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Employer lost my I797A.

Cos Cob, CT |

Currently I am on H1b status. My employeer gave me the original I94 that came with the I797A form however they kept the original I797A form and gave me a scan copy of it. I have recently decided to do H4 change of status. I asked my employer for original I797A and they came back to me saying that its misplaced. Application for change of status doesnt require original I797A however since it is lost do I have to inform USCIS and ask for a duplicate one or the copy will suffice? It take around 3-6 month to get the original copy. Will I need this original I797A after my H4 is approved? Will I need it to apply for greencard application which i will be applying through my spouse in future?

Attorney Answers 3


The original approval notice is a company document and they are to retain it. You cannot file for the duplicate. You are entitled to your original I-94 card.

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.

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The employer has lost the original I-797A letter. Do I need to ask them to file for another original copy with USCIS? or photocopy will work?


The I-797 is the property of the company, as is the H visa itself. Thus, they were correct in not giving it to you ... nor should they do so in the future, even if the didn't lose it.

You don't need it to do a COS ... print out your scanned copy ... along with a copy of the I-94. ... that will be fine.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.

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You file with the copy they gave you.

You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

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