H1B visa extension when to file

H1B Visa Extension – When to file petition? Visa extension Fee? Issues ?

In Apply H1B Visa by Kumar851 Comments

I got my H1B visa extension approval notice just a day before my first 3 year H1B visa  and I94 were expiring. I have experienced some real nervous days in US when I had to wait for my H1B visa extension. I was not sure about myH1B visa extension when to filefuture as some of my friends got H1B extension denied or got RFEs.  Anyways, the point is I could have avoided some of those tensions if I had planned well. I will explain few things that might be helpful about extending your visa.

When to file H1B visa extension petition ?

USCIS lets you apply for H1B visa extension 6 months before the expiration. What it means is, let’s say your H1B visa is expiring October 1st, 2010 then you can apply your visa petition anytime after April 1st, 2010.  The question arises is, How soon should you start the H1B renewal process ? It depends, the sooner the better. Ideally, USCIS takes two to three months for processing the H1B visa petitions.  If you are not applying for premium processing, you should apply at least 3 months before your H1B is expiring. It gives enough time for USCIS to process the application. There are cases where they take longer, but at least you planned ahead of time. What it means is, you should talk to your employer and attorney at least 4 months before your H1B visa is expiring and get the ball rolling. They may need some documents and you might need some time to gather them. Also, with the new H1B visa rules of 2011, you should do it as soon as you can as there may be more paper work from your employer side and USCIS may take longer too.

What if your H1B extension was filed, but USCIS has not processed your application yet and your H1B visa expired ? Can you still work  ?

This question was something that bothered me a lot as I was waiting for my H1B approval notice. You will not believe how many people I have talked to about this to clarify. Anyways, the information I have gathered after talking to few employers, lawyers, friends is : as long as you have filed the H1B extension before the expiration of the visa, you are good. You can keep working until you get a response from USCIS. You do not have to worry about anything because as per law, you have done your job and you are waiting for USCIS to respond.  So, how long can you work ? Well, as per my knowledge I know people who have been working for 6 months too…I do not know exactly how long can you work though. You must talk to attorney or your employer.

Is it worth doing Premium for extension ? How long does it take ?

Well, the answer depends on your need. If you switching employers, then it may a good idea to do premium processing. But, if you are applying through the same employer, I do not really see any point in spending extra $1,225 dollars for premium processing. As you know you can file for extension before 6 months, you can plan ahead of time and avoid this expense.  Typically, USCIS guarantees the premium processing time for H1B visa is 15 Calendar days. They say that they expect to have a decision within 15 Calendar days.

How much does it cost for H1B visa extension ?

The extension filing fee is same as filing a new H1B visa petition except if you are filing H1B extension through the same company, you do not have to pay the $500  Fraud detection/ prevention fee. Here is the breakdown:

Base filing fee $325

(American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998)

$750  ( For employers with 1 to 25) 

$1,500 ( For employers with 26 or    more full time equivalent employee )

Attorney Fee Depends on attorney anywhere from $400 – $1400 or more
Fee based on Public Law 111 – 230( If you are transferring employers) 

Read H1B fee $2000 rule to check if it applies to your case

Premium processing fee $1,225 (If you intend to do premium)

You should check USCIS website for correct H1B filing fee, as they revise fee every year or 6 months.

You must also read : documents needed for H1B visa and filing fee for full information on what NOT to give and what to give…

Consequences If no H1B visa extension approval document by the visa expiration date:

  • You will have an expired driver’s license, unless you were proactive and contacted the DMV and they agreed to give you an exception. You cannot really drive because your drivers license will be expired and it is illegal to drive with an expired driver’s license. You can read my horrible experience with expired driver’s license and H1b visa expired situation issues
  • You do not really have any legal ID given by US government because you may not have driver’s license. You will have to carry your passport all the time for any travel or going to bar. Imagine, you going to bar with a passport and you losing it ? not so good… This is a very critical thing for travel.

Image Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/queenneveen/2792689962/

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Comments ( 851 )

  1. Raja

    My H1B expires on Jan 28 2017 and am still in India wating for my visa stamping as in my previous project cheated me with fake promises . now came to a new project and initiated the stamping process . Have my PA date on Nov 17 2016.
    Query 1: is it possible to prepone my VISA interview date by employer?
    Query 2: if I travel by Dec 2016 , wi ll I be eligible for extending my visa. What is the min date before I should apply for my extension?

