Home » US Immigration - Visas » H1B Visa » H1B Extensions Pending – USCIS 240 Day Rule ? Can You Work ? Denied ?

H1B Extensions Pending – USCIS 240 Day Rule ? Can You Work ? Denied ?

USCIS processing times for H1B visa petitions can sometimes get very long and some H1B holders may end up in situations, where they hit the 240 days mark and not sure, if they can work or not. As the H1B premium Processing is suspended until Feb 2019, many H1B holders are in similar situations with the delays in processing times. Let’s look at the USCIS’s 240 Day rule in H1B visa’s context and share details on various scenarios regarding work options, denials, etc.

What is H1B Extension 240 Days USCIS Rule ? What’s Employers Guidance from USCIS?

As per USCIS employee handbook, Employers or H1B Sponsoring Companies can file extensions for their employees on H1B Visa Status using I-129 form before their status expires.  After filing H1B extensions, while USCIS is processing these petitions, the employees with pending H1B visa extension petitions are authorized to work for up to 240 days or until USCIS Denies H1B Extension petitions, whichever comes early.  What it means is that, if USCIS denies your H1B extension petition earlier than 240 days mark, from the day your previous H1B petition or I-94 expired, then you need to stop working immediately and leave the country. Alternatively, if your H1B petition decision is pending with USCIS for 240 days, from the date of expiry of your previous petition or I-94, you can continue to work for up to 240 days. Below is the official reference text from employers’ handbook on USCIS website. It does not cover explicitly the “240 days from the date of expiry of authorized stay”. To get this clarified, let us look at the official regulation now.

H1B Extension Pending for more than 240 days – When does it start ? Official Regulation?

The official regulation for 240 day rule is published in federal register as 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(20) and the text says pretty much the same as above, but it explicitly highlights the  when the 240 days start from. As you can see in below screenshot of the regulation, it says that a H1B holder with pending extension petition can work for up to 240 days from the date of expiration of authorized status, which is basically the expiration date of your previous H1B petition or I-94.  

Also, if your extension petition is denied before 240 days, then your work authorization ends immediately upon notification of the decision and you need to stop working and leave the country. See below screenshot from the federal register : yellow highlighted one indicates working rule, green highlighted one indicates the text for start date for 240 days, red highlighted one indicates the denial rule.

USCIS Official Regulation for 240 Day Rule - Denial - Working Info
H1B 240 days rule – Regulation Text

Conditions that allow H1B holders with Extensions pending to work for 240 Days ?

Below are the required conditions for H1B holders to take advantage of 240 day rule :

  • H1B holder has to be in valid status, while filing extension petition.
  • Employer/ H1B Sponsor has to file H1B Extension petition on time, before the expiration of the current status…Also, USCIS has to receive the same on time before expiration of status.
  • H1B holder continues to work for the same H1B Employer, who has filed extension.

H1B Extension Pending beyond or after 240 days – Can you Stay in USA?

If your H1B visa extension petition is pending with USCIS for more than 240 days, you cannot work as per regulation after 240 days from expiration of your I-94, but you can stay in the country, USA, waiting for decision until USCIS makes a decision on your petition and your stay after 240-day mark is considered as authorized stay.

H1B Extension Denied After 240 Days ? Am I in Unlawful Presence ?

If your H1B petition gets denied after 240 days, essentially your period of authorized stay ends on the day your denial decision was done and you are notified by USCIS on the same. You are essentially out of status and will accrue unlawful presence from the day of your denial. Your unlawful presence does not date back to your entire stay and only starts from the day of your denial decision from USCIS and will accrue from that day. So, you need to depart US immediately after your denial decision is notified to you.

Does 240 Day Rule Apply to H1B Transfer ? Can you work beyond 240 days ?

No, the 240 day rule does not apply to H1B Transfers. It is only applicable to H1B extensions filed with same employer. If your H1B transfer petition was filed on time (before expiration of I-94) and is pending beyond 240 days, you can continue to work even after 240 days, as the 240 days H1B rule is not applicable in this context. You are considered to be in period of authorized stay, meaning you are not accruing any unlawful presence.  If your H1B gets denied anytime after 240 days or before 240 days, your work authorization ends on that day and you need to stop working and leave the country.

What can you do to avoid 240 Day Rule complications ? Apply early, Submit USCIS Inquiries

  • It is recommended to file for H1B Extensions much ahead of time. You can apply for H1B visa extensions 6 months before expiration, so plan ahead and apply.
  • Employers can submit an inquiry with USCIS, if their petition is pending for 210 days or more. They can call USCIS contact center and provide details of the original receipt notice and indicate that the case has been pending for over 210 days to get USCIS to work on the same. Here is the official USCIS alert for 210 days inquiry


Does the 240 Day Rule apply to L1 Petitions as well ?

