Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: My H1B visa expired last week. But the I-94 that I received when I came to the US, which I printed out from the CBP website, is valid for another two years. My I797 is valid for two years as well. I currently work for my company that filed the H1B. I want to make sure it is legal for me to work until the expiration date of my I-94?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: Yes. Your current I-94 is the controlling document for your status while in the US. So if your most recent valid I-94 says you are still in H-1B status, then you are in H-1B status and required to work for the H-1B petitioning employer pursuant to your H-1B petition.
The visa (the laminated page put in your passport by the US embassy or consulate) is just a travel document. You only need the visa to be valid when you apply for entry into the US. When the visa expires, it does not affect your immigration status while you are in the US. If you need to leave the US, you will likely need to obtain a new visa in your passport before returning to the US.
Since it is the MOST RECENT I-94 that controls someone’s immigration status, it is important that everyone who enters the US on a nonimmigrant visa (i.e., H-1B, B-1/B-2, F-1, etc.), or through the Visa Waiver Program (also known as ESTA), or as a Canadian visitor should check the expiration date on their I-94 EVERY time they reenter the US. Do not assume that the expiration date that the CBP officer wrote on the entry stamp in your passport is the same expiration date that is on your I-94. CBP officers can make mistakes. It is the expiration date on your I-94 that matters, even if the I-94 has a different expiration date than the expiration date on the entry stamp in your passport. So make sure to print out your I-94 and check the expiration date on it EVERY time you travel. You can print out your I-94 by going here on the CBP website: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
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Published 2/14/18 by attorney Ari Sauer.
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Submit questions to Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions submitted by email may be posted on this site, without personal information, unless the email specifically requests that we not use the question for this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation appointment with attorney Ari Sauer. Sending in a question by email or any other means does not create an attorney-client relationship. * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not be current or apply to your particular situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer rather than relying on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.