Navigating the complexities of U.S. immigration laws can be a challenging task, particularly when it comes to extending your H-1B visa. This non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in specialty occupations to work temporarily in the U.S. In this blog post, we will provide a clear, step-by-step guide on how to successfully extend your H-1B visa.
Understanding the H-1B Visa Extension
The H-1B visa initially allows a stay of up to three years in the U.S., which can be extended for an additional three years. In certain cases, it can be extended beyond six years, especially for those in the process of applying for lawful permanent residence.
Steps to Extend Your H-1B Visa
1. Check Eligibility for Extension
Before starting the extension process, verify your eligibility. Generally, you can apply for an extension if you have not violated any terms of your H-1B status and continue to need the visa for employment purposes.
2. File Form I-129
The next step is to file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Your employer needs to file this form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. Ensure that the form is correctly filled out and all required supporting documents are included.
3. Pay Required Fees
There are several fees associated with the H-1B visa extension, including the base filing fee, ACWIA fee, Fraud Prevention and Detection fee, and Public Law 114-113 fee. Your employer is typically responsible for these fees.
4. Respond to Requests for Evidence (RFE)
If USCIS requires additional information or documents, they will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE). Promptly respond to any RFEs to avoid delays in processing your extension.
5. Await Decision
Once USCIS receives your application, they will send a receipt notice. You can track the status of your application online using the receipt number. The processing time varies, but you should receive a decision within several months.
Contact Akula & Associates P.C. Today!
Extending your H-1B visa can be a complex process, but with careful preparation and timely action, it can be successfully achieved. Always consult with a legal professional or trusted authority for personalized advice on your immigration journey. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. are available to review your current H-1B visa and help you obtain an H-1B visa extension. Contact our team today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!