H-1B status is granted for a total period of six years. However, the stay can be extended at one year increments if 365 days or more have passed since the filing of any Application for Alien Employment Certification (Labor Certification) that is required or used by the alien to obtain status as an Employment-Based immigrant. Such application should be pending (i.e., not denied) at the time of applying for the seventh year extension. If the application is approved, then the resulting Immigrant Visa petition should be pending. We have received seventh year extension even in cases where the employer was in the process of filing the Immigrant Visa petition.
The above condition require that such a qualifying Labor Certification or EB immigrant petition be filed before the 5th anniversary of the foreign national’s H1B stay in the United States.
The law also allows for a three-year extension if the foreign national is the beneficiary of an approved, Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Petition. In such cases, there is no requirement that the underlying Application for Labor Certification or even the Immigrant Visa Petition itself, need to be filed 365 days before the sixth year expiry.
Along with the H-1B alien, dependent family members on H4 visa are also eligible to get their H-4s extended for a validity period coinciding with the H1B extension.
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