USCIS Approved Extensions of H-1B Status after Six Years
In a few circumstances, individuals with valid H-1B visa status can extend their visa beyond the six year limit. This can be a difficult application process and our immigration lawyers in Los Angeles can provide you with a free consultation to see whether you're eligible to extend your H-1B status.
This may be possible if the noncitizen is:
- the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition for a foreign worker
- the beneficiary of a permanent labor certificate or immigrant petition for a foreign worker that was filed over 365 days ago.
- is recapturing time spent outside the U.S. during the past 6 years in H-1B status
Will my pending application for Labor Certification or Adjustment of Status grant me a time limit extension?
If you are in valid H-1B status but have reached the six year time limit without a decision on a pending labor certification application or immigrant petition, you may be granted an extension of time. However, the application has to have been in processing for 365 days or more at the time your H-1B status will expire. If this is the case, your employer is able to file for one-year extensions of H-1B status until the labor certification application or immigrant petition is denied or until a decision is made to grant or deny your application for immigrant visa or for adjustment of status to permanent residence.
Read more about Labor Certification Applications here.
If you need help in extending your stay in the U.S. on your visa, please call or email our experienced immigration attorneys in Los Angeles now for a free consultation with an expert.
I am not in status currently and have a pending application that has reached one year. Can I still seek a time limit extension and new H-1B visa?
The law states that the six-year limit does not apply at all if 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of the application or petition and the extension of H-1B status is allowed for a noncitizen who qualifies under these circumstances. You should be eligible to obtain approval of a seventh-year H-1B petition and apply for a new H-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate if you have been waiting on a pending application for AOS or a labor certification. Even if your status expired before the one year time period of pendency, you are exempt from the six-year limit once the one year period is reached. This exemption from the six-year limitation means that you would be able to apply for a new H-1B visa.
When you consult with our immigration attorneys, we will analyze your immigration history and provide you with expert legal counsel to best pursue your visa or immigration goals.
Can a different employer petition for my H-1B visa extension?
The H-1B extension can be obtained with a different employer than the employer who filed the labor certification application or immigrant petition. For example, let’s say that you are in your sixth year on your H-1B visa and have a labor certification application with Employer A that has been pending for one year. If you leave Employer A but Employer A does not withdraw the labor certification application, then you can still get a 7th year extension to work for Employer B.
My Labor Certification or Immigrant Petition was denied. Can I extend my H-1B visa while the appeal is with USCIS pending?
A labor certification application denial is not a final decision if it is on appeal. You can obtain an extension of your H-1B status as long as the appeal is pending. If the appeal is sustained, extensions can continue to be obtained. Unfortunately, an extension cannot be obtained if an immigrant petition is denied and on appeal. If you need help in appealing your application denial, please contact our experienced immigration attorneys at our Los Angeles office.
Can I still seek an extension of my H-1B visa when my application for Labor Certification or Petition was approved and is no longer pending with USCIS?
The statutory language does not require that the application or petition be pending to remain eligible for extension. Only the denial of the labor certification application or immigrant petition means that you would no longer be eligible for an extension.
Can I extend my status if my Labor Certification Application or Immigrant Petition was denied?
If your labor certification application or immigrant petition is denied, no further H-1B extensions will be available to you. However, if your seventh- or eighth-year extension has already been approved prior to the denial of your application or petition, it is unlikely that USCIS will take any action to revoke your approved extension.
Am I eligible for an extension in the event of U.S. immigration quota retrogression?
Extension for a seventh year and beyond may be available to you if you are the beneficiary of an immigrant petition but are unable to file for, or obtain approval of, adjustment of status because of quota backlogs in your immigration preference category. For more on visa extensions when there is quota retrogression, please read more here. [LINK TO VISA EXT. QUOTA RETROGRESS]
Are H-4 dependents eligible for an H extension beyond the 6-year limit?
Yes. H-4 dependents are eligible for an extension of their H-4 status beyond the 6-year limit provided they meet the H-4 requirements and based on the principal H-1B visa holder’s eligibilityfor an H-1B extension beyond the 6-year limit. This includes cases where the dependent may have held another status prior to becoming an H-4 dependent. However, in order to qualify for an H-1B extension beyond the 6 year limit year of their own H-1B status, the alien must meet all the requirements independently of their H-1B spouse’s eligibility for a 7th year extension.
Read our page on options after H-1B visa time limit is reached for additional information.
Contact our immigration lawyers for free advice and a free consultation now!