but they would need to wait until that petition for change of status was approved and the start date was reached before they could begin working in H-1B status.
A word of caution: while obtaining a second nonimmigrant visa does not invalidate the first nonimmigrant visa, if the consular officer determines that you are no longer eligible for the first nonimmigrant visa, they have the ability to cancel that visa. For example, if someone has a B-1/B-2 visitor visa in their passport, and the consular officer determines that the person has immigrant intent (they plan to stay in the US and apply for a green card) during the person’s application for an H-1B visa, the consular officer may choose to cancel the B-1/B-2 visitor visa.
Published 10/1918 by attorney Ari Sauer.
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Submit questions to Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions submitted by email may be posted on this site, without personal information, unless the email specifically requests that we not use the question for this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation appointment with attorney Ari Sauer. Sending in a question by email or any other means does not create an attorney-client relationship. * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not be current or apply to your particular situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer rather than relying on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.