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nareshgolla

Drivers License Renewal While H1B visa is under extension

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Hi All,

    

    Here is my situation.

 

      1. My drivers license with Austin, Texas DMV will expire on 30th Nov 2013 same as my H1B visa expiry date

      2. I have applied for H1 B renewal on Sep 11 2013, it has reached USICS

      3. I also got the receipt from USICS saying my filing has been accepted and is under process

      4. I took this H1B filing receipt and went to DMV for drivers license renewal.

 

    The officer checked for details in SAVE database and scanned my H1B filing receipt and said I will receive a verification mail from DMV in 5-7 days and then I can go and apply for DL renewal by paying the fees. He said if my data is verified I will get extension for 2-8 months. I am a little worried if I dont get my license renewal with in the next 1 month, I cant drive in Austin. Its hard to live in Austin not having license. Could anyone help me with the advise. Thanks a lot in advance.

 

Regards,

Naresh

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My wife and I went through this process 6 weeks ago.  It is fortunate that the person you saw at the Texas DPS office knew about being able to renew your driver license for the 240 day period of authorized employment and stay after your current H-1B visa and I-94 card expiry and the H-1B visa extension is in process.  This is a recent change, and often the people working at the Texas DPS offices do not know about it (yet).  Hopefully that is getting better.  It took a lot of effort and 'phone calls with the regional Texas DPS office to get my wife and my driver license renewals (our H visa extensions are still pending).

 

You can look up my other posts on this topic, but here is the information as I know it.

 

You should be getting an immigration status verified letter from the Texas DPS.  Check the letter carefully to make sure it does not just show your current November 30 visa expiration date.  If the SAVE system verification request is done more than a few days before your current visa expiration, then it may come back with verification of your existing visa.  You will have to go back about a week before your visa expiration and make another SAVE system verification request for the 240 day period of authorized employment and stay.  Just keep at it until you get an immigration status verified letter from the Texas DPS which is dated for another 8 months (July 2014 date).  At that point you can renew your driver license until that date.  It will still cost the $25 - 6 year renewal fee (no prorating), but it is a lot cheaper than paying for premium processing.   It is important to note that getting the correct dated immigration status verification may take a few days after your current visa and driver license expires (ours took 9 days, when we could not drive), so plan accordingly.

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Hello nareshgolla, 

 

I am in the same situation (I live in Austin as well). I went to Pflugerville DMV last month to get my D/L extenstion while my H-1 transfer in process. Lady at the counter said they can only extend based on current I-94 validity, she also mentioned that they see these kind of cases everyday and they are pretty firm about it. I tried to explain her 240 days thing, and she said she will only stick to current I-94 expiration date.

 

My current H-1 and DL expires on Nov 11, so I had litte over one month at that time...my only option was to upgrade it to premium processing as regular processing is taking forever these days (mine was filed on April 30 in regular). Unfortunately, USCIS issued a stupid RFE only because they have to respond in 15 days (my RFE was to provide them my travel dates out of country to calculate my rest of H-1 B period). We did responded to RFE couple of weeks back and still nothing from USCIS. Not sure what to do now. 

 

catx, which DMV did you go in Texas ? 

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catx, which DMV did you go in Texas ?

 

My wife and I went to the Rosenberg Texas DPS Mega Center. I think there is a better chance that the staff at one of the new Texas DPS Mega Centers will know about requesting SAVE system verification for the 240 day period of authorized employment and stay versus at one of the smaller local offices. (There is a lot of incomplete and inaccurate information within the Texas DPS regarding available renewals past the I-94 expiry date and requesting a SAVE system verification. For example, one of my many calls to get our driver licenses renewed was to the general information line in Austin (i.e. main office). The person told me that there was no way to renew past the I-94 expiry date, which I knew as not correct, and he would not believe me when I told him to talk to the Regional office with whom I was dealing.)

 

One other point, there is a difference between a H-1B visa extension, which allows for the 240 day period of authorized employment and stay for USCIS processing and approval, and a H-1B visa transfer.

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No need to apologize for being correct and precise.  It is a petition for an "extension of stay in the U.S.", which is a status extension.  Also, I was unsure about a H-1B visa transfer (as I have been a full time employee with the same employer that petitioned for my original H-1B visa petition, the subsequent extensions of stay, PERM labor certification application, I-140, and now I-485 (and I-765 and I-131)), thank you for the clarification.

