Maintaining H-1B status and staying in compliance is critical for job continuation. Here are the six aspects of H-1B maintenance.
1. Valid Immigration Documents
- Keep your passport valid for at least six months into the future.
- Make sure your H-1B status expiration date is always in the future by checking your I-94 admissions record or I-797 approval notice.
Tip: If you take a trip overseas, be sure to check your I-94 record upon return. H-1B expiration dates are liable to change depending on how immigration processes your return to the U.S.
2. Change of U.S. Address
- Report U.S. residential address changes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) within ten days. Download Form AR-11 (file online or through paper format).
- Promptly update your address and contact information with your employer.
3. Notify USCIS of any Employment Changes
Employment in the originally authorized H-1B position determines status and is specific to your job title, duties and responsibilities. Report any material employment changes to ensure H-1B compliance.
Examples of material changes include changes to:
- Job title
- Primary job duties
- Work location
- Full-time/part-time status
- Other similar changes
Standard salary increase in the same job does not qualify as a material change.
Note: The employer may need to file a petition with USCIS to amend or update H-1B employment authorization before the proposed changes take place.
4. Outside Employment is Strictly Prohibited
- H-1B workers can only work for the sponsoring employer in the initially authorized jobs and positions.
- H-1B workers can change employers only after the new employer submits a new H-1B petition requesting employment authorization.
5. Travel on H-1B
- Travel with your H-1B visa and I-797 approval notice from your employer.
- Check your I-94 admissions record (print your I-94) every time you return to ensure correct processing and that your "admit until" date is set in the future.
- Contact your employer if you plan to travel while your H-1B extension is processing.
6. H-1B Extension & Expiration
- Ask your employer to submit an H-1B Extension Request at least six months before your H-1B authorization expires; or
- Plan to leave by the expiration of your H-1B status.
- Refer to your I-797 Approval Notice and I-94 departure record for the H-1B expiration date.