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  • H4 visa renewal

    Hello all,

    I am French and I work in the US under a H1B visa that expires in 2 years. My wife is Vietnamese so her H4 visa expires earlier: at the end of this year. She is allowed to stay in the USA until my visa expires with her current visa but if we go out of the country for our vacations, she needs a new visa to get back in. I would like to know if this is still considered as an H4 extension or if that's a renewal?
    I read that for the H4 extension we need to request the H1B extension at the same time but my H1B does not need to be extended.

    Thanks for your help!
    Matt

  • #2
    Forget about the visa in the passport. Visa is only an entry document to U.S. You do not need a valid visa to stay in U.S.
    To legally stay in U.S, you need a valid I-94. When is your wife's H4 I-94 expiring and when is your H1B I-94 expiring?

    If your H1B I-94 expires in 2017 and if your wife's H4 I-94 expires by the end of this year, then you need to file her H4 extension now. There is no need to file H1B extension since your petition and I-94 are valid until 2017. Just the H4 extension can be filed based on your approved H1B approval notice. Alternatively, she can leave the country and return back on a valid H4 visa. By showing your H1B approval notice (I-797) at the POE, she will get an I-94 matching your current petition expiry date.
    Not a legal advice. Use of this information is strictly at your own risk.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by shervin143 View Post
      Forget about the visa in the passport. Visa is only an entry document to U.S. You do not need a valid visa to stay in U.S.
      To legally stay in U.S, you need a valid I-94. When is your wife's H4 I-94 expiring and when is your H1B I-94 expiring?

      If your H1B I-94 expires in 2017 and if your wife's H4 I-94 expires by the end of this year, then you need to file her H4 extension now. There is no need to file H1B extension since your petition and I-94 are valid until 2017. Just the H4 extension can be filed based on your approved H1B approval notice. Alternatively, she can leave the country and return back on a valid H4 visa. By showing your H1B approval notice (I-797) at the POE, she will get an I-94 matching your current petition expiry date.
      Hi. Thank you for your feedback and sorry for the delay.
      So I verified our I-94 and they both expire in 2017. I'm going to fill in the I-539 2 months before we leave to Vietnam to be sure we'll have the new visa before we leave. The first field to fill in on that I-539 is The Alien Registration Number. Where do I find this?

      Thanks

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cptmosc View Post
        Hi. Thank you for your feedback and sorry for the delay.
        So I verified our I-94 and they both expire in 2017. I'm going to fill in the I-539 2 months before we leave to Vietnam to be sure we'll have the new visa before we leave. The first field to fill in on that I-539 is The Alien Registration Number. Where do I find this?

        Thanks
        I-539 is an application to change/extend the non-immigrant status. It doesn't help with her H4 visa in any way. All you need to do (purely based on the information you have given) is to appear at the consulate abroad and get an H4 visa stamped. Maybe you have other reasons for filing the i-539 but they aren't clear from this thread. So please don't take my advice as sound without further studying the situation.

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