Maintaining Valid H-1B Status

It is the responsibility of each H-1B employee to be familiar with the immigration requirements related to their status. Following the guidelines below will help you avoid unnecessary problems

  • Passport Validity. Keep your passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your H-1B status (see dates on the I-797 approval notice).
  • Address Notification. Report an address change within 10 days of the move. To report an address change you must:
    1. File Form AR-11 available at
    2. Email with your full name, date of birth, and new address.
  • I-94 Expiration. Do not remain in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of your I-94 card. Email Dr. Marta Lopez at and Patricia Marquez at your latest copy of I-94 card after each entry in the U.S.
  • Employment. Do not accept any employment other than that which is approved under your H-1B petition.
  • H-1B Extensions. Remind your department to initiate the H-1B extension process as early as 6 months before your H-1B expiration date. Please contact our office if you plan to travel outside of the country while we are processing your H-1B extension or change of status. If you need to extend or renew your driver's license, you should allow for sufficient IESC and USCIS processing time.
  • Notification of Changes. Ask your department to notify our office of any material changes in your employment, including a change of department, job duties, hours, title, and/or work location.

H-4 Dependents

H-4 status is limited to spouses and/or children of H-1B beneficiaries. H-4 status for children expires when they reach 21 years of age. Contact Dr. Marta Lopez at (818) 677 3053 or at and Patricia Marquez at at least six months before the date your child reaches age 21 to discuss your options.

  • H-1B dependents who entered the US in H-4 status or who changed to H-4 status from another non-immigrant status may remain in the U.S. until the end date noted on their last I-94 card.
  • H-4 status is contingent upon the continued validity of the principal H-1B employee. If H-4 dependents are physically in the U.S. and their status is expiring, they must file a Form I-539 concurrently with the main beneficiary to extend status. If they are abroad, they must apply for an H-4 visa stamp with the documents of the main beneficiary to be able to enter the U.S.
  • H-4 dependents traveling separately must take the original I-797 H-4 approval notice (if applicable), proof of relationship (e.g. marriage/birth certificate), and copies of the H-1B documents.
  • H-4 dependents are permitted to study in the U.S., but are not authorized to work.


Important Note: Certain petitions for change of status or extension of status to H-1B require that you remain physically present in the U.S. If you are planning to travel before your H-1B is approved, contact Dr. Marta Lopez at (818) 677 3053 or at and Patricia Marquez at prior to your trip to ensure that you will not jeopardize your petition request.

Required Documents for H-1B Travel

To re-enter the U.S. in H-1B status and resume employment, you need the following documents:

  • Passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your H-1B status (see dates on the I-797 approval notice)
  • I-797 approval notice, original version
  • Copies of forms I-129 (contact IESC if you do not have the original version)
  • Copy of Certified Labor Condition Application filed on your behalf (contact IESC if you do not have a copy of this document)
  • Letter verifying current employment from your department (confirming continued employment, job title, annual salary, and dates of employment as listed on your I-797 H-1B approval notice, dated within one month of your visa interview
  • H-1B valid visa stamp (not necessary for Canadian citizens)

If your visa has expired or you have changed your status to H-1B within the U.S.:
Obtain an H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate before returning to the U.S. Present the above-mentioned travel documents to the consulate