Maximize your H-1B Time by Extension

Basic H1B extensions:

After the initial three-year term, an H-1b can be extended another three years.  An H-1B visa is not easy to get – only going to those that have the right education and qualifications, but also those lucky enough to win the lottery.

As a result of how difficult the work visa is to come by, many employers file H-1B extensions with the United State Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) each year.  Tens of thousands of H-1B visas are extended annually, thus giving their holders an extra three years to work in the United States and have the dual intent to apply for permanent residence, a/k/a a Green Card.

side note: H-1B1 visas from Singapore and Chile are only valid for one year – making them require yearly renewal for the entire term.

Immigration Attorney - Thomas E. Howard

From Peoria, Illinois, and practicing for over ten years.

Recognized by Super Lawyers & experienced in :

  1. H-1B Visas
  2. L-1 Visas
  3. Green Cards
  4. Change of Status

H-1b Extension beyond 6 years:

The “classic” case of  an H-1B extension beyond its six-year term is when the visa holder already filed an employment-based preference (“green card”) petition but is cannot have his or her visa status adjusted to permanent resident status because of a backlog in priority dates for other applicants.  India, for example, has a backlog that is estimated to be between 20 and 150 years!!

When these H-1B employees have a Labor Certification Application (LCA) pending for more than 365 days – the H-1B visa can be extended each year (somewhat like the H-1B1s from Singapore & Chile) until the USCIS reaches its final decision on the pending employment based green cards – which may take years and years.

Can you still work while your H-1b extension is pending by not processed?

A: yes – IF (remember the IF) the H1b extension is filed BEFORE the expiration of its initial three-year term and the visa holder’s I-94 is still valid.

Especially with the Trump administration – delay from the USCIS is normal.  The H-1B employee may continue to work for up to 240 days while waiting for the decision from the USCIS. Even then, you may still be able to work – consult with your work visa lawyer on your pending h-1b extension if you have more questions.

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If your H-1B Visa is approaching expiration – get in touch with us.

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Key Documents for H-1B Extension

USCIS does not play around – so please include the following documents with your extension application.

  • A valid US passport with the initial H1B visa,
  • A I-797 approval notice from the USCIS
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure form with a departure date that has not yet expired.
  • curriculum vitae (CV) a/k/a resume.
  • Evidence of employment demonstrated by one of the following:
    • 3 previous pay stubs
    • a leave of absence letter or;
    • a letter from employer.
  • University bachelor’s or Master’s degree from USA
  • University transcript
  • Academic evaluation (if not an F-1 educated in USA)
  • Letters of recommendation