Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for accuracy of information provided. Please use at your own risk. Do not post anything you don't want publicly visible.


Track greencard/visa apps
Immihelp Tracker
Help Others
Share Experiences
Instant Quotes & Purchase
Visitor Medical Insurance
Find
Travel Companion
Download Mobile Apps:   iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch App    Android App

Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1

    Default H1B, i797, i94 and i539 convoluted mess (H1, i-797, i-94, i-539)

    Hi,

    I am a Mexican non-immigrant working at a prominent private university in California, south of the San Francisco Bay area, under an non-cap H1B work permit.
    I am in status, which according to my i797 expires on Feb 28, 2019.

    The university will file an extension petition but their systems seem to be quite inefficient and the bureaucracy is overwhelming.
    My boss agreed since early December 2018 to extend my contract for another 3 years but somehow my extension petition still hasn't been filed.

    The International Office at the university tells me that they are aiming to file the petition on Feb 13th (one week from today, Feb 6, 2019).
    They say it's unlikely USCIS will have my case approved by Feb 28th even though my boss agreed to pay for premium processing and thus they'll have to terminate me by Feb 28.

    I mentioned that as far as I understand, I can remain legally in the country until USCIS arrives at a decision, so long the petition is submitted before Feb 28.
    They said this is correct but risky because my petition could be denied.
    If my petition is denied, any days I stay beyond March 10th will be in "unlawful status", and this could immediately trigger a deportation proceeding against me.

    I said there should be no risk of unlawful status or deportation until May 22, because my i94 was granted by CBP until May 22, 2019.
    They said that this was done in error because my i797 sponsored by the university clearly says my status expires on Feb 28th, and I only get a 10 day grace period to leave.
    They claim that the i797 status expiration date supersedes my i94 "admit until date" because there is no way to justify my stay beyond my i797 status date.

    QUESTION 1: is it correct that the i797 status expiration date supersedes the i94 admit-until date?

    I called an immigration advocacy group. They said that I can safely wait in the country until late April, and should leave only if the petition to extend my H1B is denied. They also mentioned that overstaying my status would not trigger any deportation proceedings immediately after the 10-day grace period (March 10) but rather that I can stay (in practical terms) in the country without any penalties for 30 days after my expiration of status.

    QUESTION 2: Who is correct? The school or the advocay group?
    Should I plan to travel in early March (10 days after my expiration of status) or in early April (30 days after my expiration of status)?

    QUESTION 3:
    Could the school simply file form i539 on Feb 13th with my H1B extension petition so that we have more time to hear back from USCIS about the petition?

    QUESTION 4:
    If I wait inside the US and USCIS notifies the school after March 10 that my petition was denied, for example on March 20, can't I simply leave then without telling anybody? How could the government know when I left? These days, we don't even get an i94 slip to return, as the i94 forms are now electronic. I see no way in which anybody could possibly know exactly when I left, particularly if I simply drive down to the border and cross into Mexico. Unless the government has the time, resources, and interest to monitor my cell phone or online or banking activities, how could they possibly know that I didn't leave exactly on March 10?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sharelifeas View Post
    Hi,

    I am a Mexican non-immigrant working at a prominent private university in California, south of the San Francisco Bay area, under an non-cap H1B work permit.
    I am in status, which according to my i797 expires on Feb 28, 2019.

    The university will file an extension petition but their systems seem to be quite inefficient and the bureaucracy is overwhelming.
    My boss agreed since early December 2018 to extend my contract for another 3 years but somehow my extension petition still hasn't been filed.

    The International Office at the university tells me that they are aiming to file the petition on Feb 13th (one week from today, Feb 6, 2019).
    They say it's unlikely USCIS will have my case approved by Feb 28th even though my boss agreed to pay for premium processing and thus they'll have to terminate me by Feb 28.

    I mentioned that as far as I understand, I can remain legally in the country until USCIS arrives at a decision, so long the petition is submitted before Feb 28.
    They said this is correct but risky because my petition could be denied.
    If my petition is denied, any days I stay beyond March 10th will be in "unlawful status", and this could immediately trigger a deportation proceeding against me.

    I said there should be no risk of unlawful status or deportation until May 22, because my i94 was granted by CBP until May 22, 2019.
    They said that this was done in error because my i797 sponsored by the university clearly says my status expires on Feb 28th, and I only get a 10 day grace period to leave.
    They claim that the i797 status expiration date supersedes my i94 "admit until date" because there is no way to justify my stay beyond my i797 status date.

    QUESTION 1: is it correct that the i797 status expiration date supersedes the i94 admit-until date?

    I called an immigration advocacy group. They said that I can safely wait in the country until late April, and should leave only if the petition to extend my H1B is denied. They also mentioned that overstaying my status would not trigger any deportation proceedings immediately after the 10-day grace period (March 10) but rather that I can stay (in practical terms) in the country without any penalties for 30 days after my expiration of status.

    QUESTION 2: Who is correct? The school or the advocay group?
    Should I plan to travel in early March (10 days after my expiration of status) or in early April (30 days after my expiration of status)?

    QUESTION 3:
    Could the school simply file form i539 on Feb 13th with my H1B extension petition so that we have more time to hear back from USCIS about the petition?

    QUESTION 4:
    If I wait inside the US and USCIS notifies the school after March 10 that my petition was denied, for example on March 20, can't I simply leave then without telling anybody? How could the government know when I left? These days, we don't even get an i94 slip to return, as the i94 forms are now electronic. I see no way in which anybody could possibly know exactly when I left, particularly if I simply drive down to the border and cross into Mexico. Unless the government has the time, resources, and interest to monitor my cell phone or online or banking activities, how could they possibly know that I didn't leave exactly on March 10?
    There are two issues here: Legality of stay and your ability to work legally. I94 governs the legality of stay. So you are good to stay until your I94 expires.(The advocacy group is right).
    Just an opinion; Not legal advice.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •