How do H1to H4 transfers work?

I recently applied for the H1 to H4 petition. I am still waiting for the received receipt. I have few questions on this: 1. How long will it take to get the receipt? 2. How long will it take to get the H4 approval? 3. If I get a job before my H4 is approved, can I apply for the H4 to H1 COS and start working once my H1 gets approved or do I have to wait for H4 approval first and then file for H4 to H1 COS?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Immigration Law, North Carolina


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It usually takes about 7-10 days to get the receipt.  For the approval, it usually takes about 3-4 months, on average.  If you get a job offer before your H-4 is approved, your employer will be able to file for a H-1B visa petition on your behalf but you will not be able to start working until after the approval is obtained since you are not currently working in H-1B status and, therefore, are not eligible for a H-1B transfer to another employer.

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