    1. administrator

      1. If a new date pops-up, then you can move to an advanced date
      2. As long as the extension petition is filed prior to Jan 28, you should be fine. Entering US in Dec should be ok. Just ensure that employer has all extension documents ready to file.

  2. Vicki

    Hi, H1B visa expired July 15, 2016 but H1B renewal was filed on June 22, 2016. I understand the H1B holder is authorized to stay and continue to work for the current employer. However, will now opt for premium processing due to the need to travel. When returning, the H1B holder needs an approved extension as well as a new visa stamp and will need to get the latter from overseas US embassy, correct? My question is, assuming after the renewal is approved but H1B holder decides not to travel, how would he/she get the new visa stamp? Will it be mailed and how long will it take? Thank you very much.

    1. administrator


      A visa stamp is required only when a person has to enter US. So if you get the extended petition and decide not to travel, you don’t need a visa stamp. Whenever you decide to travel in future, you can get visa stamp at that point.

      1. Vicki

        So appreciate your prompt reply. In other words, if I need to travel months later after getting approved through premium, I will still have to physically go to the US Embassy (of which country?) to get the visa stamp, is that correct? Will there be an interview?

        At POE (upon returning to the US), is it correct to say I must have both the Visa Stamp & the I-94? But when will I get the I-94 with the premium processing?

        Thank you again.

        1. administrator


          If you are traveling to your home country, then you would need to appear at a US consulate in that country. If you are going to a different country, then you will have to check w/ US embassy in that country to understand their TCN (Third Country National) rules.

          When returning to US, you will have to show them new visa stamp and extended petition. They would issue new I-94 (electronic and not paper). The current I-94 that you have will become void as soon as you leave US.

  3. Suprotim

    My Visa is getting expired in 10th Oct 2016, My extension has already been filed in month of May 2016, but status is showing “CASE RECEIVED”. I need to travel to india. And wish to return after 6months. Can i Travel and what needs to be done before i can travel back to USA after 6months

    1. administrator


      When returning to US, you would need approval notice and unexpired visa stamp. So you should ensure you have at least those 2 documents when you plan to return to US.

  4. Nam

    Hi Sir,

    I have a quick question.

    My visa was stamped till 2015 Dec. In between i traveled to USA with another amendment (not an extension), the amendment got approved with an extended date till Dec 2017 by USCIS. So my I94 is valid till Dec 2017 now.

    Since my petition (I-129) is having date till Dec 2015, will it impact my stay in USA as out of status or if i try for an extension will it make any issues as i am in USA with an expired petition.

    Will this impact if i travel to India and try to come back for any other project with an extension along with stamping.

    Else i need to try switching the employer from here and have a try

    Please advice me.. Thanks in advance

  5. santosh raghunath kulkarni


    My H1B visa expired in dec 2014, I applied for extension in Aug 2015, however I didn’t receive petition till Feb 2016, Meanwhile, I left my company in March 2016 and my petition is revoked in May 2016. Now I want to apply for extension, what is the process and how much it will cost ?

    1. administrator

      santosh raghunath kulkarni,

      Find another employer and ask them to file cap-exempt petition for you. Submit copy of old approval notice as proof of having made through the lottery. I assume you are outside of US.

        1. administrator

          Santosh kulkarni,

          We usually don’t recommend employers on this site. You will have to find one through your own research and network of friends, colleagues etc

  6. Rohit


    I cam to USA through company A. My visa was valid till July 2018.
    I switched to company B in USA and the H1b for company B is getting expired by Dec 2016.
    My extension will be applied next month.
    I have below queries. Kindly help me with those.

    1) Should I go for premium processing?
    2) Do I need to go for stamping again to US Consulate(since my previous visa will expire in 2018)?

    Please suggest.

    1. administrator


      1. Your wish. However, unless there is a need to travel outside US or your DL is expiring, I don’t see the advantage of PP.
      2. You don’t need to get any visa stamped as long as the previous visa stamp has not expired. Once it expires, you should get it stamped again during your next trip outside US.

