H-4 Extension Taking Longer than 240 Days for processing

Hi Anil,

My H-1B Amend and Extension combined petition (Filed in Jan-2019) was approved in the month of Oct-2019 after upgrading in premium processing.

My wife’s H-4 extension and H-4 EAD petitions were filed “separately” with California in May 2019 as she was in India before when my extension was filed. Both of them (H-4 extension and H-4 EAD) are still in processing status with her 240 days post I-94 expiration on 12/31/2019.

The attorney raised an SR with USICIS for H-4 case and got below response.

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On 12/16/2019, you or your representative contacted U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about your I-539 because you believe your case is outside normal processing times. Below is a summary of what we found and how the issue has been or may be resolved.

Thank you for your inquiry. We recognize your interest in the final adjudication of your pending application/petition and are aware of the difficulties caused by any delay in processing. We regret we are not able to give you a timeframe for when we will review your case but the California Service Center is committed to processing this workload. We will be making every effort to adjudicate your case in the most efficient manner based on our available resources. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

What You Can Do
Please see the “Online Services” below to check the status of your case in the near future. We apologize for the delay.

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What are my options in this situation? Is the H-4 applicant considered in valid status beyond 240 days when the principal applicant is approved?

Thanks
Prasad

H4 is okay to stay in US beyond 240 days. Don’t worry.

Thanks Anil!

Is there a way for the H4 applicant to prove the valid status until the approval? The DMV won’t renew the licensee without proof of valid status.

The valid status can only be proved with unexpired H4 i94.

A post was split to a new topic: File H1B amendment after i94 expired and extension pending

I am in the same situation. My H1B was approved back in April 2019, and my wife’s H4 Extension and H4 EAD were also submitted in the month of April 2019. Her i94 expired in August 2019. Although she has not yet breached the 240 day mark yet, she is pretty close to it. In my recent case inquiry with USCIS, I received the template answer:

“Thank you for your inquiry. We recognize your interest in the final adjudication of your pending application/petition and are aware of the difficulties caused by any delay in processing. We regret we are not able to give you a timeframe for when we will review your case but the California Service Center is committed to processing this workload. We will be making every effort to adjudicate your case in the most efficient manner based on our available resources. We appreciate your patience and understanding.”.

All of this is really frustrating. I am planning to see an immigration lawyer to verify whether staying beyond 240 days is okay for my spouse and if it can cause any issues later on.

Hi @pb007

H4 can stay in US as long as the primary H1B is in status. There is no clear 240 day guidance for H4. The rule is for all people but USCIS is lenient with H4.

They usually do not make any issue of H4 staying in US after 240 days.

@Anil.Gupta Appreciate your response Anil.