H1B Extension isn't filled - i94 about to expire for dependents

Hi All,

I am on H1b with my dependents ( wife and son) on h4.

i-797 expiry date for all three of us is March 1, 2020.
My I-94 expiry date is March 11,2020.
Whereas for my wife and son i-94 expiry date is March 1, 2020.

My employer is preparing for H1 Extension (regular not premium processing). For various reasons, it extension filling isn’t done yet. As per employer, extension should be filled in 10-12 days i.e. by February 24, 2020.

Since filling is done very late, we have very less time to receive “Receipt Number” from USCIS.

Questions are:

  1. If I don’t get receipt number before 3/1/2020 - will my dependents be on unlawful stay in USA; as their i-94 expiry is 3/1/2020?
    In that case, if we don’t want unlawful days, should they travel to home country and come back once H4 Extension is approved?
    H4 extension is taking lots of months, and I am afraid my kid will miss his school.

Please suggest options.

  1. If I don’t get receipt from USCIS before March 11, 2020. Can I stay in USA and can I work in USA? Will that count for unlawful days?

  2. If I got receipt from USCIS before March 11, 2020.
    I think as per 240 rule, I can work in USA for 240 days.
    But for some reason if H1b extension is denied, will my stay after i-94 expiry will be unlawful?

I am trying to pursue my employer to file extensions as soon as possible. But at the same time I am trying to find out the scenarios and solutions. Please advice.

  1. Not really, as long as the filing was done on time and you have proof for the same, you should be fine. You can, but there is no need, if you file it before March 1st.
  2. You can continue to do that, sometimes mail can take time, so not need to worry about it, as long as you filed it on time and sent to USCIS. Keep the mail receipt copy safe so that it tells that your application was sent and delivered on time to USCIS
  3. Yes, you can work for up to 240 days. No, it will only be from the day your petition was denied. You will be something called as period of authorized stay. Read 240 Day H1B Rule and Period of Authoirzed stay vs Unlawful status

Thank you!! Your advice reconfirm what employer told us (after posting this question).
In the meantime, I managed to get employer file the extension earlier. They have already sent a parcel to USCIS.

Thank you again!

1 Like

Awesome ! Good Luck !