I-94 has expired, how to extend & adjust status in the United States?
Non-immigrant, I-94, application extension, change of status, adjustment of status,
For all kinds of non-immigrants in the United States, the I-94 is a very important document , because the I-94 will indicate the legal stay time in the United States. A valid I-94 is required to apply for an extension, change of status, or adjustment of status in the United States.
For all kinds of non-immigrants in the United States, I-94 is a very important document , because I-94 will indicate the time that they can legally stay in the United States, usually a date, and students are D/S (Duration of Status). To apply for extension of stay, change of status (for example, B2 to F1, F1 to H1B), adjustment of status (adjustment of status (non-immigrant to immigrant status)) in the United States will require a valid I-94. If the I-94 has expired, the above applications cannot usually be made in the United States. You can only apply for a visa again after leaving the country and then enter the United States.
But usually there are exceptions. In June, Tsang & Associates successfully applied for the extension of H-4 for a family member of a client. Her I-94 expired in September 2017. How to successfully extend? Let’s take you through this case:
Time: June 2018
Country/Region: Hong Kong, China
Applicant: Mrs. Gao
Application Category: H-4 Extension
Difficulties in this case:
• Mrs. Gao’s I-94 expired in September 2017, and she has never paid attention to it;
• When Mrs. Gao discovered that her I-94 had expired, she had overstayed for more than 180 days and faced the problem of being barred from entering the country for 3 years;
• Mr. Gao works on H-1B in the United States, and his EB-3 application has been approved by I-140. Then he submitted the I-485 application to adjust his status in the United States, but his wife faced the dilemma of not being able to apply for the I-485 together because of the expiration of the I-94.
The case has passed:
Mr. Gao has obtained H-1B and worked in the United States for nearly 3 years. Due to communication barriers with the previous H-1B lawyer, when the company applied for EB-3 for Mr. Gao in 2017, he switched to Tsang & Associates handle.
Mr. Gao’s EB-3 progressed very smoothly. He received the PERM labor certification approval within half a year, and the I-140 (accelerated trial) was also approved in May 2018. Mr. Gao was very happy, and the family’s I-485 application was also entrusted to Zang’s team of lawyers.
When preparing the I-485 application for Mr. Gao’s family, it was found that the expiration date of Mrs. Gao’s I-94 was September 2017, which was inconsistent with that of Mr. Gao and his children. We immediately contacted Mr. Gao. Mr. Gao said that in July 2017, his family visited relatives and returned to the United States, and they had never been abroad since then. He did not notice when his wife’s I-94 would expire. After checking the documents, it was found that Mrs. Gao’s old passport expired in September 2017, and the expiration date of I-94 was the same as that of the old passport. After Mrs. Gao renewed her passport, she did not update her I-94. During this period, she did not leave the country, which caused the I-94 to expire for so long.
In this case, Mrs. Gao will face the serious consequences of being rejected due to the expiration of the I-94 when she submits the I-485. Due to the new interview process for I-485 for immigration applicants, the waiting time for the trial can be up to 20 months. Mr. Gao and his wife do not want to suffer such a long time. However, because the children are already studying in the United States, they are unwilling to leave the United States and go to overseas consulates to interview and apply for immigrant visas. In particular, Mrs. Gao’s I-94 has expired for 8 months and faces the risk of being barred from entering the country for 3 years. Facing this dilemma, the legal team of Zang Dikai and the law firm (Tsang & Associates) made a full and detailed discussion and demonstration for Mrs. Gao’s next plan. Finally, the legal team of Zang carefully proposed the following plan for Mr. Gao:
Keys to success:
1. How to obtain a new I-94 for Mrs. Gao?
A new I-94 is usually obtained through re-entry, or extension. Since Mrs. Gao was overdue and did not dare to take the risk of going abroad, she could only choose to postpone.
2. Are there any conditions for applying for an extension?
Mrs. Gao’s H-4 is attached to Mr. Gao’s H-1B. Mr. Gao’s H-1B three-year period is about to expire, and he can apply for an extension of the next three years. The H-1B extension allows accelerated processing (15 days), and his wife’s H-4 Delayed submission at the same time can enjoy the same treatment, so you can know the result of the delay or not in the fastest time, and minimize the waiting time and inner suffering for Mr. Gao & Mrs. Gao for the uncertain result.
3. I-94 has expired, how to get approval for extension?
This is the most critical, how to persuade the “Special Affairs Office” of the Immigration Bureau to give Mrs. Gao a new I-94? Zang Dikai’s lawyer team drafted a strong lawyer’s explanation letter by searching relevant memorandums and cases, explaining Mrs. Gao’s special situation at that time:
(1) Mr. Gao’s H-1B family had obtained H-1 and H-4 visas at the consulate and came to the United States, so there was no I-94 on the immigration approval notice;
(2) The expiration of the passport caused the I-94 to expire early, but Mr. Gao did not understand the function of I-94, and thought that the expiration date of his wife and his was the same as the expiration date of the visa;
(3) Mr. Gao and Mrs. Gao have lost contact with the former lawyer. Afterwards, Mr. Gao focused on the conditions of the employer and Mr. Gao when he applied for EB-3, which resulted in no discovery of his wife’s I-94 issue;
(4) It was found that the I-94 had expired for more than 6 months, and the whole family was in the United States, so they could not take risks to leave the country or return to the country with a visa.
After nearly a month of preparation, Zang Dikai’s lawyer team submitted the H-1B & H-4 extension application for Mr. Gao and Mrs. Gao in June, and chose the accelerated trial (premium processing).
Two weeks later, Attorney Zang first received the notification of Mr. Gao’s H-1B extension by email, which was expected. The H-1B extension was mainly for the purpose of his wife’s H-4; three days later, Attorney Zang received another email notification Mrs. Gao’s H-4 extension approval! Paper notices will then be mailed. This gets us excited! Soon Mrs. Gao received the official paper approval notice and scanned it to us. The I-94 expiration date on the lower left has been updated to be consistent with Mr. Gao’s!
Mrs. Gao was very excited to receive the new I-94! He said that since he knew that his original I-94 had expired for so long, he couldn’t eat well and couldn’t sleep. He was worried that he would drag down the progress of the family’s application, or that he would be left alone abroad and could not be reunited with his husband and children. Now he finally let go of his heart.
For many foreigners in the United States, due to lack of understanding and understanding of visa and I-94 stay period, they often mistakenly believe that the validity period of the visa is the legal stay period in the United States; Changing identities or adjusting identities comes with unexpected risks and difficulties. If you have encountered similar problems, please contact a professional lawyer as soon as possible so as to make the right choice.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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