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Hello All,

 

       I got the license finally for 240 days after getting the lawful presence verified letter from Austin North West Research Blvd DPS. Thank you all for commenting on my post. I also wrote an article on website. Thank you again.

 

Regards,

Naresh.

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Hi Naresh

 

I am same situation my licence expired and  they didnt renew it . I call supervisor austin  10 times but still they dont renew it and says they need approval letter from uscis only. or alian no on receipt.

 

I show them

 

1. I140 receipt

2. H1b Extention receipt

 

They stick with Approval from uscis

 

Please help me how to renew it or any Lowyer ?

 

From

Prem

 

 

 

I

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I am same situation my license expired and  they didn't renew it . I call supervisor Austin 10 times but still they don't renew it and says they need approval letter from USCIS only or alien no. on receipt.

 

Don't bother calling.  Go to a DPS office, preferably one of the new "mega centers", with your documentation (expired driver license, I-797C Notice of Action receipt for your H-1B extension visa petition filing, and passport with the expired H-1B visa and I-94 card, your approved I-140 is not necessary),  The process should be as posted above.  For more information search my other posts about Texas DPS driver license renewal.

 

If you do not get any further with the DPS (as I posted there is still lot of incomplete and inaccurate information within the Texas DPS regarding available renewals past the I-94 expiry date and requesting a SAVE system verification), then try calling the Texas state (not federal) Senator's and/or Representative's office for where you live and ask for assistance with the DPS driver license renewal.  I called my Texas state Senator's office, who followed up with the DPS head office in Austin and then put me in contact with a DPS representative at the regional office who helped me through the process.  I would do this before consulting with a lawyer or spending money on a premium processing.

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I was in the same boat and visited the DMV on the Research Blvd. few days before my license got expired. They ordered a status verification in the SAVE system and asked me to wait for the letter. After few days I got a letter saying that my status verification was pending and would take 10 to 20 business days to verify the status. My license got expired before the verification and that put me in a very difficult situation.

 

I visited the DMV every two days to check the status, but I was always told from the reception itself that the status check was pending and advised me to wait for the letter. On my last visit I found an Indian officer sitting at the front desk and explained him my situation. He checked the system and pulled out a letter saying that the status verification was pending. Having doubt in the letter date he searched again and pulled out another document stating that the status was verified and a letter was mailed out more than a week ago. He issued me a token and I went to the counter to get my license.

 

The women sitting at the counter told me the same story that the status verification was still pending and a license cannot be issued. I explained her that the status had been verified and it was reflected in their system. She was not ready to believe me and was very reluctant to issue me the license without the verification letter. I told her that the gentleman sitting at the front desk had pulled up and showed me the letter valid for 8 months. Then she pulled out an old letter and showed me that the status was still pending. I politely requested her to check with the front desk officer to confirm that the status was verified and the letter was issued. After doing some clicks here and there on the computer she found another letter showing the status verification was complete.  Then she collected the money and issued me a license for 8 months.

 

My understanding is that the employees in the DMV are not familiar with whole system and they don’t know where to find the correct documents. If I had not seen the letter at the front desk computer then she would have sent me home saying the same story. Anyway I am happy that I got my license renewed.

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Thanks for those who posted useful information. For the benefit of those in Northern (Bergen County) NewJersey, I went to the LODI DMV with a expiring license. I just have till Jan 28,2014. Going on Monday, it was a dream come true in terms of how quick I was able to get in.The long queue were not there. The person handling the proofs seemed to be knowledgable and allowed me to go the supervisor. Many people have been shot down at this stage itself.

 

The supervisor was very quick in creating a SAVE case today. keeping Fingers crossed for an approval on this case (VISA type : L1 ).

 

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I am also in same situation, they said that they will send the details to USCIS and scanned documents, and asked me to wait for lawful presence letter, is that what is meant by creating SAVE case or should I explicitly request for it? I tried it in North Austin Research Blvd office, do you suggest I visit another office and try my luck or will it be the same result?

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I am also in same situation, they said that they will send the details to USCIS and scanned documents, and asked me to wait for lawful presence letter, is that what is meant by creating SAVE case or should I explicitly request for it? I tried it in North Austin Research Blvd office, do you suggest I visit another office and try my luck or will it be the same result?

 

Yes, they created a SAVE case for you.  The verification of lawful presence letter is what you will get back from the Texas DPS after they get a response back from the Department of Homeland Security.  Once you receive that letter, you can renew your driver license.  It will take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks (the Texas DPS states up to 20 days) to get the letter.  Check the date on the letter to make sure it is good for the 240 days of authorized employment and stay.

