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:
- File Form AR-11 available at www.uscis.gov.
- Email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com 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