Valid i94 but i797 expired

I am on H4 visa, and my previous visa was valid until March 2, 2022. Later when my husband changed employer, his i797(H1 extension) got approved until Feb 2023. But, my extension was not done at that time . However, I have extended my i94 status (based on AM22forum consultation) through CBP Deferred Inspection Office. And the officer extended my i94 status until Feb 2023 to match with primary applicant’s i797 end date. Again in Jan 2023, my husband changed company and applied for h1b extension and h4 extension together. His i797 is approved till Jan 2025. However, I have received an RFE stating that your legal status expired in March 2, 2022. However, my I94(extended through CBP) was until Feb 2023 and we filed timely extension before that. Our company attorney is telling i94 extended via CBP is not a valid proof of legal status.

Can you please guide how to proceed in this scenario. If my visa got rejected, how soon I need to go back in India as my i94 expired in Feb 2023. Can I apply for dropbox for H4 visa in India after h4 rejection in USA?

If your attorney said this “Our company attorney is telling i94 extended via CBP is not a valid proof of legal status.”, then you should change your attorney.

There is something missing in your story.
I94 extended via CBP is perfectly valid and the proof of H4 status.

Thousands of people get it when they travel and i94 is considered the proof of status.

Are you sure the H1B maintained its status all the time?
Are you sure there are no other gaps anywhere else in the story?
Are you able to see your extended i94 online on CBP website?


Hi Anil, thank you for the reply. While filing the latest extension, the attorney has submitted the old i797 (valid till March 2022) instead of i94 extended through CBP(valid till Feb 23). Hence, the RFE came. So when I asked the attorney to attach the latest i94 for RFE response, he is telling I should have filed i797 for nonimmigrant visa, no matter of valid i94. Hence, I was confused. Now, they have agreed to respond to RFE by producing latest i94. However, if my visa gets rejected(somehow), what are the next steps. Am I eligible for dropbox or I need to make a consular appointment. If so, how soon I need to depart USA after the visa rejection? I would like to be prepared if something negative happens, as I have small kids. So requesting you to suggest what can be done here.

hello @jelitta, @anil_am22
my dependents are also in same situation, could you pls let me know what happened to your extension?
my depends i94 is valid so I did not file for i539, is this going to be a problem when we file extension next year?

We have successfully received the extension after submitting the latest i94( extended from CBP office). So nothing to worry about.