  7. shya

    Hi sir,

    We are totally in a confused state please help us. My friend H1B visa got expired in 15th jan 2016 and his employer applied for the extension on 9th oct 2015. But still the status is ‘case is received’. He wants to travel India to see his new born baby. Is there any issue in traveling? Employer told him that if he travel now the legal will not clear be clear. Please advice

    1. administrator


      As the current petition has expired, he needs a valid approved petition and visa stamp in order to return to US. If the petition has been pending for 210 days, then employer can raise SR for the same. The other option is to upgrade to PP.

      If the current H-1 visa stamp expired not more than 1 year ago, he should be able to avail dropbox facility. Interview dates are pretty delayed at the moment, but dropbox should be readily available.

  8. Neha

    Hii I have filled the amendment and Extension for my H1B Visa.

    As my visa is valid till August 2016, and Extension result is nt yet recieved. Can i travel to india during April and come back as i found you should not travel our of country if extension is filled.

    1. administrator


      Your extension includes 2 parts – 797 extension and I-94 extension. If you leave US while it is pending, then I-94 extension is abandoned. 797 extension will continue to be processed but will be approved w/ no I-94 attached.

      When you return to US, you will receive I-94 at PoE valid until current 797 expiration date. A separate I-94 extension would have to be filed.

      One way out is to upgrade your petition to PP, so that you have the approval notice in hand by the time you return to US and get I-94 based on extended 797.

      Makes sense?

  9. Ram

    I got my H1B petition on 24th April 2008 and I got visa also, but I did not travel to US as of now. I have changed the company in India. Can I use same petition and visa? Please let me know the process

    1. administrator


      6 year limit ended in 2014. So you may not be able to use that petition for cap-exempt purposes. Still if your attorney wants to give it a shot, they can try.

    2. Neha

      What my company has done is i have asked them to filled the amendment with extension but they have not yet received the receipt number.. i have also asked them to do it in Premium. My question is if i am travelling to India and my extension got approved when i am returning. Do i need to stamp my visa while during my return or my Old stamp visa which is valid till August will work.

  10. veera

    I would like to know it is whose responsibility to pay the h1b extension fee (excluding premium processing fee), employer or employee? Also, if there is any government link that has this information, please provide the same.

    1. Neha Jain


      What if i do not have my new document with me while returning from India. do i need to bring the new document which we received once the extension is done with me. As i will be in India when my extension gets approved.


      1. administrator

        Neha Jain,

        In order to return to US, you need to have an approved petition in hand. So if your current petition has expired, then you will have to wait for new approval notice in order to return to US. Also, your stay in US will be determined by the I-94 issued when entering US. So it would be nice to have extension in hand to get extended notice, else you would receive I-94 based on old approval notice.

  11. Prasanna Mishra

    My H1B visa peition is getting expired on May’2016 and I will be applying for extension before 6months of my petition expiry i.e. Dec’2015. Can I travel to india & come back to USA during my extension period i.e. Jan- May 2016 though extension is not yet approved.

    Anyone please answer to my above query.

    1. Vignesh

      Yes you can travel and come back before it expires (May ’16). You need to make sure the Visa stamp on your passport is also valid and has a stamp till May ’16. If you are going to return after May’16, then you need to get the approved petition shipped to your address, do a visa stamping and re-enter.

      1. Sangeetha

        I have a visa valid till 2017. But my i797 expired in Jan 2015. I missed to notify my employer. Please advise how I can get this sorted out.

  12. Prasanna

    I have my petition valid till May’2016 and I will be applying for extension in Dec’2015 . But during my extension process, can i travel to India and come back to USA in this extension period in between Jan – May 2016 before my extension approved by USCIS.
    Please answer to my above query.

  13. Jaspreet

    Hi ,

    My employer has filed for my Visa Extension. I believe it takes anywhere between 2-4 months for the approval. Can I switch jobs within this time period?


  14. rajgale

    I received my VISA stamped with 3 months validity and I need to travel USA for long term project.
    I need to understand below queries before I travel to USA.
    1) Will they issue VISA more than three months during the time of renewal?
    2) Does the VISA validity depends on country to country?
    3) What will be validity of I94 issued by port of entry officer?
    4) Does validity of I94 depends on H1B visa validity or I797B form?
    5) What is the cost for VISA extension and I94 extension?
    6) Do I have to travel outside of USA to renew H1B visa?