Yes, it applies to anyone using the form I-129 such as L1

When does the 240 Days Start ?

The 240 days starts from the day your authorized period of stay expires, which is nothing but end of your I-94 date or approval date on your approved petition.

Does 240 Day Rule applies to Extension + Amendments ?

In general, 240 day rule applies to pure extensions. With Amendments added as part of your extension, you maybe eligible to continue working even after 240 days. So check with your attorney.

What all Visa holders can use 240 day rule ?

All the visas types that can leverage 240 day rule are : H1B, H1B1, H2A, H2B, H3, L1, O1, O2, P1, P2, P3, R1, TN, A3, E1, E2, E3, G5, CW1 and I.

Does 240 Day Rule apply for H1B, L1 Transfer ?

No, the 240 days rule does not apply for any transfer petitions filed.

Every H1B case is different and there can be complications with continuous changes in visa rules, it is recommended that you discuss with your attorney on your situation, when you are dealing with 240 day rule.

What has been your experience with 240 Day H1B rule ?

References:  USCIS Employers Hand Book H1B extensions  ,  H1B Extension 240 day rule – Regulation.gov


Other Articles


  1. I have filed extension on may 2022 at this time my I-94 going to expire on June 16th 2022 and later after 3 months I have changed client so I have applied for Amendment in premium processing it got approved for 3 year and this time I was on receipt number.
    and now the first extension got denied on April 26th 2023. in this scenario I didn’t switch employers.
    now what is the my status.

  2. H1B extension is filed before I-94 expiry, but did not get the receipt number from USCIS in mail. Can I still stay in the US after I94 expiry while I am waiting for USCIS to generate and mail the receipt number to me?

    • Gautham,
      Technically yes as you filed it before I-94 expiration. There are delays with receipt notice generation. As long as the application was accepted, you should be fine. Having said that, check with your attorney on this and take the call.

  3. Can a person apply for h1b transfer while in 240 days period.

    My H1b visa expired recently and I am in 240 days period now.

    But client without knowing that offerrend me a job, can I accept his offer or reject because of my 240 day period

    • Rajesh,
      The trick is to have a valid I-94 to apply as that’s the way to say you are in valid status. If not, it will not work. So, if you are in 240 days period it might not work.

  4. Hi! Thanks for this article. Question: Does the 240-Day rule also apply beyond 6 yrs?
    I.e. Can one stay beyond 6 years if extension request (to capture travel time) is pending? PERM is under processing.

  5. Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for writing this article.

    My question is:

    Can we file i129 online?
    If the i194 is expiring, Will USCIS update the i94, the day they receive the application OR when they generate the case number?

  6. Hi Kumar,
    My H1B I-94 is expiring on 17Jan2021 and my employer filed for 3 year extension on 26Dec2020.

    Will I be able to travel to India and still work and get paid by employer while we wait for approval?

    • Ashish,
      There is nothing stopping you from working in India as you do not need H1B for that in India. You can travel, but cannot get stamping done until you get your new approval and also there are very limited visa slots as consualtes are not open for regular operations. Consider all these before you travel.

  7. I had filed for h1 b extension on 24 Jan. I got an Rfe and we responded back by May 8. Since then my case has been stuck:

    1. Does my 240 days start from Jan 24 or it resets when I filed my RFE on May 8?

    2. If my visa get rejected, before my 240 days are over, can I file for an H4 application?

    3. If my visa get rejected, and my 240 days are still left, how long can i stay in usa before I start acrruing unlawful presence? Worried flights might not be working.

    Any help on this will be highly appreciated.

  8. Hello!

    I entered the US in January. My I-94 with company A expired in March while my H1B was being transferred to company B. The application is approved.

    Do I need to submit anything to amend my I-94 online?


    • Sydney,
      You should have got I-94 extended with the approval. Check your approval notice. If not, then you need to get I-94 updated. You need to have valid I-94 at all times.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thanks for your reply.

        I received the extended I-94 with new dates until 2023. However, on the I-94 website, it indicates I’m admitted to April 2020. Should I submit something online to correct that?


        • Sydney,
          No need. The I-94 updated that comes from USCIS will not be verifiable online. Only CBP related I-94 info can be checked online.

  9. Hi,

    My case was outside regular processing time. My employer raised an SR for the same and I received below reply from USCIS :

    “Your application is still pending consideration. We regret that we are not able to give you a timeframe for when we will complete the review of your application”

    Is this related to additional review? can someone explain what this means?

    Appreciate your help!

    Thank You.

  10. Hi Prasanna, I too received the same update today – “Premium Processing Fee Will Be Refunded” after RFE went to additional review in Nebraska. I dont have the benefit to see any email on this.. Have to wait and watch for the decision.

