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The date on the I-797 form is earlier than that on the I-94 card. Which one takes precedence?

Bethesda, MD |

My employer applied for a transfer of my H-1B status, and it was granted until date X. However, my visa stamp has a date Y that is later than the date on the I-797 (i.e., X < Y). Date X is approaching and my employer wants to extend it.

Now, the last time I entered the country (recently), the officer put on the I-94 card the date Y as the status expiration date. He didn't even ask for the I-797 form.

My understanding is that I still have to apply for an extension of the H-1B, given it was only granted until date X. I will return the I-94 card the next time I leave the country, and if I try to enter back, I cannot use the I-94 card as proof that my status has not expired (since I will no longer have it)

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Attorney answers 3


It is always the expiration date on your I-94 card or on a later USCIS issued I-797 which governs, never the visa stamp received at the consulate.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.



The date on the visa stamp was simply mentioned as reference. My question is about the date on the I-797 vs the date on the I-94. Sorry, but you have not answered my question.


The date on the I-94 controls.

(626) 771-1078 Los Angeles Attorney Theodore Huang, Esq. This is not legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is established. Attorney Huang is licensed in MD; practice limited to federal law.



Thanks. What happens if I leave the country after the date on the I-797



Thanks. But what happens if I leave the country after the date on the I-797 (date X) but before the date on the I-94 (date Y). What will happen if try to enter the country again? The only document I will have at that time is the I-797 which will say "date X", which had __already passed__.


I agree.

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