Filing H4 Extension couple of weeks before I-94 Expiration

Hello All,

My H1B is expiring in May 31, 2022, and my employed will be filing my H1B extension in premium processing. I am anticipating sometime in the month of March. My spouse is on H4 visa. Since we are planning to travel to India in mid april and planning to be back to US before on May 17th, I am thinking of applying for H4 Extension after coming back.

My H1B will already be approved by that time I suppose and hence wanted to ask if it’s fine to apply for H4 extension just a couple of weeks before the I-94 expiration? Does my spouse need to have some documentation from USCIS stating that they have received the application in order to continue staying in the US after May 31st,2022? Please advise.

Thanks

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I would just apply H4 EOS along with H1B. Between the period your I-94 expires and the EOS is approved, you are considered in authorised period of stay and do not need any approval from USCIS to keep living in the US while your application is getting processed.

Since we are planning to travel and if I apply EOS along with my H1B, my H1B will be approved in 15 days. However, H4 won’t be approved in such a short period of time. So if I apply EOS for H4 along with H1B, wouldn’t it be a waste of money for H4 since H4 extension process might get abanoned because of traveling out of US ? An I-94 will change in this case for both of us.

Generally EOS is not treated abandoned even if the beneficiary travels outside the US while the application is pending.
If you are going to travel after your H1B is approved and both of you have valid visa already, while entering back the CBP will issue I-94 for the H4 dependent to match with your newly approved H1B and in this case you don’t have to apply for your spouse EOS after coming back.

Thank you. I think I saw what you mentioned online somewhere and someone mentioned that they had to go through secondary CBP inspection since the CBP officer was not sure about it. I also emailed CBP regarding this in December explaining similar situation and they told me the following:

This was their first response:

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94 retrieval website only provide I-94 records issued by CBP and travel history associated to I-94 records issued by CBP. If U.S. CIS granted an extension of stay, change of status, or adjustment of status, USCIS provides a new I-94 or other documentation to reflect the change. The documentation provided by USCIS is your new record and should be used as evidence of lawful status. Thank you. !

When I asked them in detail explaining about my situation that I mentioned in this post and asked whether CBP will be able to extend H4 status based on my H1B, they told me the following:

Thank you for contacting the Traveler Communications Center. Unfortunately, your inquiry cannot be handled by our office. Please contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office to better assist you with your request. Thank you. Regards, Traveler Communications Center

By any chance, you know, if there is any official documentation available that I can show to them in case I come across any CBP officer that isn’t aware of this?