Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: I filed my I-539 application to extend my H4 status. The application is not yet approved. I am supposed to go to India in a few weeks. What happens if my application is approved while I am outside the US?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: If you leave the US while your Form I-539 application to extend your H-4 status is pending, USCIS is supposed to treat it as if you abandoned your request for an extension of status and deny the application. In your situation, this would not negatively affect your status, your ability to obtain an H-4 visa in your passport or your ability to use an existing H-4 visa (if you have a current valid H-4 visa stamp in your passport).
But whether or not your I-539 application is approved before you leave the US, you will need to have a valid H-4 visa stamp in your passport to return to the US (unless you are a Canadian citizen). If you do not currently have a valid H-4 visa stamp in your passport, or if your current visa stamp will expire before your planned date of return to the US, then you will need to apply at the appropriate US consular post abroad to have a visa stamp put in your passport before you can return to the US in H-4 status. Of course, this assumes that your H-1B spouse (or parent) has already had their extension of H-1B status approved. Otherwise, you may have to wait for the H-1B beneficiary’s extension of status to be approved before you will be able to obtain a new H-4 visa.
I highly recommend consulting with me or another experienced immigration lawyer to make sure your travel plans will not result in unexpected delays returning to the US.
Please see my contact information below if you would like to schedule a consultation appointment with me to discuss your immigration issue.
Published 2/21/18 by attorney Ari Sauer.
By Ari Sauer.
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. The Siskind Susser law firm 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 the Siskind Susser law firm.