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Immigration Issues/grace period after denial of an H1b

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Question
I am an international student. My OPT expired in August 9, 2004. I filed for an H1-b timely in July '04. My applicaion was denied (Nov. 8, 2004). My attorney filed for a motion to re-open my case (timely) within a month after the denial. I was told that I am allowed to be physically present in the US without being penalized for 180 days. When does this time start - from the time my OPT expired or from the time my H1b was denied? Do you know any particular source that I can verify this type of imformation? Thank you

Answer
There is no grace period. Your illegal presence starts from the date your H-1 was denied. If the Motion to Reopen is granted you will not be considered to have any illegal presence here. If your Motion is denied and you stay here more than 180 days after the original denial, you will be barred from returning to the U.S. for 3 years once you leave. Your lawyer should have been able to explain this to you.

Regards,


Robert

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