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H1B 240 days grace period expired, Petition pending with USCIS for decision, can I stay in US till I get decision?

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Hi All,

My H1B visa grace period of 240 days expired almost month ago. My H1B extension received RFE which was responded and then petition is upgraded to Premium processing. I am expecting USCIS decision in next 7 days. My employer is saying that I need to return to home country even-though if I get visa approval because I have overstayed 240 days grace period and they are not ready to keep me in US for next 2-3 weeks. The reason they are giving is after visa approval, it will take 2 weeks to get approved I797 hard copy and one week for I9 verification. So I wouldn't be able to resume working at-least for next 3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, i will almost complete 60 days on top of 240 days grace period which my employer believe is illegal/unlawful. But I have read on multiple other sites that if decision is pending with USCIS then one can stay in US till we get decision. So please guide me whether I should wait for USCIS decision which will be available in weeks time or I should return to home country (provided I get tickets in special repatriation flights operated due to travel restriction)? 

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If you are working for the same employer then you can stay in the U.S. until the decision comes but you will have to stop employment after 240 days. If you get the petition approved with extension of stay i.e., you could continue to work after i9 verification is done. You can check the rules online. But if this extension was filed by another employer you can continue to work until the decision is made even if it is beyond the 240 days.

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