  11. hi kumar,

    My h1b visa is expiring in july and my extension is in process. can a new employer transfer my visa before my i94 expires while the extension is in process. Is it a bridge case scenario after my i94 expires?

  12. Hello All,

    My I94 was expired on Oct 10 2019. And My Amendment+extension is pending now. 240 day rule applicable for my case ? Please advise..

  13. can an employer pay salary to its employees after 240 days is expired?

    My employer is currently paying us stipend (almost equal to salary) to support us, even after our 240 days of work authorisation is expired,while we still wait to get result on petitions from USCIS.

    Will it cause any problems while going for visa stamping in future. please advise

  14. Hi Kumar,

    I have applied amendment + extension on Feb 26th 2020 with premium mode to Nebraska Service Center. I got RFE on Feb28th. We have responded RFE on Apr20th. I didn’t hear back by May 5th ( 15 calendar days ).

    Attorney contacted the premium contact center and we got response as “The file you have inquired about is undergoing additional review. Since the adjudication of this file has gone beyond the 15 calendar days, a refund will be processed after adjudication has been completed”.

    My question is what might be the additional review?


    • Venkat,
      I wish, we knew…it could be anything like verifying some additional info regarding you or your petition…hard to know…

      • Hey Venkat, it is the exact same situation with me. You can search with my name ‘Prasanna’ for more details. Looking at your case it feels like USCIS is responding in that way just to buy some time instead of directly conveying that premium processing has been suspended if the case is upgraded to premium prior to 5th March and still pending.

        • Hey Venkat,
          Please post the update on your case here. Let us know when decision is known on your case. I’m surprised if it is the problem with Nebraska center or with our cases. One of my friend whose RFE documents have been submitted to Texas center on May 18, 2020 and he got his case approved on May 29, 2020 i.e., within 10 days. This raises a flag in my mind. So, please post the update on your case here.

  15. Hi Kumar,
    I would like to seek your advise. I am currently on L1-B visa with I-94 expiring this Sep 2020. I am also studying my Masters and plan to finish this fall 2020. I already applied for extension to USCIS but give the delays in processing, I might use up 240 days grace period to continue working in US. My concern is does this mean I can still continue to study within 240 days grace period? Thank you!

    • RL,
      Your 240 days start from Sep 2020, so you should be fine to study while you wait for L1 extension. Your fall semester ends in December, which would be less than 240 days. Discuss with your DSO as well on this once.

  16. Hi Kumar, My H1B expires on June 15th 2020. My employer is yet to file an extension. I’ve got an offer from another company this month and I accepted the offer but the start date is not decided yet. Due to the suspension of premium processing, the chances of a quick decision from USCIS for transfer approval are slim. Is it possible to apply for transfer during the 240 day period after my existing employer applies for extension? Thank you

    • NewYorker,
      Well, when you apply during that period, you will NOT have valid status and it get tricky as you will be in Bridge Situation, where you need your current employer’s approval. So, not recommended.

      • Thanks for the quick reply Kumar. My new employer applied for extension last week. Is it ok to ask the company to apply for H1B transfer and extension? Will it be a bridge situation in this scenario? I’m really confused.

        • NewYorker,
          You cannot file Transfer and Extension by same company. Extension is used for existing companies to file for continuation of employment on h1B for their current employee, unlike Transfer is used by new company to have a new person join their company on h1B.

      • Hello Kumar,

        In this Bridge Situation, does it work like my existing extension should approve first after that they initiate H1B transfer to new employer?

        • Sathya,
          In short, the company that applied your H1B first as a transfer acts as the bridge and it needs to be approved to be safe. Extensions are kind of similar as when you apply, you need to have valid approval. When you apply as pending, it has to be approved similar to bridge. Again, discuss with attorney and take the call.

  17. Hi,

    I had applied for H1B extension via normal processing in September and still did not receive any decision from USCIS. Yesterday 240 days passed since my I-94 expiry.
    1. Since I cannot work, I am on vacation. Employer will not pay me for this vacation period. Is this okay, or I have to be considered resigned/terminated and re-join after I receive approval?
    2. What are the options I can utilize to avoid leaving the country in case of denial? Like convert to H4 etc?

    • Pradeep,
      1. You cannot work for sure. I am not sure, how they would maintain I-9 compliance. Check with attorney on this…do update here on their update.
      2. Now, it is too late as your I-94 has expired, you do not have any options other than leaving the country.

  18. Hi,
    I have completed 240 days of I94 validity on 1-May-2020. My H1B extension was applied on 24-June-2019 to Nebraska center and did not hear back anything even until 6months. That’s when we actually upgrated to premium processing in 5-March-2020 up on which we received an RFE with in couple of days. on 20-Apr-2020, all the required documents have been received to USCIS and the result is not yet know. As per the timelines of premium processing, by 5-May-2020 i should hear back something. In this regard and also with the latest news on 60day grace period, am i allowed to work though 240days crossed.

