Does 240 day rule apply to Minor's H4 extension too? i94 expired and USCIS decision pending

I applied for my son’s H4 extension in July and got a receipt for it.

But till today didn’t get any approval. His current H4 is expired in mid-September last year.

How many days can H4 stay in the US after i94 expiry?

How many days after his current H4 (I-94) expiry date, he can stay in the USA based on this extension receipt?

Is there any way we can get information from USCIS about his expected approval date.

H4 can stay up to 240 days after i94 expiry - legally

USCIS says that a person is considered OUT-OF-STATUS after 240 days of i-94 expiry.

This too, when you have filed the extension application before your i94 expiry and have not received any final result.

USCIS also claims that it is THEIR discretion, if they want to allow you to stay in the US after those 240 days.

H4 dependents are allowed to stay beyond 240 days - real world

In the real-world, the H4 dependents are ALLOWED by USCIS even after 240 days (of i94 expiry) to stay in the US, as long as their primary H1B’s visa is VALID.

USCIS processing time update

Unfortunately, USCIS does not reveal as to when they will process your application. You can just guess based on the current H4 processing time.

H4 USCIS case Inquiry if your case is pending for more than the normal processing time

You can open a case Inquiry with USCIS to check why your case has been pending for such a long time if it is past the date mentioned on above H4 Processing time page.
I strongly recommend to do case Inquiry in your scenario.

Thanks for the quick response. I tried to put case inquiry through the link, but is responds that the petition is currently withing posted processing time, inquiry may not be created at this time.

What does this means “withing posted processing time”, is there any specific number of days I need to wait to put inquiry?

Which USCIS service center is your case pending with?

Check H4 processing time

You can check the current processing date and time on the USCIS website if you know the service center.

or check here for H4 processing time directly (Updated daily)

You will get an idea about where your case currently is, with respect to the current date they show.

Got it. Thanks. So what happens if this posted processing time is not reached to my case petition receipt date with 240 days of I94 expiry?

How many days before this 240th day I can put inquiry if I get a feeling that the petition is less likely to be approved by 240th day of I94 expiry?

There is no official guidance on it from USCIS.

Just keep trying and see if the online system allow to do it someday.

I know this is frustrating, but that’s how it is.

Hello DipAtTV,

Any update on your case ?


No update yet, USCIS Vermont center is moving very slowly.

Hopefully, the processing times will improve as USCIS has suspended premium processing till September 10.

All the consultants working on premium will now be focused on clearing up backlogs.

Finally I got approval few days back, it took 10 Months. Thanks for providing the proper information in this matter.

1 Like

Wow…good to know. Congratulations.

Thanks for writing back and informing us. Other people will definitely benefit from this.

Welcome, I would recommend others to follow up with Vermont center at interval of 4 weeks to check expected date of future action…

Hi Dip,

Is there way we can talk, I am having similar situation with my family?

Contact USCIS Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 and you should hear an automated voice assistance. Provide the case number, and it will go through some automated answers, request to “talk to a representative” . You have to try multiple times as the system will not oblige to the request if there are too many people in queue, but keep trying until you get hold of a person to talk to. Good luck!

Hi Anil,

As per below note, H4 extension decision not yet received and we may cross 240 days.
however respective primary H1 has been approved. we needs to take care any action for below point?
or simply we can stay and wait for the approval?

H4 dependents are allowed to stay beyond 240 days - real world

In the real-world, the H4 dependents are ALLOWED by USCIS even after 240 days (of i94 expiry) to stay in the US, as long as their primary H1B’s visa is VALID.