  15. ANAND


    The I-94 date available in my latest I-797 document is different than the I-94 date which I received at the time of port of entry.
    I-797 document shows I-94 date as July 20 2016, however my visa which was stamped with my previous employer has a visa expiry date as June 19 2015, at the time of port of entry the immigration office did not asked to show the I-797 document and then he issue a new I-94 date based on the visa expiry date, which is June 19 2015.
    Could you pls. help me out to understand how I can make the necessary correction to make the I-94 date as same as I-94 date mentioned on I-797 document which is July 20 2016.


    1. aishwarya

      In case this issue is still open, this is what we experienced, we faced the same issue as well.
      1. A friend of mine had the same issue, they were able to go to the USCIS office and they were sent to the deferred inspection site (in the same building) and they got it corrected.
      2. We tried to do the same and we were told that there is no way that can be done. The officer asked us to travel back and return. And upon returning show the I-797 at the port of entry and thus get an updated I-94.
      3. Talking to the immigration dept at office, we were given 2 options

    2. aishwarya

      In case this issue is still open.
      1. A friend of mine had the same issue, they were able to go to the USCIS office and they were sent to the deferred inspection site (in the same building) and they got it corrected.
      2. We tried to do the same and we were told that there is no way that can be done. The officer asked us to travel back to India (or any other place other than canada n mexico) and return. And upon returning show the I-797 at the port of entry and thus get an updated I-94.
      3. Talking to the immigration dept at office, we were given 2 options
      a. travel back, get the new visa stamped
      b. file a new extension while in US( there’s the 240 day rule in that case).
      4. finally we filed a new extension.

      1. Swapna

        Hi Aishwarya,

        I am facing the same situation currently. Please help me in giving more details about it. So how much did it cost for filing new extension? How long did it take to get the extension on i94? Also what is the 240 day rule?


    3. Geiselle

      Hello Anand.

      I am in a similar situation as yours- with dates very close to yours.

      Can you let me know if you still have to apply for H1B Renewal before June 2015 ( your passport Visa Expiry date) or Before July 2016 ( your I-797 Expiry date?)

      Thank yo

  16. Arghya saha

    Hi All,

    Need an urgent help.My h1b filled on Sept 12th and got an RFE on 31st October.
    The rfe state this:


    As such, please provide Please describe ALL of the Associate’s job duties for the Web Developer position in detail, with specific attention to the percentage of time spent, hours per week, level of responsibility, and the minimum education, training, and experience necessary for each duty.Provide a complete list of the various software tools, languages and technologies used to perform the job duties.Provide a detailed description of the TCSL project, and explain what the associate’s role within the project will be.

    Is this a common rfe? Is there are chances of approval?
    While responding to rfe is it possible to change the role name and get a new LCA.

    What are the documents I need to provide to respond on this rfe.anybody got ths rfe and it’s approved.

  17. Dre

    Hi Saurabh,

    Don’t know if you remember me but my H1B was approved back in June 2011-Sept, 2013. In August of 2012 I switched to another school. My new extension is from August 2012-August 2015.

    Is it possible for me to apply for the time that I did not use at the first school?

    My school has started the Green Card process but time is against me as we have just submitted the DOL application.

  18. Bhushan Bhoir

    Hi I got my Visa on 16 Oct 2012 till 30 sep 2013
    so i did my first extension from US and it got approved till 30 sep 2014.
    I have filed my second extension and it got approved till 30 sep 2015.

    But i have to got to india from Jun 2015 to Nov 2015 for organization work.
    But between this my visa will get expired on 30 sep 2015.

    So will i have to file new Fresh H1 from india again in which i have to wait for CAP Quote for next year?

    Or i can file my visa again from after 30 sep 2015 any time once it get expired(Will it be fresh)?

    1)will i have to wait for next year.
    2)or i can file visa any time as i have not yet completed 6 years of H1B and can go to US any time.

  19. AS

    If somebodys H1 B extension process at USCIS has been initiated through his parent company and in due course can he switch his job or not??
    also wat bout his renewal request filed by his parent employer and the v isa transfer rewuest filed by his new empliyer…..can hi do so???

