i-539 : H4 Extension.


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A person staying in the US in a status after expiry of that status (in this case after H4 i94 expiry) is considered illegal (not abiding immig law) if an extension of that status was not properly filed (via i539) well before the i94 expiry. However, there is a grace period of 180 days within which an extension i539 can be filed to USCIS that will prevent accumulating unlawful presence out of status for more than 180 days. If the unlawful stay exceeds 180 days, there is a 3-year ban from reentering US. So, better to file an extension immed now to prevent this. In case, the i539 (H4 extn) is not approved within 180 days from the date of expiry of H4 i94, there is a chance that the 180 days unlawful stay is accumulated by then if at all USCIS denies extension of stay. To avoid that situation, the applicant can travel out of US and enter back to US with a new H4 visa if the approval is not received within 180 days from i94 expiry. 

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