The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. for an initial period of three years. The H-1B visa is extendable up to and beyond six years in certain circumstances.
Period of Permitted Stay on H-1B Visa
An H-1B visa is valid initially for up to three years. An employer may request an extension up to a maximum total stay of six years. There are exceptions, which are discussed below. After the period of permitted stay on H-1B visa has expired, the worker must leave the United States. The worker must remain outside the U.S. for at least one year before becoming eligible for a H-1B status again.
This article provides a basic summary of the terms of admission relating to the H-1B visa. If you need assistance with an H-1B visa, contact the experienced immigration lawyer in Columbus, Ohio today.
Exemptions from the Six Year Limit
The American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 Public Law 106-313, as amended (“AC21”) provides an exemption from the six-year H-1B visa limit. Under AC21, an H-1B worker may obtain an extension beyond the six-year limit provided the following are true. The worker is the beneficiary of an approved employment-based petition (Form I-140). The worker is eligible for adjustment of status (Form I-485), but cannot file because of the per-country limits. Under such circumstances, the worker may obtain extensions of their H-1B visa until the adjustment of status case is decided.
If you have reached your maximum six-year H-1B visa limit, you can obtain an extension of H-1B status while you wait for your priority date to become current.
H-1B Visa Transfers and AC21
Another significant benefit of AC21 is that it allows an H-1B worker to immediately change employers. Under AC21, an H-1B worker may change employers upon that new employer’s filing of the H-1B petition.
In the past, an H-1B worker had to wait until a new H-1B petition was approved to change jobs. AC21 allows a change upon the filing of a new H-1B petition.
Immigration Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
H-1B Visa Representation
Porter Law Office, LLC has experience in securing H-1B visas. The H-1B visa process is complex due to the need to strictly follow the federal labor laws and immigration rules and regulations. Columbus immigration lawyer Matthew R. Porter, Esq. assists employers in complying with the H-1B regulations. We can help your organization with H-1B petition filings and compliance issues. If your organization is considering sponsoring a foreign national on an H-1B visa, contact Columbus immigration lawyer Matthew R. Porter today for a free consultation to discuss your options.