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Is it legal to stay while waiting for new H1b approval when I-94 expires?

Redmond, WA |
Filed under: Immigration

My husband's passport will expire in 7 months. So his I-94 will expire in August. He is working on H1b and our company is working on getting him new H1b approval. We are going to renew his passport next week. So it's likely we can get the new passport before I-94 expires in August. By then, we will be waiting for the approval of new H1b. Are we legal to stay in the States on that status? Or shall we leave the country before I-94 expires? Thank you so very much! .

Attorney Answers 1


Foreign nationals may remain in the United States while an extension of an H1-B is pending with Citizenship and Immigration Service. If the extension is approved, and the extension application was filed before the I-94 expired, foreign nationals will not accrue any unlawful presence in the United States.

Unfortunately it is a policy of Immigration that if the H1-B extension is denied (even years later) the period of time from the I-94 expiration marks the time that the foreign national began to accrue unlawful presence. Because there are serious consequences to being in the United States with unlawful presence, including not being able to change to any other status, I strongly suggest you consult with an immigration attorney. During that consultation, the professional can offer you legal advice as opposed to the general information provided here.

This attorney is Board Certified, speaks Spanish and French, and represents clients throughout the United States. For other information, click through to the Blog.

Elizabeth R. Blandon

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