H1B visa status can be initially permitted for up to three years, and can further be extended for another three years. According to USCIS regulations, a foreign worker under the H1B visa status can remain in the U.S. for a maximum amount of six years.
After that time, the individual must remain outside the United States for an aggregate of one year before another H1B petition can be approved. An employer, however, can only request a total of 3 years extension on any given H petition. H1b extension after 6 years are possible in limited circumstances depending on certain situation which we will discuss further.
Final Rules by USCIS:
On November 18, 2016 certain final rules were published by USCIS for employment based immigrant and non-immigrant visa programs. These rules came into effect from Jan. 17, 2017.To know more info on jobs for H1B visa holders check Orphosys Corp.
Most focused rules are:
H1B Grace Period
USCIS modified the rules and allowed a grace period of up to 60 days when their employment ends before the end of their authorized validity period, so they may pursue new employment opportunities and an extension of their nonimmigrant status.
Extension of Stay
The 2017 Federal Register final rule makes it easier for H1B visa holders trying to extend their stay beyond the typical maximum amount of 6 years.
This will be done by making id if your sponsoring employer files an I-140 petition for you. Also that the labor certification or I-140 no longer needs to be filed 365 days before the end of your 6-year maximum valid period. Instead, you must file those documents 365 days before the beginning of your exemption.
This extension will also allow the dependents of H1-B visa holders i.e. H4 status holders to extend their stay as long as they have H4 nonimmigrant status.
H1B Renewal Process:
There are several ways that you can receive an H1B extension after 3 years:
1 year H1B Extension
The foreign professional may apply for an H1B extension past 6 years in one-year intervals. This can occur if the PERM petition or the I-140 was filed 365 days before the 6-year expiration date. For more details on H1B visa check Icadl2013
3 year H1B Extension
The foreign professional is able to apply for an H1B visa extension status for up to 3 years if the applicant has an approved I-140 petition for the EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3 employment-based green card classifications and the immigrant visa number is unavailable.
This is usually granted so that beneficiaries do not have to return home while they wait for their priority dates to become current. As some people must wait over a decade for their EB-3 immigrant visa number to become available, this H1B extension can be very helpful.
Many H-1B holders decide to travel internationally for extended periods of time. “Recapturing” that time spent abroad is one way to be granted an H1B visa extension.
The foreign professional may request an H1B extension if he/she traveled outside the United States during the validity of the visa. The applicant is obligated to submit U.S. entry and return dates, I-94 copies, and related stamps