How To Apply For H1B Visa Extension?

How to Apply for H1B Visa Extensions? Who can apply for it? And the step by step guide to apply for this visa? Find out answers to all your questions below…

The H1B visa is a dual intent visa you can use to apply for a Green Card. The visa is granted to you for three years and may later be extended for up to 6 more years. Let’s take a look at all you need to know about when and how to apply for an H1B visa extension.

The H1B visa is possibly the most popular and sought-after visa used by immigrants going to the USA. One of the advantages of this visa is, immigrants can apply for a Green Card while staying in the USA with this visa.

The H1B visa is granted for a maximum period of three (3) years. And maybe later extended for up to 6 more years.

The process of getting permanent residency can be quite long, that’s the reason many immigrants are applying for the H1B visa extension because it’s an essential pathway to getting a Green Card.

When To Apply for H1B Visa Extension?

A migrant can apply for an extension of their H1B visa up to 6 months before it becomes invalid. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally takes 2 to 3 months to process the request.

Thus, a visa extension application ought to be filed at least 3 months before the visa expires.

How long is the H1B Visa Extension Processing Time?

Usually, the H1B visa extension processing time may take about 3 months to be processed. Processing for these applications begins in April and continues until the end of October.

Also, application for visa extension via premium can normally be processed within 15 days which may attract additional charges.

How to Apply for H1B Visa Extension?

To begin extension for an H1B visa, the following documents have to be filed at the USCIS:

  • By an employer: Form I-129 with the H supplements and supporting documents. And New Labor Condition Application (LCA).
  • By an applicant: Form I-539 for an applicant’s spouse and dependent children under the age of 21 years. A Valid Form I-797 showing the applicant’s current employer approved the extension of stay. An Original Form I-94. In the case of expiration, a valid Form I-797 Notice of Approval must be submitted.

Also, note that a nonrefundable fee must be paid while submitting these documents. This payment should be made by corporate check, money order or a bank draft made out to the “U.S. Department of State.”

During the time an application is being processed, the USCIS may investigate an applicant’s right to an extension and interview the applicant and the applicant’s employer through the Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) office.

New H1B Visa Rules – What are the Changes being brought in? 

Stiffening the regulations on the whole H1B visas has been on President Trump’s plan since the beginning of his election campaign. In an effort to keep the visa program from being abused, a number of changes and upgrades have been put into the application process.

The paperwork and documentation required for the H1B visa application have been made more detailed. Instead of issuing visas for Three (3) years at a stretch, many candidates may not get shorter visas for only the project duration they are being hired for.

A shorter visa may, in turn, make it harder for immigrants to apply for a Green Card. The minimum wage for the paperwork is also likely to be increased. The H1B visa extension of the program has also been made more strenuous.

This will, in particular, affect people who have temporarily been out of work. President Donald Trump has also said that he would like to replace the lottery system with a merit-based system to make sure only the highly skilled immigrants are issued H1B visas.

Dependents or spouses of the visa holder who is on the Green Card pathways are allowed to apply for a work permit and take up part-time or full-time jobs under the same rules. A motion has also been introduced by the Donald Trump administration to cancel these work permits. This could make the USA unattractive for working immigrants as their spouses or dependents will no longer be able to contribute to the family income.

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