  20. SinghJee

    Hello All,

    My H1-b is approved recently but only valid 0ct 2014- Jan 2015. Not sure how soon can I file for extension and what are the necessary docs required even my project will go for years and years?


  21. Nithu Gopal

    I have a valid H1B visa with the current employer and its valid upto May16, 2014. I am now in India and I cant travel immediately hence asked for an extension of the Visa. Is it possible to apply for extension this late ? Its already end of April now ?

    1. Vijay

      Yes,you can apply within 6 yrs from the date of visa expiry.This is called exempt visa as you are staying in India.

  22. Divya

    Hello- My case is

    I797- validity- oct 2012-sept 2015
    H1b visa- oct 2012-sept 2015
    I94- validity is Sept 2013

    The way the 2013 was written in te I94 was very ambiguous and looked like 2015. Thats how I got my state id as well for sept 2017. Not sure what will be the next steps for me !!

  23. JDCH

    Hello Saurabh,
    Thanks for your wonderful support to all of us.
    I have attended for H-1b interview on dec-13 and got 221(g) white-slip stating that needed client letter (on letter head).
    Unfortunately i am not able to submit as of now. Right now I had approved petition.
    My question is I am having valid h-1b petition approval(i-797). If suppose any employer is ready to provide client letter what should be the chances of getting and how much time my i-797 would be valid..
    Please tell me any alternative process to overcome this situation.
    Please help me I have already spend lot of amount on this..Please guide me…Regards,JDCH

  24. Sai

    Can any one answer?

    I got my H1-B visa with X company and my visa validity of May 28th 2014. But unfortunately my company couldn’t send me to US. Now my H1-B visa will soon gets expired and I asked my company to renew it. but at the same time my current project ends by May 28th. same day..

    My question is :

    Can I get my visa renew through another Y company, if i get a job there with them.

  25. Gopi Verma

    I am Gopeshwar verma. I have my H1B petition valid and i had my visa stamped and it got expired in Aug 2011. But petition is still valid and i come under cap exempted. I could not travel to USA because of some reason and i do not have I-94 with me.
    Now i want to get my visa stamped again thru some sponsor. So do i need to have
    I-94 form to apply for visa extension?

    Please let me know what all are the documents are needed.

    Thanks & Regards
    Gopeshwar Verma

  26. Robert


    I am currently in US working with an employer. My H1b petition expires on June 2015. If I change my employer now and go for a vacation around November 2014, should I have to go for stamping..?



    1. Karthik

      yes, if you change your employer before your vacation as you will get a new I797 approval notice due to job change.

  27. shahid


    I got my H1-B visa with X company and my visa validity of I797 was from Dec 2012 to Dec 2013. But unfortunately my company couldn’t send me to US. Now my H1-B visa has got expired and my company is not willingly to renew it, as they don’t have the opening there.

    My question is :

    can somebody tell me, what i need to do for the renewal of my H1-B visa.
    Should the another Y company will get it renew, if i get a job there with them.
    And how much time it takes to get it renew it, fyi i’m in india.

    Kindly help me with the above question.


  28. Kosta

    Hey Guys,

    I’ve got a question – my H1B petition has been approved through August of 2016 (first 3-year term). However, the actual visa stamp in my passport expires in August of this year. When I consulted my lawyer, he said I would have to renew/extend visa in my passport every year through August 2016. He also mentioned that I cannot do it from here, that I have to travel to a contiguous country (e.g. Canada, Mexico, Bahamas), make an interview appointment at a us consulate and come back the next day to pick up my visa…then travel back to the US.
    Does anybody know anything about this or has anyone done this already?


  29. Ramesh


    I came to India for vacation on last week and my visa got expire on Feb28 and my H1B-extension got approved and my employer received the hard copy on yesterday and they sent to me the soft copy to me. I am planning goto usa on next week end. I scheduled the usa embassy for biometrics on coming Tuesday. Is require the original approved-I797 petition or copy of I-797 petition


  30. Babu Chokka


    My name is Babu Chokka and I got H1b visa in October 2008 but couldn’t travel to US since then due to personal reasons. I would like to travel to US now and kindly suggest the way of Visa extension process and further proceedings.