    Please suggest.

      • Thanks Kumar…!!!!

        We have crossed premium processing timelines and have not yet received any kind of response on my RFE documents submitted, neither received any amount refund. What should be the proposed action that we need to adopt now.

        Any suggestions..?

        • Prasanna,
          I would suggest, you ask your attorney to follow up with USCIS and see the reason for delay. At the least, you will get the premium processing fee refund.

          • Hey Kumar,
            You are correct….below is the response received from USCIS

            “The file you have inquired about is undergoing additional review. Since the adjudication of this file has gone beyond the 15 calendar days, a refund will be processed after adjudication has been completed.”

          • Prasanna Marreddy,
            Good. At least, it is a concession for the delay. Do you see it on the USCIS status site or it was an email response ?

          • Hey Kumar,
            i’m not able to reply to your latest response, but yeah, to answer that, the response from USCIS was just an email response for the inquiry raised to the
            premium processing department. Nothing is updated in USCIS status website.

          • Hey Kumar,

            Having known my situation, am i eligible to work under India payroll without having valid US visa, as i have Indian passport, PAN etc. Can i be paid in Indian rupees. Even if i go to India, i will have to work from India. So, why cannot i do the same work from here in the current situation. Please suggest.

          • Prasanna,
            No, your physical location, where you now work is what matters. That’s how the rules and logic does not work here…probaly, when the rules were made, there was no work from home or remote option available…so, that’s the issue…

          • Hey Kumar,
            My case status got updated as ‘Premium Processing Fee Will Be Refunded’ online. But i received a email which says ‘Your Case Status: Acceptance’ and below is the part of the email content and what does this mean exactly…?

            “During the acceptance step USCIS reviews newly received applications and petitions to ensure that they are properly filed (i.e. signed by the applicant, appropriate fees, etc.) USCIS issues a receipt number for the application or petition, and sends a receipt notice to the applicant or petitioner. Applications and petitions that are not properly filed are rejected with an explanation of why the application is rejected and the corrective action needed. Rejected applications or petitions do not retain their filing date. The acceptance step is typically completed within 2 business days of when the application is received. With mail time it may take several weeks for you to get the receipt or rejection notice in the mail. If you do not receive your notice within 30 days of mailing your application, please contact our national customer service center at 1-800-375-5283.”

          • Prasanna,
            USCIS will refund the money, if they miss the 15 day deadline, but will still process in premium processing. That’s the standard practice.

  19. Hello Kumar,
    Thanks for helping us out. I have a question regarding mt H1b transfer. I was recently laid off from company A but luckily got an offer from company B within 60 days. Company B initiated my H1b transfer and I have joined them on receipt notice.

    My I94 is valid till 20 Sept. What happens if previous company revoked my H1b and my current H1b gets rejected? Can I stay in the country till 20 Sept? If not should I ask my previous company not to revoke my H1B?


    • Puru,
      Well, then you need to leave the country. No, you cannot. If they can keep it dormant, they may…This is tricky and you need to discuss with employer and their attorney…

  20. My current I 797 expires on April 30th 2020 and I 94 expires on May 10 2020 , i applied for extension in Jan 2020 and received denial before 10 days. Can i continue to work in US after April 30th 2020 ? as my I94 is still valid.

    If attorney files extension again by May 10th , can i continue to work for 240 days or until a decision is made

    • Hi Rohith

      Apply for extension before your i94 expires so you will get receipt
      On that receipt you can continue for 240 days
      Do the above thing and start looking to transfer your H1b to new company with new project which makes your extension easier
      Mostly you will get denial again if you apply on same project with same employer. So better look for new project after you apply for extension before your i94 expire currently where ever you are working

    • Rohith,
      Yes, you can as long as the denial was for Extension. Yes, your employer should file it soon and can work up to 240 days or a decision is made.

  21. Hi Kumar,

    My 240 days will expire in May. As 240 days applies only on extension petition, can my employer file another amendment petition while my i-94 has already been expired but I am within 240 days of Authorized Work Status post i-94 expiration with timely filled extension. This will be a great help if you can put some light on this.
    Will filling amendment petition will keep my work authorization valid beyond 240 days which ends in May.

    • Venu,
      This is very much a tricky situation and grey area…You are going to be in something called Bridge situation as your I-94 expired. Please talk to attorney.

    • I am under same situation did u find any solution, does filing h1b extension and amendment allow me to work after 250 days expiry?.

