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 2017 and got receipt for it.

But till today didn’t get any approval. His current H4 is expired in mid September 2017.

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

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

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

H4 can stay upto 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 US after those 240 days.

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

In real world, the H4 dependents are ALLOWED by USCIS even after 240 days (of i94 expiry) to stay in 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 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 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.

USCIS processing time status = “within posted processing time”

I got some of the data here:

  1. At California SC, they are are processing cases received on or before: August 15, 2017.
  2. At VERMONT SC, they are are processing cases received on or before: March 27, 2017.

Assuming, your H4 is pending in Vermont service center, you cannot raise a service request because, they are still working on cases received on or before March 27, 2017.

This is called ‘within posted processing time’.

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.

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…