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My I-94 is expiring on 23rd Dec but I applied for visa extension on 5th Dec. I spoke to an immigration lawyer and she told me I can stay as long as my decision is pending. If the decision is Yes, then all good, otherwise I'll have to leave immediately. Is that how it works? I'm on a B1 visa.

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Yes, if you have timely filed (i.e. USCIS received it before your status expired) a non-frivolous extension of status application, you can stay in the US for as long as it is pending, regardless of whether your status has expired or not. It currently takes a few months for them to give a decision on the application.

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  • Thank you Sir, Just one more thing - SInce I asked for extension to attend an specific event on 27-29th Jan and I asked for extension until 2nd Feb. Most likely, I won't get any answer until then. Will I face some questions about it on my next visit?
    – Maverick
    Dec 22 '16 at 20:36
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    @Maverick: Just bring your I-539 receipt on future trips, showing that you had a pending application and therefore you didn't have any unlawful presence that would void your visa. The I-539 will probably be automatically denied after you leave, as there is no status to extend anymore, and if so, bring the notice of such denial to prove that it was after you left (and thus the application was pending for your entire period of stay) and it will be fine. Of course the officer may still ask you why you wanted to stay longer, etc, but there is no reason to believe it will cause any particular issue
    – user102008
    Dec 22 '16 at 20:42
  • Thanks again, Just for some clarification - I submitted a hardcopy I-539 application to Dallas but haven't received a receipt of application. Although, my application was received in their receiving office (confirmed by FedEx) Do they mail receipts usually or send them my email/phone?
    – Maverick
    Dec 22 '16 at 23:00
  • @Maverick: They send receipts by mail. The "received date" is what matters and that shouldn't be more than one or two days after physically receiving it at most. Even though you haven't actually received the receipt, it's not a problem because you know that when you receive it, it will say that the application was received before your I-94 expired.
    – user102008
    Dec 22 '16 at 23:09

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