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How to Apply for H1B Visa Extension?

15th November 2010
By Paul Anderson in Immigration Law
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As of today there are so many options that are open for those who wish to work temporarily in the United States on a H1B extension. There are many work categories that include intra-company transfer visa (L-1 visa), B-1 visa, H-2B visa, H-3 visa, O-1 visa, O-2 visa, P-3 visa, and more. Apart from the above mentioned visas(temporary) you also have the option of a H1 B specialty occupation visa, that is issued by the US Consulate/Embassy that would allow you work temporarily in the US. The issuance of the H1 B extension visa is associated with the employer. This implies that you would require a sponsoring employer in order to apply for the visa.

Ideally the H1 B visa is ideally suited for:

  • Professional who possess high degree of specialized knowledge like consultants, journalists, analysts related to research.
  • Professional nurses who have entered the US for supervising nursing operations.
  • Renowned fashion models.
  • Employers who are required to bring in qualified professional for jobs that entail specialized skills.

Receiving an extension of stay on the H1 visa:

H1B extension:

Initially the H1B extension was issued for a period of 3 years. It is now possible to extend the visa by another 3 years. A person with an H1B extension is permitted to extend beyond 6 years under special circumstances. Per the 21st Century Act of 2000, a H1 B visa holder can file for an incremental one-year extension annually after the completion of six years on H1B status. This visa can be extended beyond 6 years only if:

  • You are a beneficiary of an employment based immigrant petition (I-140) or an application for Adjustment of Status.
  • Your labor certification application is pending for more than 365 days.

Until a final decision is made on the H1 B extension of the non-immigrant's green card, the applicants belonging to the above mentioned scenario can get an extension for 1 year at time.

For the visa status to be extended in increments of 3 years you

  • must possess an employment based green card petition filed on your behalf in an either EB1, EB2 or EB3 categories.

  • you are not eligible to file an Adjustment of Status application for the only reason because you are from a country for which the priority date is not current. This is usually the case with applicants who are from India or China.

Required Documents:

The following documents are required to be submitted to the US State Department for the purpose of renewal/extension of your H1B work visa.

  • A valid passport for the applicant and each of the family members.
  • An original of the form I-94 that was issued to the applicant by the USCIS.
  • USCIS Form I-797 which would include the information on the applicant's present employer.
  • The employer's letter of support containing details of the applicant's nature of work, position.
  • A fully typed non-immigrant visa application form, OF-156 added with one official passport-size photograph for each applicant, regardless of the age.
  • A non-refundable visa fee payable to the U.S. Department of State.
  • A self-addressed postage-paid envelope for return of the documents.
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