We filed an H-1B extension petition for a software consulting and professional services firm on behalf of a software architect requesting status and work authorization for a duration of three years. The extension was, however, approved for a duration much shorter than requested and the approval notice was both dated and received after the shorter validity period had already expired, thereby destroying the legal status of the employee and causing him to accrue unlawful presence. We immediately proceeded to file another H-1B extension petition, which was approved, but the extension of status within the U.S. was denied because the employee was “out of status.” These circumstances would have otherwise caused the employee to accrue unlawful presence, subjecting him to a bar from the U.S., and with no choice but to leave the U.S. with his family, and apply for visa stamping abroad during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, when international travel was highly inadvisable. With U.S. consulates abroad being closed during this time, the employee’s ability to work would also be interrupted for an indeterminate amount of time. We filed a lawsuit against the government to have the employee’s extension of stay approved within ten days in order to prevent the employee from accruing unlawful presence. However, due to the urgency of the matter, and shortly thereafter, we filed a preliminary injunction motion to compel the court to hastily render a decision and preserve the employee’s status in the U.S. After filing the motion, and discussing the case with the government attorney, the government settled the case. The employee immediately received an extension of his status in the U.S. for the entire requested duration, allowing him to stay in the U.S. and continue working.
Status: The employee immediately received an extension of his status in the U.S. for the entire requested duration, allowing him to stay in the U.S. and continue working.