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Extension of H-1B Status
An H-1B extension is possible if an employee is seeking to remain in the same job for a longer period of time. Extensions are normally granted for a cumulative total of 6 years (with a few exceptions for more time) as long as the application is received by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the expiration of the current H-1B status.
Employees currently employed and plans to continue employment at CSMC in H-1B status are responsible to contact their department administrator to begin an extension six months prior to the end date of their current H-1B status.
In H-1B processing, each application including extensions, all steps of the H-1B process are repeated each time beginning with obtaining a Department of Labor (DOL) prevailing wage. Only after the VISA office has completed the prevailing wage process is it possible to file the H-1B extension with the USCIS. Currently there is no expedited “Premium Processing” for the DOL part of the process.
H-1B Extension Instructions
- Contact your department administrator at least 6 months prior to the expiration of your current H-1B status.
- Complete the H-1B Application Portfolio with your hiring department
- Submit additional supporting documents as outlined in the H-1B Application Packet, if applicable
Accompanying Dependents Only
Any dependents included in the extension petition H-4 status will also be extended upon receiving approval from USCIS. The hiring department may choose not to cover the costs associated with your dependent’s visa application therefore you will be responsible for payment of such fees. The VISA office will notify you of the payment schedule should you need to be responsible for any fees.
After the Application is Submitted to USCIS
If the extension application is filed with USCIS in a timely manner (before the expiration of the current H-1B status) then the employee does not have to wait for USCIS H-1B approval notice. With timely filed H-1B extensions the employee is authorized to continue to work and be paid for up to 240 days after the expiration of his/her current H-1B status. Therefore, in most cases “Premium Processing” is only necessary if the H-1B employee will be traveling outside the U.S.
Travel During Extension Filing
If you have any plans to travel outside the U.S. during the H-1B extension process you must speak to your VISA advisor. In many cases international travel with a pending extension petition can affect the outcome of the extension. After you have received the new, extended H-1B approval notice you may travel outside the U.S. once again. However, while outside the U.S. you will have to obtain a new H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. embassy or consulate (except Canadian citizens). It is not possible to obtain visa stamps inside the U.S.