Written by attorney Anu Gupta

Forgot to extend the H4 when H1 holder changed jobs. Spouse’s I-94 expired.

Question. I was issued a H4 visa when I first entered the US. Soon after entering, my husband changed jobs and the new H1 was approved. We did not file my H4 extension since I still had 2 years left. When I heard from you, I checked my I-94 which is on my passport. But unfortunately, it expired last month. Let me know what I have to do in that case. Am I out of status?

Answer. This is a situation that occurs all the time. You must leave the country, go to your home consulate and have them issue you a new H4. Just make sure that you have all the documents with you (copies of your husband’s visa, copies of your H4) to prove that your status lapsed due to a genuine oversight. If you are out of status in the US for less than 180 days, the ramification is that you must travel overseas to have the visa stamped in your passport.

You should also file a petition nunc pro tunc for the gap when you were out of status. You did not mention whether you had filed a I-485 before your H4 expired. If you did, you are not considered out of status.

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