  22. Hi

    I live in windsor ontario and work in Detroit. I have applied my extension which is expiring on May 1 2020. As of now we cant go to work and we all are working from home. So, can i work after my h1 expiry date ? Does 240 day rule apply in my situation ? As im outside US and can’t travel now with this covid situation. I know we can work for 240days if we stay in USA. Please advise as its a tricky situation. Thanks

    • Harsha,
      If you are not living in US and not entering US soil, then it does not matter as you are not really under US employment laws. You need to think about tax implications in Canada and if you have authorization there… Discuss with your attorney as well and plan out.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thanks for the reply. So, i stay in canada on PR status. So, if i work from outside US it doesn’t impact any US H1b laws right? All I’m concerned is it doesn’t impact any H1b laws in US. Please advise.

        • Harsha,
          Legally, if you are not in the country, it does not matter. Your employer has to do I-9 compliance, if you work in US. If you work outside of US, they will not maintain it. Talk to your HR and Immigration and sort it out.

      • Hi Kumar,

        At present we have situation with this president EO coming through. In my present situation what you say is it ok to stay until i get approval (i live in canada) or do you suggest me to go US and wait for approval ? May 1st my i-94 expires. Please suggest.

        • Harsha,
          No one knows. If Trump blocks something, then you would be in trouble. I suggest you talk to your attorney and then make an informed decision.

          • Hi Kumar,
            I stay in canada(as permanent resident)and work in US on H1b as a daily commute(daily will cross the border). I have got approved H1b extension without i94(as I’m out of country in canada). As of now I can’t go to USA or get stamped at consulate with new EO. So,
            1. Can I still work and my employer can run pay check in US?
            2. If my employer run’s pay check will it affect my future filling or GC process?

          • Harsha,
            1. It is up to your company, some do it for short time. But, after sometime, they do not as it is a taxation issue.
            2. Well, I am not sure how it would impact. You are not working on H1B as you are not in US…so, it is more of Canada tax issue.
            Discuss with your attorney as well and then take a call.

        • Hi Kumar,

          My Current H1B extension to RFE response got denied and i94 already got expired. However I have a H1B transfer approved with other employer. Can I join to the other employer and what all things i need to take consider for joining another employer with the i797 approval notice for the employer.
          Please suggest.

          • bikash dash,
            Well, it is slightly grey area as your I-94 is expired as you do not have legal status to move to other company. Talk to your attorney and see, if there is another way. Quick fix would be to get out of the country, get stamping done and re-enter…but, with COVID now, not sure how this would work…

          • Hi Kumar,

            Thank you for reply.

            So, if I work from canada(home) Its a more a taxation issue than an immigration issue right?

            I pay both the taxes even before all this started. As a resident for a canada and working non resident in USA.

            My concern was only running a pay check and its impact on immigration, if its a tax issue then i will reach out to CPA. Please advice.

            Thank you

          • Harsha,
            Yes, that’s correct. Logically you are not in US, it does not matter to you as individual, you are not violating anything. It is problem for them to maintain your I-9 compliance. Also, ask the company immigration attorney and clarify it. Do update here for everyone benefit.

  23. H1 B maxing out (counted all days outside US) on May 2020, perm applied in Jan 2020 but not approved. Can we still file for extension of H1 B status or it has to be a change of status considering H1B maxing out?

    • Rakesh,
      You should only count all days spent in US for max out period. You may try to file, but if questioned that you maxed out, then you need to provide explanation. Talk to your attorney. Usually PERM should have started one year before to avail the benefit.

  24. Hello,
    Assuming visa extension is pending beyond 240 days and we stop working for the client but then stay in the country waiting for approval. Will it be a loss of pay during this period as per USCIS or it depends on the actual employer? any information on this will be helpful. thanks

  25. Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for the info about the 240-day rule. I’m an assistant prof. at a college here in Calif. My current H-1B period of validity ends on May 18, 2020 (the validity started on August 15, 2019). My school has already offered me a new faculty contract for the next school year in the same teaching position starting August 10, 2020 (they only offer 9-month school-year contract here). They’ve assured me their immigration lawyers will file the H-1B extension application before May 18th. During the summer break, I’m currently not obligated to work for them although I’m still being paid (my paychecks are spread over a 12-month period). Will my extension still be approved based on the 240 day rule given that during the summer I won’t be working for them, not even doing research or teach one class.

    The third condition you stated for the 240-day rule is “H1B holder continues to work for the same H1B Employer, who has filed extension.” Does this mean the rule only is applicable if you continue working during the summer? In my case, I’m expected to continue to work for the same H-1B Employer in August but on the other hand, I won’t be actually working in the summer although I’ll continue to be paid. I’m in a bit of a dilemma about this. Would it be better to have a summer contract to fill this gap to ensure the extension will be approved? Or is that not necessary?



    • Sanjay,
      The 240 days rule is for someone waiting for H1B approval, when it is pending. What it means is that, if you apply for extension and do not hear back for a long time from USCIS, then you should stop working at 240 days mark….
      Now, your situation is different. I am not sure, how your first H1B worked. In general, the rule of thumb is you need to be maintaining status on H1B. Now, it does not just mean getting paid…as long as the roles and responsibilities are met and you are functioning according to that, you should be fine. I suggest you talk to an attorney and clarify on this.

