Checking Your Status Expiration: H-1B Workers and their H-4 Dependents
H-1B temporary workers and their H-4 dependents should be aware of their status expiration date at all times in order to ensure that they are in the US in legal status. The status expiration date is the last date that an H-1B worker or H-4 dependent can be in the US in lawful status. It is important to check this date regularly in order to ensure maintenance of lawful status.
How Do I Check My Status Expiration Date?
Your status expiration date is indicated on your most recent I-94 departure record. You will receive a new I-94 when one of the following takes place:
If you change to H-1B (or H-4) status from within the US, without travel: Your I-94 will be attached to the bottom of the I-797 Approval Notice from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, indicating the validity dates of approved employment with Tufts University. The end date indicated on the I-94 is your status expiration date.
Upon entering the US following international travel: US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will create an electronic I-94 record which you can download from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov, indicating your class of admission (which should be H-1B / H-4) and "admit until" date, which is your status expiration date. (Click here to download a I-94_Fact_Sheet from US Customs and Border Protection)
Whichever is the most recent action (a change of status from within the US or re-entry to the US following international travel) will be your most recent I-94, and therefore your current status expiration date.
My I-94 is Expiring Earlier Than I Expected - Why?
You status expiration is usually the same date as your Petition Expiration Date (PED), which is the date your H-1B approval as requested by Tufts University expires. For example, Tufts may request three years of H-1B employment for you, and the request is approved. Your PED will generally be three years into the future.
In certain cases, however, both USCIS and/or CBP can issue a I-94 with a shorter expiration date than requested. This can be due to a number of factors, but the most common are the following:
CBP has not updated its systems: on occasion, Customs and Border Protection may not have updated your I-94 information after your most recent arrival to the US to indicate your correct status and/or status expiration date. Contact the International Center for instructions about how to get your I-94 information corrected.
Your passport will expire before the requested petition approval date: if your passport expires before the end of the requested employment, your status may expire at the same time as your passport, rather than the H-1B petition. If this happens to you, you must extend your passport and contact the International Center immediately for extension instructions.
Is My Status Expiration and Visa Expiration the Same Thing?
Your status expiration date is the date your eligibility to stay in the US in H-1B status (or H-4 status) expires. This is not the same as your visa expiration date, which refers to the date your entry visa in your passport expires. The visa expiration date is the last day you can use the visa to request permission to enter the US after a temporary trip abroad, and your visa may expire while you are in the US without affecting your status expiration. The visa expiration date can be the same date as your PED, but it may be shorter depending on US government visa reciprocity agreements with your home country, among other factors.
Check Your I-94 Regularly
H-1B workers and H-4 dependents should check the status expiration date on their I-94 records regularly, and especially after returning to the US following international travel. This is to ensure that you know when your status expires and you can take appropriate action to extend your status, if necessary.