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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 103584
Experience:  Private practice in several areas, including immigration
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Can I stay in the US waiting for a decision on I539 even

Customer Question

can I stay in the US waiting for a decision on I539 even after my i 94 expiry?
JA: Have you filed any paperwork with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) yet?
Customer: Yes, I have received an acknowledgment from them saying they are processing
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no, nope.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's pretty much it.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

Yes. While your I-539 is pending, the I-797 receipt serves as your unofficial proof of status. If your application is denied, you would have to leave. If your application is approved, the approval will relate back to the date your Form I-94 expired, and your status while your application is pending will then be considered to have been lawful.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks. The biggest ambiguity here is the period between expiry of I-94 and the decision from UCSIS.
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Right. At that time, you are technically in status, but I would not travel anywhere outside USA, because if you do, your I-539 would be cancelled. Simply stay put and wait for an answer.

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