    Babu Chokka

  31. as

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’am in a situation :
    I797 vaild till – Sept 2015
    H1b Visa valid till- Sept 2014
    I-94 valid till- Sept 2014

    Do i need to file for visa extension or i can just get my i-94 extended?

    Please advice on this urgently. Thank you in advance!!

    1. Avinash Joshi

      No need to do anything if you are not going outside of the United States till Sep 2015.
      If you want to go overseas between Sept 2014 to Sept 2015, you need to come only after VISA stamping.

      Avinash Joshi

        1. Avinash Joshi

          No, its not correct.
          You can stay in USA until you have valid I797 but yes if you have any travel plans after visa expiry or I-94 expiry you can go out of United States but you can’t come back without visa stamping.
          In port of entry immigration officer will ask you for your visa and you should have a valid visa at that time and according to your visa expiry he will provide you a new I-94 (In general it depends upon officers mood that how long your I-94 will be valid but 99% changes are it will be valid upto your visa expiry date or you can say +-10 days of your visa expiry)

          For more information contact me on avijoshi4u (at)gmail com
          – Thanks

  32. Rambo B

    Hello Saurabh,
    Thanks for helping.
    My que is I have valid I797,I94 & visa stamped until Sep’2016 with current company say A.

    Now I got offer and h1 transfered to company B but i797 expiry date came as Jan’2015 only with I94 of company A printed on it. So it means if I join company B I have to file ext again before Jan’2015, right?

    Or as i94 of company A is tagged to i797 of company B, can I just stay and continue working with B. I am little confused ? Please guide.

    Thanks Rambo b

  33. BG

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am in US on my H1B VISA for a long term onsite assignment. My VISA is getting expired on 1st August 2014. I am planning for a vacation to India on the month of May (1st May to 31st May). When can I raise my VISA extension request? (Before 1st May or after 31st May). Also will it be a problem if I am coming back on 1st June, since my VISA will be valid for only 2 more months after that. Can I travel back to US with only 2 months of valid VISA remaining?


    1. Suhas


      You can travel as long as you have valid visa. When you will be back, they might ask you whether your current employer is going to file extension for you(might ask) and definite answer is yes. This is coming from experience I had.
      Some of my friends where not asked any question with same scenario.

  34. Amit Dhingra

    Hello Saurabh,
    My H1B i797 has expired in Dec13. I never travelled USA.
    My company filed H1b Cap exempt on 22nd Nov 2013 with premium processing. How much time it will tkae more?


  35. Puneet

    Hello Saurabh,

    I am in US on H1B my current petition was for 2 years which is due to expire in April 2014. My company suggested my to go for transfer H1b to L1A so can apply for GC for me. I want to know if company’s attorney file for transfer from H1B to L1A now do i still need to file my H1b Extension separately? If i get L1A petition approved then do i need to exit US for stamping for i can continue to be in US till my GC is filled through L1A i.e. EB1 category. Please advise


    1. administrator

      The petition extension is always filed by the company or their attorney. If the same company is moving you from H-1 to L-1A, then no action on your H-1 petition is required. You can continue working in US on L-1A as long as L-1A petition remains valid. It can be extended for up to 7 years (H-1 + L-1 time). If you travel outside of US in b/w, then you will have to get L-1A visa stamped in order to return to US on L-1A.

  36. Ramesh


    My petition was filed on 27th December 2013 with premium processing but the uscis site still show case status as acceptance state. Please let me know many days take to move from acceptance to initial state? Shall my employer need to take any further action? All the site mention that Premium processing take 15 business days.


    1. Avinash Joshi

      Yes..it will not take more than 15 business days. Even I have filed my petition in Feb 2014 and got the documents within 10-12 days only.
      Don’t worry they will change the status directly to the final status. Cheers and let me know if you need any more information.

  37. Divya


    I am currently in US on H1B. Unfortunately my H1B validity is only for one year and will be expiring in Sep 2014. Below are my questions.

    1. What is the earliest date by when I can apply for an extension?
    2. Since my first H1B was approved only for a year, are there still chances of getting extension for 3 years?

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator

      1. Extension can be applied at most 6 months prior to expiration date
      2. It depends upon the submitted documents and USCIS review. It is not necessary that it will be approved for 1 year only, and can be issued for 3 years.

