Requirements For H-1B Visa Extension Beyond 6 Years

The increasingly-popular H-1B visa provides many advantages to those who hold it. Considering the long process involved with finding an employer, being selected in the lottery, and then being approved, the H-1B visa is very valuable. For that reason, it is understandable that many people would want to look into an H-1B visa extension or renewal as they find new employment, work toward their green cards, or simply wish to continue working and living in the United States.

Under normal circumstances, a foreign national is initially granted a period of stay of 3 years in H-1B status. When you near the end of that period, you will be able to apply for an H-1B visa extension up to a total of 6 years. An employer, however, can only request a total of 3 years on any given H petition.

It is important to note that for certain H-1B1 applicants from Chile and Singapore, the visa is only valid for a one-year period of admission, which can be renewed each year. H1B Visa Process Check UT Evaluators

Certain H-1B holders who have had a Labor Certification Application (or an employment-based preference immigration petition if the foreign national has been able to bypass the labor certification stage) pending for more than 365 days may be able to extend their H-1B visa beyond the 6-year limit, in 1-year increments. This can continue until the time a final decision is reached on the pending employment-based permanent residence case.

Unfortunately, this 7th-year extension is limited to persons who are applying for their green cards through the employment-based category; it is not available to persons with pending family-based petitions.

Another provision of the current statute permits an H-1B extension beyond the 6th year if the H-1B visa holder has filed an employment-based preference petition but is unable to proceed with adjustment of status to permanent resident status because of a backlog in priority dates.

Final Rule

On January 17, 2017, the Federal Register implemented a final rule that heavily affected many working visas including the H-1B. In particular, it made an impact on visa holders who are attempting to apply for an H-1B extension while working toward lawful permanent resident status (green card). For H1B Visa Process Visit here

When applying for an employment-based green card, your sponsoring employer must file an I-140 petition. Before the final rule, the regulations mandated that the I-140 needed to be submitted 365 days before the end of the 6-year maximum stay. Instead, the Federal Register has amended this to say that the petition must be filed at least 365 days before the beginning of your exemption.

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