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abhizen0

240 day rule for H4

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My H1B extension (against I140) was applied in May 2018 and I will be reaching 240 day limit on 23 Mar and cannot stay in US and be working after 3/23. H1 extension was upgraded to premium on 2/23 but I got a RFE that I need to respond by 5/23. My son is on H4 dependent and in his final semester of 12th. In case he moves out of US, he will be unable to complete his High School and will not be eligible for College admission even though he got acceptance from most of major undergrad colleges. My query is can H4 dependent continue to stay in US after 240 days pending decision from USCIS ? Will there be any issue if I move out of US on 3/22 and they continue in US, respond to RFE by 5/20 so that my son can complete his  High School. In case my H1 is rejected, they will also move out of US in 2-3 days and my son can get into college on F1 visa. Will highly appreciate if I can get some right insight on how to navigate through the situation since I just have 7 days to act....

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Both you and your son can stay in the US for as long as an Extension of Status application is pending, no matter how long it takes (even if years). The 240 days is just the extension of work authorization beyond the end of your I-94; beyond that you can still stay for as long as it is pending; you just cannot work. Your son on H4 cannot work anyway, so there is no issue of extension of work authorization. However, if you, the H1b principal, leaves the US, then your H4 dependents cannot stay in the US.

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Thanks for providing update. If I leave US and let H4 stay back, it considered as "Parking of dependents" which is illegal.

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