Extending Work Visas In The United States
The following article will cover:
- Work visa extension in the United States: requirements, application process, and timeline.
- Consequences of visa extension denial: leaving the country, falling out of status, and applying for a different type of visa.
- Visa validity and status: the importance of timely extension and the association between the visa and the sponsoring employer.
Can I Extend My Work Visa In The United States And Can All Work Visas Be Extended?
You can extend your work visa in the United States if you meet the qualifications and submit the extension application in a timely manner. Most work visas can be extended if there is a continuing need and you can establish the requirements for the extension.
How Do I Apply For An Extension Of My Work Visa In The United States?
To apply for a work visa extension in the United States, you must:
- File the appropriate form with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.
- Provide supporting documentation and fees.
- Submit the extension application well before the current visa expiration date, ideally 90, 60, or at least 30 days before.
How Far In Advance Should I Apply For An Extension Of My Work Visa?
You should apply for a work visa extension as soon as you know you’ll need it, ideally when your visa status is six months, four months, or three months from expiring. The latest you can apply is 30 days before the visa expires.
Can I Still Apply For An Extension Of My Work Visa If It Has Recently Expired?
No, you cannot apply for an extension if your work visa has expired and you don’t have a valid extension pending. In this case, USCIS will reject any request for extension.
Can I Work While My Visa Extension Is Being Processed?
Yes, you can work while your visa extension is being processed, as there is a specific regulation that allows 240 days of status while your visa extension is being processed.
Can I Change Employers While My Work Visa Extension Is Being Processed?
No, you cannot change employers while your visa extension is being processed. A visa extension is typically granted by the same employer. If you want to change employers, you will likely need a renewal or a new visa application.
Is My Work Visa Exclusively Associated With My Sponsoring Employer?
Yes, when you receive a work visa, it is tied to the sponsoring American employer. If there is a change in employment, you will need a new visa and must fulfill the requirements of that visa under the new employer.
What Happens If My Work Visa Extension Is Denied?
If your work visa extension is denied, you will usually have some time to wrap up your affairs in the United States and leave the country. You can request a reconsideration or reopening of the decision if there is new evidence or if you believe the decision was based on incorrect information or law.
However, if your extension is denied and your work visa status has expired, you risk falling out of status and compromising any future status in the United States.
Can I Apply For A Different Type Of Visa If My Current Visa Extension Is Denied?
If your extension was denied and you still have valid status, you may apply for a new type of visa within the United States. However, if your extension was denied and you no longer have valid status, you must apply for a new visa abroad, as you will not be able to apply within the United States.
What Is Valid Status?
Not necessarily. For example, if you have an H1B visa valid for two years and apply for an extension nine months or a year before it expires, you still have valid status. If your extension is denied but you still have time remaining on your original visa, you can apply for a new visa or a new employer within the United States, as you still have status and are not considered out of status.
For more information on the Extension Of Work Visas In The United States, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (956) 766-4000 today.