H1B Validity Period
H1B extensions. Who needs to file them, and when do they need to file them? The H1B status is valid for three years. When an employer sponsors an employee for an H1B visa and the employee enters the U S in H1B status, the employee can work for that employer for three years as an H1B employee. However, the H1B has a three-year limit. And when that three-year limit is close to expiring, the employer will need to file for an extension of the H1B status. That extension can be filed for an additional three-year period. So you have a total of six years that you can be in H1B status while in the US. For most people, when they come in on H1B status, they can then have their employer file for a green card application for them. And they will complete that process within that six year period.
India and China Immigrant Visa Backlogs
However, if you are from India or from China, the immigrant visa categories, EB2 and EB3 are often backlogged, and they often take more than 10 years in order to obtain the immigrant visa number so that the person can adjust their status to permanent resident in the US. So if your H1B status expires after six years, what do you do in order to stay in status when it takes 10 years to actually qualify for the green card?
H1B Extensions Beyond Six Years (One-Year Increments)
Luckily for H1B applicants, they can file for extensions of their H1B status beyond the six years, but certain things need to happen. Number one, if an employer is filing for your green card and they have gone through the PERM process for you, and that PERM application has been pending for more than one year, the employer can extend your H1B status in one year increments.
H1B Extensions Beyond Six Years (Three-Year Increments)
Alternatively, if the PERM application has been certified by the department of labor and the employer has filed your I140 immigrant petition, and that I140 immigrant petition has been approved, then the employer can file for H1B extensions in three-year increments. So if you are from India or from China, and you are getting close to maximizing on that six year period, if you have an approved I140 immigrant petition, you can keep extending your H1B status in three-year increments until you actually qualify for permanent residence and are able to adjust your status and get your green card in the US.
So for most people who are not from India or China and have H1B status, typically you’ll be able to get your green card within that six year period. For those who are from India and China, you always want to make sure that you are maintaining your status, and we’ll definitely want to file to extend your H1B status beyond the six years that you normally get so that you can maintain your status until you get your green card.
Georgia Driver’s License While Extension Application is Pending
If you live in Georgia you can extend your drivers license while you wait for the H1B extension approval notice. Click this link to read more about extending your Georgia driver’s license.