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Yes, they created a SAVE case for you.  The verification of lawful presence letter is what you will get back from the Texas DPS after they get a response back from the Department of Homeland Security.  Once you receive that letter, you can renew your driver license.  It will take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks (the Texas DPS states up to 20 days) to get the letter.  Check the date on the letter to make sure it is good for the 240 days of authorized employment and stay.

 

I got a letter from them today stating that they cannot verify my lawful presence, and they have forwarded it to USCIS and might take 20 days extra. Now the thing is I am moving out from Austin to elsewhere in Texas, so how would this work now, how do i update the new address with Tx DPS so that I get letter to my new address? Or can I pursue this further from the new city I move to? Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks.

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I got a letter from them today stating that they cannot verify my lawful presence, and they have forwarded it to USCIS and might take 20 days extra. Now the thing is I am moving out from Austin to elsewhere in Texas, so how would this work now, how do i update the new address with TX DPS so that I get letter to my new address? Or can I pursue this further from the new city I move to? Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks.

 

That is the normal 'next' letter form the Texas DPS, which means your SAVE case has been forwarded to the DHS (USCIS) for verification,.  The "20 days" is what I was referring to in saying "It will take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks (the Texas DPS states up to 20 days) to get the letter".

 

As for a change of address, once your have moved and have a new address (1) file a change of address with the U.S. postal service (at a post office) so that all your mail including the letter from the Texas DPS gets forwarded to you, and (2) file a change of address with the Texas DPS at one of their offices (which you will need to do for your driver license regardless).

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That is the normal 'next' letter form the Texas DPS, which means your SAVE case has been forwarded to the DHS (USCIS) for verification,.  The "20 days" is what I was referring to in saying "It will take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks (the Texas DPS states up to 20 days) to get the letter".

 

As for a change of address, once your have moved and have a new address (1) file a change of address with the U.S. postal service (at a post office) so that all your mail including the letter from the Texas DPS gets forwarded to you, and (2) file a change of address with the Texas DPS at one of their offices (which you will need to do for your driver license regardless).

 

Got it. thanks for the suggestion.

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Just to update everyone, i got my license renewed through garland , tx megacentre dps. The wait time was less than 5 times, they called my number while I was half way through the application form and gave me a one year extenstion.

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Hi Ravi,

 

My driving license is gonna expire on 20 Mar 2014, I applied for my H1B extension and waiting for the USCIS receipt number.

Can you please let me know the process for Driving License renewal?

How many days prior to the DL expiry it is good to approach the DMV for DL renewal? (Suggest any DMV closer to Irving)

Can a DL be renewed even after its expiry?

 

Thanks in Advance!!

 

Shashi

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Hi Ravi,

 

My driving license is gonna expire on 20 Mar 2014, I applied for my H1B extension and waiting for the USCIS receipt number.

Can you please let me know the process for Driving License renewal?

How many days prior to the DL expiry it is good to approach the DMV for DL renewal? (Suggest any DMV closer to Irving)

Can a DL be renewed even after its expiry?

 

Thanks in Advance!!

 

Shashi

 

Hi Shashi.

 

Documents:-

For renewal you would need current license, passport, latest I94 (about to expire or expired), 

for safer side carry 2 latest utility bill for address proof . 

 

Timing:- 

Since it is about to expire in March, I would suggest you pay them a visit this week or next . They usually would do the laful presence verification if it gets cleared at DHS level it would take 5-7 business days, if they (DHS) dont have the data there they would forward it to USCIS, which would take upto 20 business days (1 calendar month). So if you get the letter before it expires you will have lesser headache. 

 

Location of DPS:- 

Go to the Garland Megacentre (Texas Department of Public Safety, 4445 Saturn Rd, Garland, TX 75041) they open at 8 Am on most of the days. The wait time is very less and most of the people there are aware of the H1B situations and rules so its better than local DPS

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Everything @ravib posted is correct with one possible caveat and a small correction.  The caveat is that if you go to the Texas DPS (one of the new Megacenters is recommended) before your current I-94 has expired, then you may get lawful presence verification for the short time until that expiry date (versus the 240 day period of allowable employment and stay).  That happened with my wife's renewal and we had to have the Texas DPS resubmit the lawful presence verification check.  The small correction is the first check is in the SAVE system, and then it is forwarded to the DHS (which can take up to the 20 days noted in the post).  The DHS is the parent department of the USCIS (they are effectively the same thing in this case).

