How Long an H-1B Worker Can Stay in the United States
H-1B worker can stay in the United States for a maximum initial period of three years. After the initial three-year period, they may be eligible to apply for an extension of up to three additional years, resulting in a total stay of up to six years in the United States under the H-1B visa.
However, there are certain exceptions to this general rule:
H-1B Visa Extensions Beyond Six Years:
In some cases, H-1B workers may be eligible for extensions beyond the six-year limit. This is possible if they have an approved employment-based green card (permanent residency) petition, but they are unable to adjust their status to a green card holder due to visa number backlogs or other reasons.
H-1B Extensions for Certain Pending Employment-Based Green Card Applications:
If an H-1B worker has a pending employment-based green card application (Form I-140) for at least 365 days, they may be eligible to extend their H-1B status beyond the six-year limit in one-year increments until the green card process is completed.
H-1B Workers Who Spend Time Abroad:
If an H-1B worker spends one year or more outside the United States after having been in H-1B status for six years, they may be eligible for a new six-year period upon reentering the United States.
It’s important to note that H-1B workers must maintain their status and comply with all visa regulations during their stay in the United States. Additionally, the U.S. employer sponsoring the H-1B worker is responsible for initiating and supporting the visa extension process.
Please be aware that immigration policies and regulations can change over time, so I recommend checking the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consulting with an immigration attorney for the most current and accurate information regarding H-1B visa rules and regulations.
Everything You Need To Know About H1B Validity Period
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. The validity period of an H-1B visa encompasses several aspects, including the duration of stay in the U.S., the initial period, extensions, and any recapturing of time spent outside the U.S. Here’s everything you need to know about the H-1B visa validity period:
1. Initial Period of Stay:
The initial period of stay for an H-1B visa is typically granted for a maximum of three years. This means that the H-1B worker can legally work in the U.S. for the sponsoring employer for up to three years from the start date of the approved H-1B petition.
After the initial three-year period, H-1B workers may be eligible for extensions of up to three years each. Extensions are typically sought to continue employment with the same employer or to work for a new employer that sponsors the H-1B worker.
3. Total Stay Limit:
The H-1B visa has a maximum total stay limit of six years. This includes the initial three-year period and any extensions that may have been granted.
4. H-1B Visa Transfer and Cap-Exempt Employers:
If an H-1B worker changes employers, the new employer may file a new H-1B petition on their behalf. In some cases, the H-1B worker may be exempt from the annual H-1B visa cap, allowing for a smoother transfer.
5. Recapturing Time Spent Abroad:
H-1B workers who have spent time outside the U.S. during their H-1B status can “recapture” that time and add it to their total stay limit. This allows them to extend their stay beyond the standard six-year limit.
6. H-1B Extensions Based on Green Card Applications:
As mentioned earlier, H-1B workers with an approved employment-based green card petition (Form I-140) may be eligible for extensions beyond the six-year limit under certain circumstances.
7. Grace Periods:
There are specific grace periods for H-1B workers who experience job termination or change of employer, allowing them to find new employment or make arrangements to leave the country.
It’s important to note that H-1B visa regulations can change, and individual circumstances may vary. Employers and H-1B visa holders should consult with immigration attorneys or relevant authorities to ensure compliance with current regulations and to understand their specific options based on their situation.
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