  26. I have a question regarding the calculation of 240 days grace period during H1B extension. Is this 240 days count starts after visa expiry date (or) I-94 expiry date ?

    For this scenario, please suggest when the 240 days count might have started?
    My i94 expired on 31st August 2019 and we had applied extension and got visa till February 2020. i94 isn’t updated as we didn’t travelled outside of the US. Now we have again applied for extension and it’s in progress.

    • Nidhi,
      Read the article, it has the info in FAQs
      When you got visa approved till Feb 2020, did you get I-94 along with it ? if so, your 240 days start from that end date in I-94 in new slip.
      talk to your attorney…

  27. Hi Kumar,
    Applied H1B1 extension on Nov,14-2020. when I can I do “outside normal processing time” service request online?


  28. KP
    If L1B extension approved but I need to travel outside of US for family reasons. Does that require new visa process or it’s just stamp directly can be obtained

    • KPatil,
      You need to get stamping done to re-enter, if your L1B visa stamp on passport has expired. If it is valid, you can use that and the extension and re-enter back.

      • Thanks Kumar for prompt reply.
        My visa is already expired.
        I was more looking for; is that a fresh visa interview process from India where there might be uncertainty again of rejection ?
        Trying to check if travel in extended period can create any issues to come back.

        • KPatil,
          You need new stamping. Your travel does not have impact on stamping, all they care is documents and your fit for the role, don’t worry.

  29. Hi,

    My previous H1B visa expired in September 7, 2019. Extension was filed in July. I got an RFE in Feb 2020 and RFE response will be filed this week. The plan was to file this in premium but alas, due to COVID situation USCIS suspended all premium processing, RFE response will have to be filed in regular. My 240 days since visa expiry is on May 4th. Owing to this special COVID situation, will there be any relaxation that will be made on my case which will let me continue work in US

  30. Kumar, could you tell me when 240 rule will start. I am in very position I applied i94 ext in Aug 2019 but my i94 exp in dec 19. Does 240 day rule starts from Jan 1 2020?

    • Jag,
      It starts from I-94 expiry date. If your I-94 was extended until Jan 1st, then it starts from that day, but if it was not extended, then it starts from Aug 2019.

      • I got bit confused with your response.

        My i94 approved till 31st dec 2019

        But I started applied extension for future dates from Jan 1 2020.

        My question is does 240 day rule starts from Jan 1 2020 correct ?

        • Jag,
          I re-read it, I missed the part that it was extended till Dec 19. In any case, it starts from Jan 1st, as that’s when your I-94 expired.

  31. Hi Sir,

    Please help, I have a complicated situation:
    Q: As per i797 my visa date was 20nd Nov19, i have submitted extension on 10th Nov19(Regular). So I am staying on 240 days rule. I got RFE on 11thMarch20 for extension. Response for RFE is yet to be filed.
    Q. if my employer fire me now and does not submit my RFE response, then what can I do? Can I stay in USA?
    Q. If my employer fires me but accepts to submit my RFE response, then Can I stay without Job till i get my Approval/Denial on my H1B Extension?
    Q. OR should i immediately travel to India as and when fired by Employer, as i don’t have valid Visa? Is my H1B still valid even If i (my Employer) don’t submit RFE response?
    Q. Can other employer transfer my H1B if current employer fires me (In this 240 days rule)? and can new employer submit my RFE response?

    • Kumar,
      No, you cannot stay, you need to leave, if they do not respond.
      Well, you are in something called period of authorized stay, you need to maintain status until you hit that 240 days.
      Discuss with your attorney and take action accordingly as it can be complicated.
      As your I-94 is expired, you would be in something called as bridge situation, where you would need the middle company H1B to be approved…

  32. Hello sir,

    please help me on this

    my amendment RFE got denied(location : Seattle client:ABCD) 12th FEB-2020, but my I-94 & original petition(location : Austin Texas client -WXYZ) is valid till AUG11th -2020.

    (earlier project location no work now, as it was a maintenance project I cannot go back to Austin now)

    now my question is

    1.as my RFE got denied (I am yet to receive mail on decision notice) how long I can stay in US ?

    2.I can reapply the amendment for the same location and same client ? i.e. (location : Seattle client:ABCD)

    3.is there any out of status problem ? how long I can stay in US ? let me know

    Thanks in advance.

    • 1. You can stay until you get the actual paper notice and then plan.
      2. You may do that.
      3. You are not technically not out of status yet, only your Amendment is denied. Your old one is technically valid, just that your project is over. You need to Discuss with your attorney on the options.

