Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

​​​​​​​H-1B Extensions

A basic overview of the action is provided here. If you have further inquiries as to the application process or whether or not this is the correct route for your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us.


A foreign national is initially granted a period of stay of three years upon approval of his or her H-1B nonimmigrant visa. When that period begins coming to an end, he or she may then apply for an H-1B visa extension of another three years, reaching the six-year maximum. Once this is reached, the beneficiary must depart and by physically outside the United States for one full uninterrupted year in order to reset the six year cap. 

It's important to note that for Chilean and Singaporean H-1B1 applicants the visa is only valid for a one-year period of admission available for renewal each year.


Required Documents

In order to be granted an extension, the H-1B beneficiary should provide the following:

  • Copies of all U.S. visas, I-94’s and I-797 approval notices.
  • Copies of university diplomas.
  • Copies of transcripts from university degrees.
  • A copy of an Academic Evaluation of Foreign Degree, if available.
  • Copies of letters of experience from previous employers, if available.
  • A copy of the beneficiary's resume.
  • Copies of the three most recent paychecks, unpaid leave of absence letters or letters from employers as other proof of employment.

It is also required that the employer provide:

  • A copy of the job offer letter containing the job title and salary. It must be signed by both the employer and the beneficiary.
  • A detailed job description.
  • A company brochure and/or any other marketing material.
  • Copies of most recent Financial Statement, Annual Report or Business Plan, if available.
  • A copy of the Articles of Incorporation, if available.

240 Day Rule

The 240 day rule allows an individual to continue working for his or her current employer for up to 240 days after the current H-1B expiration if the applicant is still awaiting a USCIS adjudication. 

If the H-1B beneficiary needs to travel during this time, they may not be able to return until they receive an approved extension. Furthermore, if the application is rejected prior to the expiration of this 240-day period, the employment authorization will immediately terminate and the beneficiary must cease working.

Exemptions from the Six-year maximum

Certain H-1B beneficiaries possessing a Labor Certification Application (or an employment-based green card petition such as an EB-1EB-2 or EB-3 if the foreign national has been exempted from the labor certification stage) pending for more than 365 days may be able to extend their H-1B visa beyond the six-year limit in one-year increments. This can continue until the application has been adjudicated. This extension is specifically limited to individuals applying for green cards through the employment-based category.

Another provision of the current statute permits an H-1B extension beyond the six-year cap if the beneficiary has filed an employment-based preference petition, but has been unable to proceed with an adjustment of status (AOS) to permanent resident status because of a backlog in priority dates.


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