      1. jb

        Hi Divya\all,

        I have the same case, my first H1b was approved in Sep 2013, valid till 4th oct 2014.

        Now, I have to travel to india in april, I have concern if in case you had the same thing or know about it.

        Is there any risk associate with stamping in regards to H1b validity remains around 6 months only at the time of traveling (stamping interview).

        1. Shanthi

          Hi Jb,

          I am also in the same situation as you. I have my H1 currently until end of Sep 2014 and I am planning to visit India in June 2014.

          Did you get to know what are the issues or risks surrounding the stamping with only 4 months time in my case ?

          Are you travelling to India this April?

          Thanks in Advance

    2. Manu


      Mine is exactly same case as yours, I think we should ask our employer to start the extn process from April 1st.
      Let me know your email, We’ll connect wd each other to exchange more details.


  38. Puneet

    Hello Saurabh,

    I am in US on H1B my current petition was for 2 years which is due to expire in April 2014. My company suggested my to go for transfer H1b to L1A so can apply for GC for me. I want to know if company’s attorney file for transfer from H1B to L1A now do i still need to file my H1b Extension separately? If i get L1A petition approved then do i need to exit US for stamping for i can continue to be in US till my GC is filled through L1A i.e. EB1 category. Please advise


    1. Suhas


      You can travel as long as you have valid visa. When you will be back, they might ask you whether your current employer is going to file extension for you(might ask) and definite answer is yes. This is coming from experience I had.
      Some of my friends where not asked any question with same scenario.

      1. Suhas

        Sorry! wrong thread

        Anyways to your queries:
        I have seen people filing for L1B extension along with petition for new H1B. If option is open then file for both – H1 extension and L1A transfer

        Once you get approved L1A and have valid I94 expiry date, you can stay in US as long as I94 date is valid. But in case if you are planning to visit India for some reason, then you can enter US only after stamping because I94 becomes invalid once you leave US

  39. JD

    Dear Friend,
    There are two issues which i think your article is mixing.
    1) VISA expiration on passport.
    2) I797 expiration.

    If you have a valid I -797 , and if you are in the US, and if you dont want to travel outside US, then you can stay in US till I-797 expiration date. And apply for I-797 extension 6 months before its expiring.
    Valid (unexpired) I-797 is must for stay in US.

    If your VISA on passport is expiring, or if already expired while in US, then you dont need new VISA stamped unless you are planning to travel outside of US.
    When you will go for VISA stamping it will be just stamped till the date present on I-797 extension.

    In my case, my visa is expiring in OCT 2014 but still my I 7979 is valid till june 2015. I was thinking if i can apply for extension right now to get 3 yr extension and then go for stamping otherwise if i go for stamping now then i will be stamped only for a year.

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  41. Suhas


    Right now I am in India for 2 weeks and my visa is expiring on 31st Dec 2013. I asked my employer to file extension once I am back in US but they already filed my extension when I was in India.
    Now I have t travel back to US on 17th Nov.

    What are the consequences of this?
    Will I be questioned at port of entry about the extension?
    Will I be stopped?
    Do I need to leave US after 31st Dec 2013?
    Can I cancel current extension case and file a new extension?

  42. Pradeep

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working for TCS and My H1B Extension petition got approved for 3 years for client A and now i will be start working for client B(different location) from december 2013 and my company dont apply for H1B Amendment and they apply only LCA and i am planning to go to India during Feb 2014.

    During Stamping can i say to the interviewer about client A itself for which i H1B approved or should i say about the new client B for which LCA is applied.

    Few of friends told the USCIS will not be aware about the LCA as it is processed by different department and they will be aware about only the H1B Approved Petition.

    Your advise on this will be highly appreciatable.Thanks

    1. administrator

      My rule of thumb is to not lie to the officer. If you reply A and they decide to do background check, you will be in a pretty bad spot. Talk to your H-1 attorney on how to handle this case. The right thing was to apply for H-1 amendment which they didn’t do.

  43. Jawahar

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am working with company A in India. I was travelled to US from company A and stayed around 2 year on H1B there. I return to India in Aug 2013. As my company A’s petition was getting expired (Sept 2013), I have applied for H1B extension from company A While coming to India. I got RFE for the extension now.

