My H-1B Has Been Approved: Now What?

Aug 15, 2023 | My H-1B Has Been Approved: Now What?

My H-1B Has Been Approved, My H-1B Has Been Approved: Now What?

Congratulations on your H-1B visa approval!  Here are some important things to know regarding H-1B status:

  1. Proof of Status and Employment Eligibility Verification: You must present the original H-1B approval notice with I-94 to your employer for employment eligibility verification. The I-94 is found on the bottom of your I-797 H-1B approval notice if your H-1B was approved for a change of status. If your H-1B was approved for consular processing, you will be issued an I-94 upon your first entry on H-1B.  The I-94 is your work authorization, and there is no separate work permit for H-1B status.  The original H-1B approval notice with I-94 may also be presented to obtain a Real ID-compliant driver’s license.
  2. Start Date: You can start working for your H-1B employer on the start date listed on your I-797 approval notice if your H-1B was approved for a status change. If your H-1B was approved for consular processing, you must obtain a visa stamp and I-94 before you begin work.
  3. Expiration Dates: Pay attention to your H-1B expiration date, as listed on your I-94. Remember that your status ends on the I-94 expiration date. You should file for a renewal 6 months before your expiration date.
  4. Travel: Please contact our office before making any international travel plans. Remember that you may need a visa stamp from a US consulate abroad. You can find more information about visa stamping here. Upon return, please check the I-94 expiration date here: Sometimes, CBP will limit your status to less than your approved petition.  This can put you out of status inadvertently.
  5. Passport Validity When Traveling: Make sure your passport is valid through the entire H-1B approval period.  If your passport expires before your H-1B approval notice, when you travel abroad and return, CBP will limit your stay to your passport validity. This can easily be missed and you find yourself out of status.  Additionally, if there is no other travel planned with a new passport, it will necessitate the filing of a full H-1B petition to extend that status.
  6. Change of Worksite: Please contact our office if your worksite will be changing, whether you are moving to another office or starting remote work. You may need to file an H-1B Amendment Petition before the worksite change is effective.
  7. Extension: H-1Bs are typically valid for 3 years, with the option to extend the H-1B for an additional 3 years (total of 6). You can also recapture any time spent outside of the USA while on H-1B status, and you may be eligible for an extension beyond 6 years if you have a 9089 or I-140 filed for you.
  8. Grace Period: If you are let go from your H-1B employment, if you quit, or if your H-1B expires, you have a 60-day grace period to leave the USA. If you are eligible, you may find a new H-1B employer to sponsor you during that time.
  9. Change of Address: As an H-1B beneficiary, you must notify USCIS of any change of address within 10 days of your move. The address change may be reported online here.
  10. Dependents: If you have dependents in the USA, you must file an I-539 petition for them to change into or extend their H-4 status. Pay attention to the expiration date of any approved I-539s or H-4 visas and file an extension 6 months before the expiration date, if applicable. They may apply for their H-4 at the consulate if they are outside the USA.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about your H-1B status!

We’re Here to Help

Schedule a consultation. We will make a plan to accomplish your goals. You provide us with your information and documents. We take care of the rest.