As of today there are so many options that are open for those who wish to work temporarily in the United States on a H1B extension. There are many work categories that include intra-company transfer visa (L-1 visa), B-1 visa, H-2B visa, H-3 visa, O-1 visa, O-2 visa, P-3 visa, and more. Apart from the above mentioned visas(temporary) you also have the option of a H1 B specialty occupation visa, that is issued by the US Consulate/Embassy that would allow you work temporarily in the US. The issuance of the H1 B extension visa is associated with the employer. This implies that you would require a sponsoring employer in order to apply for the visa.
Ideally the H1 B visa is ideally suited for:
- Professional who possess high degree of specialized knowledge like consultants, journalists, analysts related to research.
- Professional nurses who have entered the US for supervising nursing operations.
- Renowned fashion models.
- Employers who are required to bring in qualified professional for jobs that entail specialized skills.
Receiving an extension of stay on the H1 visa:
Initially the H1B extension was issued for a period of 3 years. It is now possible to extend the visa by another 3 years. A person with an H1B extension is permitted to extend beyond 6 years under special circumstances. Per the 21st Century Act of 2000, a H1 B visa holder can file for an incremental one-year extension annually after the completion of six years on H1B status. This visa can be extended beyond 6 years only if:
- You are a beneficiary of an employment based immigrant petition (I-140) or an application for Adjustment of Status.
- Your labor certification application is pending for more than 365 days.
Until a final decision is made on the H1 B extension of the non-immigrant’s green card, the applicants belonging to the above mentioned scenario can get an extension for 1 year at time.
For the visa status to be extended in increments of 3 years you
- must possess an employment based green card petition filed on your behalf in an either EB1, EB2 or EB3 categories.
- you are not eligible to file an Adjustment of Status application for the only reason because you are from a country for which the priority date is not current. This is usually the case with applicants who are from India or China.
The following documents are required to be submitted to the US State Department for the purpose of renewal/extension of your H1B work visa.
- A valid passport for the applicant and each of the family members.
- An original of the form I-94 that was issued to the applicant by the USCIS.
- USCIS Form I-797 which would include the information on the applicant’s present employer.
- The employer’s letter of support containing details of the applicant’s nature of work, position.
- A fully typed non-immigrant visa application form, OF-156 added with one official passport-size photograph for each applicant, regardless of the age.
- A non-refundable visa fee payable to the U.S. Department of State.
- A self-addressed postage-paid envelope for return of the documents.
Normally, a permanent resident card (green card) is valid for ten years. On its expiration, you need to renew it by filing Form I-90, Application for green card replacement with the USCIS. If your green card has already expired, make sure you renew it at the earliest. Though you will not lose your permanent resident status if you do not renew it, per immigration laws, you need to carry evidence of your status (a valid, unexpired green card or temporary passport stamp). If you do not renew your expired / expiring card, you may experience difficulties in obtaining employment, benefits and on re-entry into the US from abroad. Always, apply for your new card before you travel and bring with you on any trip the temporary documentation you received. If, after traveling abroad, you try to re-enter the US with an expired card, you may experience a delay during the inspections process at the port of entry.
Process for online green card renewal:
Before efiling your form, check for eligibility information to see if e-Filing is the right filing option for you. Also check your system requirements. Also ensure you have all required information at hand before beginning the efiling process. Have your credit card, debit card, or bank account and number readily available to pay the filing fee if necessary.
While e-filing the application, you need not submit paper photographs and you don’t need to self-schedule an appointment at an Application Support Center for biometrics. USCIS will send a notice in the mail that will provide you with your USCIS-scheduled appointment for biometrics and taking photographs at an Application Support Center.
You should bring the biometrics appointment notice and photo identification to your biometrics appointment. Kinds of photo identification accepted are passport or national photo identification issued by your country or your driver’s license, or military photo identification, or a State-issued photo identification card. You should also bring all required initial evidence, including your prior green card OR other evidence of permanent residence or commuter status. Other documentation such as court ordered name change, marriage certificate, birth certificate, or a police report for a stolen or lost green card.
While efiling your application, ensure that your application has been successfully submitted to USCIS. If you receive a receipt number on the web confirmation page and your application no longer appears in the list of saved application in the “My Forms” screen, it means your application has been filed successfully. And also if you receive Form I-797, Notice of Action, through the mail within 10 days of e-Filing your application, it means your application was filed successfully. Your confirmation receipt number will be in the Form I-797.
If the “My forms” screen shows ‘pending’ or ‘action needed’, it means your application was not efiled successfully or there might a problem with your transaction. Also make note of the receipt number given on the confirmation page before clicking the ‘finish’ button so that you can have a PDF copy of your submitted application. Also remember to save your application and the confirmation receipt number. If you did not make note or print your receipt number, wait for approximately 10 days to receive your Form I-797, Notice of Action. The confirmation receipt number will be printed on your I-797.
There are some limitations for a Permanent resident to travel outside U.S. and return. A reentry permit will help a Permanent resident to enter into U.S. without any problem. A reentry permit is used to determine that you did not intend to abandon
your status, and it allows you for admission into the United States after traveling abroad for 2 years without having to obtain
a returning resident visa. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance.
You need to file the Form I-131 with the Reentry permit fees to obtain a reentry permit. It is recommended that you file the I-131 form well in advance of your planned trip. Ensure that you file the I-131 form at least 60 days before your intended travel. You need to be physically present in the United States to file this form. You cannot file the I-131 form while you are outside U.S.
You do not need to file the I-131 form and get a reentry permit if you will be outside the United States for less than 1 year. If you have been outside the United States for less than 1 year, you may use your Permanent Resident Card as your travel document.
Reentry permit fees:
The Reentry permit fees is $385. It includes an application fee of $305 and a biometric fee of $80. You can pay the Reentry permit fee with a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check. Do not send cash. The check or money order must be drawn on a bank or other financial institution in the United States and must be payable in U.S. currency.
If you are filing the I-131 form at one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities and would like to receive an e-mail and/or text message that your application has been accepted, then complete a Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the first page of your application.
The I-131 form will not be approved in the following cases:
- If you have already been issued a reentry permit and it is still valid.
- If the federal register contains a notice that prohibits the issuance of reentry permit for travel to the area where you intend to go.
Checklist of your Reentry permit application package:
- The I-131 form
- The G-1145 form (optional)
- Supporting documents
- Reentry permit fees
Assemble your application package in an orderly manner. Using a paper-clip, attach the Reentry permit fees to the first page of your I-131 form. If you do not send the Reentry permit fees along with your application, your application will be returned. Place your supporting documents under your application. Mail your application by certified mail, certified mail or courier service and request a return receipt.
Within 30 days of submitting your application to USCIS, you can expect to receive a Form I-797 Receipt Notice. This Notice is your confirmation that the USCIS has received your application and accepted it for processing. After you receive the Receipt Notice, you will receive an Appointment Notice requesting your appearance at your local Application Support Center to have your fingerprints taken.