  33. Hi

    My h1b expires on 31st dec 2019 and i94 expires on jan 10th 2020. I have applied for h1b extension and got denial on dec 19th. My employer said he can refile the new petition again before i94 expires. I have below questions now
    1) I have to apply before 31st dec or before jan 10th?
    2) After re apply if I get a denial again then can I still apply again and stay for 180 days or 240 days and work?
    3) My employer is saying that after i94 expiry we can still apply in regular processing and you can stay till 180 days. if before i94 we apply he said I can stay for 240 days ? is it ture?

    4) On the other hand my future wife is a green card holder in usa. Can I be her dependent ? what are the options while my h1b file in progres??

  34. Hello,

    My current i94 and VISA expires in Jan 2020. My employer filed the H1 extension (2nd for the last term before maxing out) on 12th Nov 2019 in Premium processing. On 20th Nov 2019, I received an RFE and the deadline for the RFE response is Feb 20 2019.

    My Question is:
    a. if the immigration team does not file the response before 20th jan 2020, does that put me under the 240 day rule?
    b. if the RFE response is filed and the extension gets denied (hopefully not), can we file another request petition?
    c. if the RFE response is filed and the extension gets denied (hopefully not), do I have to leave the country? If yes, how much time does it give me?

    • Abhishek,
      a. Technically yes.
      b. That is possible only, if your I-94 is valid.
      c. Yes, you need to…
      Once your I-94 expires, you are in difficult situation and will be forced to leave. So, make plans to find an alternate employer and get H1B approved with them or ask your team to act fast and get the decision soon.

  35. Hi my perm is in progress. My current employer h1b transfer was approved it’s valid until Dec 6 2019.which is 6 year end period for me. Now if my perm is approved and 140 also is approved before December and my employer file a extension of h1b based on approved 140 and if that is pending decision can I stay after Dec 6 2019 which is 6 year end period for my h1b? Does the same 240 day rule apply in my case?

  36. My non cap H1b will expire in December. I requested a h1b extension but realized it becomes change of employer. The same company I work now but the name and tax ID changed. I don’t know what happened to the company. How much the chance my case will be denied? Should I look for another job as soon as possible?
    My i140 was approved last year. If 485 becomes current during the waiting period of h1b transfer approval, will I have to refile I140?

  37. I’ve similar question.

    1) I joined company A on Nov 18, 2015 and they filed H1-B transfer. My H1-B from previous employer had I-94 valid till Sept, 2017.
    2) H1-B from company had no result from USCIS till July 2016.
    3) I applied H1-B from company -B on July 11th, 2016 and started working for them from July 12th. H1-B was approved on July 21st, 2016.
    4) When company-B filed my H1-B, my H1-B petition from company-A was pending for 238 days. but I started to work for company-B on July 12,2016 i.e. 238 days of petition pending from company-A.

    My question is, did I overstayed or I was within the rule?

    Please help me understand.


  38. I almost reach 240 days after file the extension. They request REF. My question is, just in case, they will denied the case. Do I need to leave the country on the same day I receive the paper notification? Or I still have 10 days notification to take care of things? Thank you very much for the help. Or do I need to leave the country once they denied from website, not even wait I receive the paper notification. I really appreciate your help.

    • You should try to leave immediately to avoid issues. Online status is not reliable at times, you should wait for the paper notice, and then confirm and leave. There is no grace period as such, unless you have a reason to stay for 10 days, you should not delay…you should plan to leave at the earliest…Talk to your attorney and plan.

      • Thank you so much for the information. I really appreciate it. I need to take care my car and house if I do get a denied. Does that count as the “reason” I need to stay and take care of things? Thank you very much for your help.

    • my i94 expired on Aug 31th, My current employer A had filed extension with amendment before the expiry somewhere around Aug 27th(USCIC acknowledgment day). Meanwhile I also got a new employer B, who initiated transfer in USCIS on Aug 30th (ack day).
      1) I am joining Employer B, what will happen to Extension with amendment petition which has been filed in premium?.
      2) Can it live, if my employer A wish to get the result for extension?
      3) If extension gets approved, then can I return back to Employer A, if transfer gets denied?

      • 1. If they plan to pursue it, they would leave it like that. They can also withdraw their application, it is up to them. It does not impact you.
        2. Yes, it can if they want to pursue it.
        3. Well, this can be slightly tricky as you were in period of authorized stay and technically not in lawful status , you maybe able to go back before the denial, but from the day of denial you are not in period of authorized stay, so it is grey area and tricky…You should talk to your attorney at A or B and then make an informed decision.

        • Thanks Kumar, your answer number 3 really got me thinking.. but so far, this has helped a lot !!
          Guess what I have received RFE from Employer B, and all the possibilities are narrowing down to what I already speculated in my questions. It has become wait and watch game now.. Thankfully Employer B has not /will not revoke the extension petition.

