If you’re considering extending or renewing your H-1B Visa, it’s essential to navigate the process with clarity. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the key aspects.
1. The Process in a Nutshell
The extension or renewal of an H-1B Visa involves filing USCIS Form I-129 at the appropriate USCIS service center. Unlike the initial visa application, there’s no need to re-enter the H-1B lottery for an extension or renewal. Ensure you have the following documents:
- USCIS Form I-129 and H Supplement
- Evidence of maintained H-1B visa status
- Proof of proposed employment as a specialty occupation
- Evidence of your qualification for the specialty occupation
- Required licenses or permissions for the beneficiary (if applicable)
- Written contract or agreement summary
- Itinerary for assignments at multiple locations
- Certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL)
2. Filing Timeline
File for an extension or renewal up to 6 months in advance of your H-1B visa expiration. Early filing is advisable to avoid premium processing and prevent potential lapses in your H-1B visa status.
3. Extending Beyond 6 Years
Yes, it’s possible to extend H-1B status beyond the standard 6-year limit. This extension is viable if a labor certification or I-140 was filed at least 365 days before the H-1B status expiration. Extensions can continue until the labor certification or I-140 is denied or adjustment of status eligibility is achieved.
4. Travel or Work While Pending
Traveling outside the US while your Form I-129 is pending can lead to petition abandonment. However, if filed timely for the same employer, your work authorization extends for 240 days beyond your I-94 expiration or until a decision is made.
5. Expedited Processing
For a quicker decision, file Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing with USCIS, involving an additional fee. This expedites your H-1B visa petition, with a guaranteed decision within 15 days.
Stay informed and navigate the H-1B Visa extension or renewal process seamlessly. For personalized guidance, consult with immigration professionals.
Additional Outside Resources
- USCIS: Form I-129 Nonimmigrant Petition for Foreign Worker
- H-1B Visa Checklist
- USCIS Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker
- USCIS Form I-907 Premium Processing