H-1B Extensions

Blog by AdviseHub

TravelOnH1B

Normally, a Temporary Worker (H-1B) receives a Visa for 3 years, and can receive an extension for up to 6 years.  Even if you change jobs, your total allowed time is still 6 years.  You can “recapture” time spent outside the United States when the extension is filed.  You and your employer should consult with a lawyer before filing for an extension if you want to reclaim time. Your employer will file the extension with the USCIS.  Remember that the employer is not obligated to file for an extension.

If you use up the 6 years, you must leave the United States for a least one year before an employer can sponsor you for a new H-1B.  If your Visa expired within the last 6 years, and you had already received a “cap exempt” or renewal, your employer should be able to apply for another “cap-exempt” visa, thus avoiding the lottery.

Exceptions:  If you have an approved I-140 and are waiting for your Priority Date to become current, you may receive unlimited 3-year renewals until you apply for a Green Card. If your employer is still in the process of getting you a PERM approval, than you may receive a 1-year extension, until your PERM application and I-140 are approved.

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