    • My experience with visa stamping

      It is better to be honest with your answers in for DS160. State all the answer truthfully. I mentioned about out of status in my for DS 160 and VO simply asked what happened and I gave the answer honestly and my visa was approved without any further question.

      So my take is mentioned everything with true intention and you won’t see any issue with your visa stamping. If you falsify any of the answers then there are more chances of your visa getting rejected. Don’t hide, simply mention whatever is correct.

  39. 240 days grace period ending on 5th April, 2019. Employer got approval notice email recently on 28th March, 2019 as case was filed in premium processing.

    Quick Question: Can I work after 5th April based on email approval notice or I need to wait for hard copy notice and cannot work till then?

  40. I want to know my current status
    I am here in USA on H1B Visa, Company A is holding my H1b visa and was working with Client A. on August 2018 my H1B and my I-94 is expired.
    Company A applied for H1B extension in normal process before my I-94 is expired.
    I worked for Client A on receipt until December 2018
    when my extension is in progress, i transferred my H1B to Company B and started working to Client B again Company B applied in normal process in January 2019.
    working with Client B on receipt.
    After getting receipt from the Company B for the H1B transfer, Company A withdrawn my H1B extension.
    what is my present situation, how long i can stay in USA and work in this situation ? What all scenarios ? how about 240 days rule ?
    is 240 day rule starts again for the new receipt ?
    Please answer me for these question

    my email : mvvrusa@gmail.com

  41. Hi,

    This is Prakash and my 240 days are ending on 27th March 2019. I received RFE on 15th March and i am yet to submit response to RFE. Please note that my case is upgraded to Premium and then i got RFE.

    Now, My question is: Can i stay in US without working beyond 240 days and wait till I send RFE response and wait for approval or denial?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

  42. My H1-B max-out date is approaching. I have an approved I-140 and my H1-B extension is filed, but I may not get the H1-B extension approval before max-out date.
    Will 240 day rule apply to me as well ?

  43. This is what CTS circulated among its employees today

    “Due to the lengthy government delays, associates waiting for a decision beyond 240 days on an H-1B Extension that includes an Amendment for change in client, project and/or worksite location only,may continue working while waiting for a decision on the pending petition.

    You may resume work and return to payroll effective Dec 26, 2018.”

    Is there any change in policy ?

    • Hello Kumar,

      Thank so much for your post. Could you please help me with my case. My amendment was approved in 2017 including my work and home address. I have filed H1B extension in April 2018 and it RFE right now. My 240 days are getting over by Jan 23rd. I was thinking I should working from 241th day till I get my decision from USCIS. All of a sudden came back and told me that I am legally allowed to continue working after 240 days as well. They said that my petition is filed along with amendment. So 240 day rule will not be applicable for me.

      My question is, is it possible to apply my extension with amendment when there is no change in project/client/home address after my approved amendment in 2017.

      Looking forward for your response. Thank you.

      • Hello Balaji,

        Could you please let me know if you have received any response about your question? If yes, please let me know what was that. I am in the same situation.
        Looking forward for your response.

  44. Hi,
    Please advice if 240 Day rule applies to H4 as well? Or, they can stay in US beyond 240 days as they are not working.

    My H1B (along with H4) was approved till 4th June 2018. After this extension, I went to India and while come back to US, me and my spouse got new I94 (at POE) till September 2018. But my son got I94 till 4th June 2018 only (at Same POE). We have filed the extension (H1+H4) and pending with USCIS. So, my son’s 240 days will be expired in the first week of February 2019, so, it is possible he can stay beyond 240 days? Please advice.

    Thanks for the help.

  45. Nice post, thanks for posting screenshots of rules, very thoughtful.
    I have further questions,
    1. If someone stays beyond 240 days, can they get driver license extended ? Especially in states like NJ where DLN is extended based on visa dates.
    2. After 240 days crosses , is it possible to move to H4 (get stamped out of the country) while waiting for H1 approval. If yes, when the the extension is approved how does H4 to H1 processed ? , do they have to go out of county again ?
    3. Assuming Yes for # 2 again, can a different or same employer files for new H1 ? is it possible to work on the receipt notice or approval is needed to start working on new H1?

  46. Hello Kumar,
    Thanks for the post !!
    I have below 2 follow up questions on the same though and would appreciate your response on the same:
    1. Does the same rule applies for L1B extensions also ?
    2. You said, “After 240 days you can not work but can stay in USA” , does that means you can continue employment with employer without doing any work ? If yes then can he pay the salary to the employee even if he is not working ?

    • 1. Yes, anyone who files I-129 form. Check the first screenshot it says L-1.
      2. No, you cannot work for them after 240 days. They cannot pay you salary as well.


Leave a Comment