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Everything @ravib posted is correct with one possible caveat and a small correction.  The caveat is that if you go to the Texas DPS (one of the new Megacenters is recommended) before your current I-94 has expired, then you may get lawful presence verification for the short time until that expiry date (versus the 240 day period of allowable employment and stay).  That happened with my wife's renewal and we had to have the Texas DPS resubmit the lawful presence verification check.  The small correction is the first check is in the SAVE system, and then it is forwarded to the DHS (which can take up to the 20 days noted in the post).  The DHS is the parent department of the USCIS (they are effectively the same thing in this case).

 

@Catx, I was not aware of the short time span relation with I94, thanks for the info. 

 

w.r.t SAVE > dhS > USCIS, in the letter I received from DPS about lawful presense, they had mentioned that DHS was unable to verify my lawful presence in Texas state and so they are forwarding the verification  query to USCIS. 

 

The lawful presence guide has the same 3 step verification (SAVE>DHS>DHS ) process but does not mention USCIS explicity.

 

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/documents/verifyingLawfulPresence.pdf

 

Also they do recommend to apply as early as possible to accomodate escalations but does not provide workaround for situation as in your wife's case.

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My wife and I had the same dates on our I-94s (mine H-1B, hers H-4), went in together, etc.  She quickly got a verification of lawful presence letter for 8 days remaining on her I-94 and my process when directly to the follow up verification to be returned within 20 days.  With a call to the Texas DPS regarding my wife's initial letter her SAVE case was resubmitted and we both received our verification of lawful presence letters a couple weeks later.  I only mention the initial verification my wife received as it would be easy to overlook the dates and then further delay the process.

 

With respect to verification of lawful presence, DHS (parent department) and USCIS (agency within the DHS) are effectively synonymous.

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Hi,

I applied for extension of my DL last week. The officer said I will get a verification letter from DHS. I got a letter today saying 'verification is pending' and can take 20 days. My DL expires in 2 days. Can I drive and carry the pending letter with expired licence? 

 

I could not find an answer on Web, hence asking to the group. Any help is appreciated. 

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@Catx, I was not aware of the short time span relation with I94, thanks for the info. 

 

w.r.t SAVE > dhS > USCIS, in the letter I received from DPS about lawful presense, they had mentioned that DHS was unable to verify my lawful presence in Texas state and so they are forwarding the verification  query to USCIS. 

 

The lawful presence guide has the same 3 step verification (SAVE>DHS>DHS ) process but does not mention USCIS explicity.

 

https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/documents/verifyingLawfulPresence.pdf

 

Also they do recommend to apply as early as possible to accomodate escalations but does not provide workaround for situation as in your wife's case.

What did you do during your pending process? Are you allowed to drive with Pending Letter?

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I was in the same boat and visited the DMV on the Research Blvd. few days before my license got expired. They ordered a status verification in the SAVE system and asked me to wait for the letter. After few days I got a letter saying that my status verification was pending and would take 10 to 20 business days to verify the status. My license got expired before the verification and that put me in a very difficult situation.

 

I visited the DMV every two days to check the status, but I was always told from the reception itself that the status check was pending and advised me to wait for the letter. On my last visit I found an Indian officer sitting at the front desk and explained him my situation. He checked the system and pulled out a letter saying that the status verification was pending. Having doubt in the letter date he searched again and pulled out another document stating that the status was verified and a letter was mailed out more than a week ago. He issued me a token and I went to the counter to get my license.

 

The women sitting at the counter told me the same story that the status verification was still pending and a license cannot be issued. I explained her that the status had been verified and it was reflected in their system. She was not ready to believe me and was very reluctant to issue me the license without the verification letter. I told her that the gentleman sitting at the front desk had pulled up and showed me the letter valid for 8 months. Then she pulled out an old letter and showed me that the status was still pending. I politely requested her to check with the front desk officer to confirm that the status was verified and the letter was issued. After doing some clicks here and there on the computer she found another letter showing the status verification was complete.  Then she collected the money and issued me a license for 8 months.

 

My understanding is that the employees in the DMV are not familiar with whole system and they don’t know where to find the correct documents. If I had not seen the letter at the front desk computer then she would have sent me home saying the same story. Anyway I am happy that I got my license renewed.

Can you drive with an Expired Licence with a Pending Notice?

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