    When I was in US, I got offer from Company B and they transferred my petition and it was approved in year 2011 and I have I-797A with me, but some reasons I didn’t join company B. I continued with Company A only.

    Now Company B offered me job in India, Plan to use my old company B petition to travel to US.

    1. Can I go for stamping using Company B petition which is valid till Dec 2014?
    2. Is there any issue to get stamp using Company B petition now (Company A’s petition extension is in progress and got RFE)?
    3. As I Said company A petition extension got RFE, will you suggest me to give reply to the RFE?
    4. If I give reply to the REF, will this create issue while stamping using company B petition?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  44. Venkat

    Hi Saurabh,
    My situation is very bad.
    1. H1b visa filed in Dec 2012 at Delhi Embessy declined due to insufficient document from company.
    2.Working for same company from offshore india office. Petition is getting expired by November 2013. Company i saying they will file for Renewal after expiry of petition since they didn’t receive any document of Intention to revoke from USCIS and filing for extension on same petition is risky.
    I don’t know after expiry of petition can they file for another h1b? Are they bluffing or this is a rule? I spent 1 year on h1b in usa. Thanks.

    1. administrator

      Even after the petition expires, they can file for a cap-exempt petition for you. This doesn’t need to go through the cap. Approval and duration will depend upon the documents your employer will submit at that time.

  45. Sandeep


    My H1 Visa is expiring on Dec 31st 2013, I am visiting india in November and coming back on Dec 1st 2013. I had applied for H1-b Extension and it got approved but the start date in I797-A is January 7th 2014. I am planning to go for Visa Stamping when I visit india. when I go for visa stamping will they cancel my current visa and will give new visa with start date of whenever I went for visa stamping? or will they give start date as my extension approval date which is jan 7th? If I don’t go for Visa stamping can I come back on Dec 1st using current visa which is expiring on dec 31st and the extension approval letter which start date is jan 7th 2014. Will there be an issue at port of entry? will they ask me what will i do for these 6days..i.e, from jan 1 to jan 6th?

    Please reply and very much confused and worried.

  46. phani

    Hi Saurabh.. My H1B extension is due on May 31st 2014. My employer is asking me to pay a short visit to India to support the offshore team for a month and be back by Mid January. I am just wondering isn’t it little riskier to come back to USA when the extension is nearing ? Would nt I be faced with lotta questions PoE?

  47. Rajendra M Shetty

    Hi Saurabh,

    1)My H1B visa was stamped only for 10 months and is expiring on 16 Dec2013. And due to some personal reasons, I’m not able to travel to USA till end of this year 2013 . S0 is it possible to get the extension done in India itself without travelling to USA once.
    2)And if it can be extended in India then how long it may take for the extension process.
    3)Also please let me know the period for H1B extension after the expiry of visa(within month of visa expiry or do we have some more grace period?)
    Please do the needful.
    Thanks in advance.

    Thanks and Regards,

  48. Rajendra M Shetty

    Hi Saurabh,

    1)My H1B visa was stamped only for 10 months and is expiring on 16 Dec2013. And due to some personal reasons, I’m not able to travel to USA till end of this year 20.S13t possible to get the extension done in India io I think my visa will expire on 16DEC2013. So is itself without travelling to USA.
    2)And if it can be extended in India then how long it may take for the extension process.
    3)Also please let me know the period for H1B extension after the expiry of visa(within month of visa expiry or do we have some more grace period?)
    Please do the needful.
    Thanks in advance.

    Thanks and Regards,

    1. Vasu

      Hello Rajendra and experts,

      what was the solution? how did you manage this situation, could you please reply ASAP, since i am also in the same case.

      Situation: My I797 (Petition) has been approved on 6th Feb 2013 till 17th Oct 2014, i went to stamping on 4th August 2014 and VISA has been approved till 17th Oct 2014 because i have my I797 validity is till 17th Oct 2014. All the time i am in India since the day my petition approved and did not go for stamping all the time due to personal reasons and went for stamping on 4th Aug 2014. Planning to go US after six months.

      Clarifications: 1. will i get my H1B extension while am in India
      2. how long it may take for the extension process and what is the fees?
      3. once i get my H1B extension, still do i need to go for stamping once again?

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