H1-B Visa Extension: Eligibility, Process And Denials

While the initial registration period for the H1-B 2023 is underway until March 18, 2022, many others are already in the midst of approved H1-B visas. Most H1-B visas are issued for a period of three years with a possible extension of three more years. However, certain H1-B visa beneficiaries can seek an extension for a longer duration based on certain requirements.

Eligibility Requirements For H1-B Visa Extension

H1-B visa holders who have an approved and pending I-140 immigrant petition can seek an extension of their H1-B visa beyond the six-year validity period. Extension request can be submitted up to six months before the applicant’s H-1B visa expires.

Only those who have an employment-based green card in the EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 category are eligible for this extension. 

This is issued in one-year increments. 

H1-B Extension Under AC21

COMPLETE H1-B Extension Process

Filing a timely extension of the H1-B visa allows the beneficiary to continue working for the same sponsor up to 240 days past the original H-1B visa’s expiration date. However, to avoid losing status, the H1-B extension request should be filed before the original visa expires. USCIS recommends filing an extension within 45 days of the H1-B visa’s expiration.

The following documents are required for an H1-B visa extension

  • New set of H1-B forms in the form in the form of a I-129;
  • A new LCA to seek an extension past the initial three-year period; 
  • A new letter of employment;
  • A copy of the original H1-B approval notice;
  • Filing fees and any other supporting documentation. 
  • Copies of the I-94 if the applicant wants to “recapture” time spent with an H1-B visa while abroad.

More FAQs on H1-B Visa Extension

 H-1B Extension Processing Time

The H1-B extension processing time is three to 12 months for regular applications and one to 15 days for premium processing. To apply for premium processing, applicants must file an I-907 form and the processing fee in addition to the I-129 petition.

When Is An H1-B Visa Denied?

There are two situations when an H1-B visa can be denied – 

First, the application can be rejected if it does not contain all the required documents and supporting evidence for an H1-B extension.

Secondly, an H1-B application can be denied for the following reasons:

  • If USCIS does not consider a new position that the applicant changed as a specialty occupation. 
  • If there are questions regarding the employee-employer relationship. 
  • If the applicant may have committed crimes, avoided taxes, or worked without authorization.
  • Other reasons

The above information is for educational purposes only. Individual cases and situations vary. You should consult with your legal immigration counsel before making a move on your H1-B visa extension.