Stay in us without pay while h1b transfer is pending (i94 has long enough expiration)


My current H1B I797 and I94 expires : April 2022 .
My last date at this company was 11th June 2020, so my H1B Grace period to find new employer ends on 10th Aug 2020 .

Assume that I will be able to find a new employer who timely files my H1B transfer to USCIS (Somewhere in 3rd week of July 2020 ).
I know that I can join the new employer immediately after USCIS receives H1B transfer package, however assume that I am not joining them until it is approved. And obviously since I am not joining a new employer, they will not start paying me till the time I join them - so no paychecks.

Assume that my H1B will be approved on 30th Nov 2020 and then I join the new employer on 1st Dec 2020 .


  1. In above scenario, my payroll was not generated by any of my employers from 12th June 2020 to 30th Nov 2020 - is this fine, legally ?
    Can I stay legally in USA (without pay) for this period when my H1B transfer application was pending ? (I94 is valid long enough till April 2022)
  2. If answer to 1st question is “Yes”, then how many days I can stay legally in USA without pay ?
  1. Well, technically, you can…But, it is slightly grey area though…Usually, when you apply and wait, you do not have status, you are in period of authorized stay. Ideally, most of the cases, they recommend you to join and continue working to make sure you are maintaining status… I suggest you discuss with attorney, if you do not plan to work…

  2. As per attorney general, you can stay until your adjudication is done…but as I said, it is slightly grey area.
    Talk to your attorney and plan it out.