H4 application (valid i797 but expired Visa stamp and i94)

Good Day,

My spouse is applying for H4 visa and have his interview this August.

Im so nervous with the interview.

My story goes like this:

I went to US under H1B during pandemic last 2021. I got like 3 change of status of i797. 1st was when I went here to US which expired April 2021 and thats also what my visa stamp and i94 expiration. While I am here, my previous employer extended and updated my i797 and thats til i think April 2024. Last Dec 2022, i had a change of employer and the expiration til 2025.

My worry is will the consulate in the interview check my previous visa stamp and i94 expired 2021 or just my latest i797A which is 2025? (My i797 has an updated I-94 attached to the paper as well, though in the i94 system, i only see my port of entry)

Since I came here in the US last 2021, I still havent gone back to my home country due to many reasons and one is Im still new to my job and its expensive to go home.

I hope someone can help and enlighten me in our situation.

Thank you!

Hi Paulina,

A valid visa stamp is required when you are entering the US. But once you’re inside the US, your current I-94 is what controls your status. Even if your visa stamp expires, if your latest I-94 is valid, you’re good.

When you entered the first time, the CBP officer would have issued you an I-94 with an end date matching your H-1B end date (or 10 days extra), which, you said, was April 2021. Now, you mentioned that you had three I797 “change of status” filed. So each time you would have received I797A that comes with an attached I-94. Since you have not exited the country after arriving, the I-94 attached to your latest I797A is the valid one. Easy way to remember, the last issued I-94, whether attached to I797A or issued online, is the valid one.

If the visa officer at the consulate asks about an expired visa, you can say that your status was valid.

I hope I answered your query.

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Thank you so much!

If the consul asked for my visa, my spouse will give the i797A?