If their visa is still valid, they can travel. Each time an H-1 holder changes jobs, the H-4 holders are NOT required to change their H-4, as long as the H-4 status (I-94) or visa is still valid. An action on H-4 is required only if the status (if within USA) or the visa (if traveling abroad or outside USA) is about to expire. Of course, if H-1 holder has been out of status even for one day, my answer would change.
General Nonimmigrant Visa
Ans1. Yes. You should not need an original I-94 to travel out.
Ans2. You probably cannot reenter using a copy of the I-94. Not only that, your departure from USA renders your pending B application void (considered abandoned).
They way I see it, you have two choices. Wait for B extension before you go for E stamping. Or, go for E stamping bearing in mind the consequences of abandonment and reentry not assured.
This is upto the discretion of the consulate and then again upto CBP when you land in USA. Consulates have the discretion to issue you a B visa - despite your presumed immigrant intent - if they are convinced that you will return. This is true for all cases where a B (or F or similar) visa is sought while GC is pending or could be pending.
Ans 1. In my opinion, you will not be subject to the quota again.
Ans 2. You should not be subject to the quota.
My assumption is that you are still on F-1 and in USA. If this is correct, you cannot use your B visa within USA.
While in USA, your stay and status is controlled exclusively by your I-94.
You can, however, try to reenter USA on B visa but after having stayed here for so long, a reentry is likely to be denied.
If, you are outside USA and have been out for a while (like a year or more), I think you can still use that B visa and try to enter USA.
I am on H4 in the USA , I have applied two H1B's through two different employers (Company-A and Company-B) on Apr 1st , 2008 and both have got approved which will be effective from Oct1st , 2008.
I have the following questions
Qo1. Now I have two new I-94's through two different employers ( Company-A and Compnay-B ) plus I have my own H4 I-94 with me. Do I need to return all three I-94's if I leave the US
Ans1. Yes. I usually recommend that all I-94’s be surrendered.
We got an approval for a L1 to H1 with an I-94 effective Oct 1, 2008. But the candidate got an admission for a one year full time MBA program which he wants to pursue and join us in August 2009. His MBA program is starting in September 2008. So, he will be applying for his F1 status soon.
Qo1. What choices do we have to keep the H1 approval valid so that he can join us in August 2009 ?
Bottomline - I think H-1 should be renewed.
A little more info: A few months ago, I used to feel strongly that AOS applicants should keep their H-1 active for several reasons. Two of these are:
One, EAD issuance was erratic and CIS had discontinued issuance of interim EAD's (that is, if in 90 days your EAD is not issued, you could walk with a infopass appointment to your local CIS office and get an EAD). Thus, EAD's were unreliable and given for only a year. You could have interruptions in your work.
The two-year home residency requirement does not prohibit issuance of F-1 visa. That can be tried any time, even before the HRR is completed. Ultimately, F-1 visas are discretionary. But there is no law that prohibits their issuance in these circumstances.
Issuance of an F-1 does NOT waive the HRR. You will stay subject to it.
I am trying to take an appointment for my wife to renew her H-4 visa since the dates are available right now. She came here on H4, switched in between to F-1 (change of status) but did not leave US, then got the new approval for change of status to H4 (after we filed for green card) and wants to get it stamped now. There is a bit of confusion on the DS-156 form that I have to fill out.