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Am I legal to stay in the U.S. if my I-94 expires while I-485 pending?

My I-140 has been approved and I already filed the I-485. My I-94 will expire soon. What will happen if it expires, but my I-485 is still pending? Will I be considered overstaying? I need to renew my driver license, how can I provide proof of lawful presence?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As long as your I-485 was properly filed, you are in a period of authorized stay. It is always best, however, to try to maintain any underlying nonimmigrant status. Also, with a pending I-485, you are eligible to file for I-765 for an employment authorization document, which should allow you to renew your driver''s license. Keep in mind, however, that EAD processing can take six months. Also, you should not leave the United States without valid travel permission. For instance, advance parole or combo card.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are legal to remain in the U.S. while the I-485 is pending but you are not in a status. Once you get your work card it will be easier to renew the driver?s license. DMV should recognize the I-485 receipt but you may need to ask for the supervisor if they give you a hard time.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are ok, if the I-485 is pending and assuming you have received an I-797, Notice of Action indicating your I-485 has truly been received by the USCIS. Also, unless you have a work visa, make sure you apply and obtain a work permit by filing I-765 pending the approval of the I-485 because your employer may not want to allow you to work without authorization.

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An applicant for adjustment of status is allowed and indeed required to stay in the U.S. until there is a decision on that application.

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    Belma Demirovic Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A properly filed pending I-485 allows you to remain in the U.S. but a period of authorized stay. This is different than lawful immigrant/nonimmigrant status but it is authorized and thus no illegal presence accrues. Whether you will be able to extend your driver''s license depends on where you live. States have different rules. Check your DMV.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally, the I-485 allows you to stay in the U.S. after the old I-94 expires. You will not technically have status but you also will not be unlawfully present, which is way worse. Fortunately, your I-140 is approved, which helps immensely.

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If the adjustment has been accepted you are legally in the U.S. but unless you have work authorization, you not allowed to work. As for renewing your driver''s license, that varies state by state. Some will do so with the I-485 receipt, others will require the plastic EAD card that can take a few months.

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