Hi there, Let me try to address your questions in the order they were posed.
1) Unfortunately it is not ethical for attorneys to discuss their legal fees in this public forum because it could result in unethical practices (i.e. different attorneys trying to "get" a client by lowering fees, etc.). Therefore, you may be able to contact attorneys that interest you (you can find immigration attorneys in your area right here by searching on avvo.com search option) and contact them directly, or do an online search (again, most attorneys don't post their fees online, but some big law practices might). The fee you are quoting in your question ($290) is a filing fee. Filing fees is money required by immigration/the government to process your documents and applications - the attorneys do NOT get any of this money. They are completely separate from attorney fees. Attorney fees means paying the attorney for the work they do (and risk they take) in representing you in a particular matter.
2) I would not wait but file for H4 status extension immediately - even better yet, after you find an attorney whom you seem to get on with and whose fees seem reasonable after you have contacted a few, have THEM do this for you so as to avoid unnecessary problems or delays.
3) Whatever the current filing fees are, probably in the hundreds of dollars. An attorney can tell you the specific figures once you are ready to file the application since these fees sometimes change.
This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.
Attorney fees vary depending on the case and their experience. It is best to file the extension as soon as possible.
Alexus P. Sham email@example.com (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The fees are discussed and negotiated with a reputable and acceptable attorney of your choosing and such discussion is highly improper to present a fee for another person without taking into account the professional expertise, skill and case requirements first.
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You can leave the country and re-enter on the H4 after oct 1. Or you can file to amend the H1 start date.
Business Immigration Attorney. For H, L, J, EB5s, PERM and EB1/2/3 Petitions. Call 800-688-7892 or visit www.ImmigrationDesk.com. Law Office of Anu Gupta. The advice suggested here is for general information only and not to be construed as legal advice.
There are several ways to achieve what you want. If you talk to an attorney perhaps you could accomplish everything. Best Wishes!
Contact (317) 660-6174 for specific legal advice. Answers here are not legal advice because they are of general nature and not tailored to your specific situation. You should not act on this answer without checking with an Immigration Attorney.