What happens if my nonimmigrant status expires while my extension is pending?

If your nonimmigrant status expires while your extension is pending and you are extending an A-3, E-1, E-2, G-5, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1, P-1, R-1 or TN visa, you will still be allowed to remain in the United States and to continue your employment for up to 240 days.

The “240-day rule,” codified by 8 C.F.R. § 247a.12(b)(20), allows any foreign national who filed his/her application for extension in one of the designated nonimmigrant categories prior to the expiration of his/her current status to continue to work for the same employer for up to 240 days beginning on the date the authorized period of stay expires. Being issued an RFE will not affect your ability to utilize the 240-day rule.

However, if your application for an extension is denied, your authorization to work is immediately revoked. You may travel abroad after filing an application for extension and still maintain your lawful status but you must either return to the United States before your current nonimmigrant visa expires or remain abroad until your extension is approved and you have obtained a new visa.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm by phone at 704-442-8000 or via email with any additional questions and to receive more information.