As a foreigner working in the United States with an H-1B visa, you may face uncertainty once your visa expires. The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa that allows foreign workers to work in the US for a specified period. Once your visa expires, you may have to leave the country or apply for an extension. It’s essential to evaluate your options if you wish to remain in the US after your H-1B visa expires.
- Foreign workers with an expired H-1B visa can either leave the US or apply for an extension or a new visa.
- Applying for an extension may be a viable option if the worker’s sponsoring employer is willing to sponsor the worker again.
- If the H-1B visa holder does not want to leave the US, other visa options, such as the O-1 visa or EB-1 visa, may be considered.
- A green card application may also be an option for H-1B visa holders who do not want to leave the US.
Applying for an Extension
If you wish to remain in the US after your H-1B visa expires, and your employer is willing to continue sponsoring you, you can apply for an extension. To apply for an extension, you must file Form I-129 with USCIS, along with other required documents.
Your employer is responsible for submitting the I-129 form and paying the necessary fees. The extension process usually takes about two to three months, and you must have a valid H-1B visa status when you apply. You can continue working in the US while your extension application is pending.
Other Visa Options
If your employer does not want to sponsor your H-1B visa extension, you can explore other visa options. The O-1 visa may be a viable option for foreign workers who possess exceptional abilities in science, art, education, business, or athletics. To qualify for an O-1 visa, a foreign worker must demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field.
Another option may be an EB-1 visa, which is available for workers who have extraordinary abilities in science, art, education, business, or athletics. However, the EB-1 visa application process can be challenging, and you may need the assistance of an immigration lawyer to ensure a successful application.
Green Card Application
A green card application may also be an option for H-1B visa holders who wish to remain in the US permanently. There are several ways to apply for a green card, such as through employment or family sponsorship. If you have filed an immigrant petition, you may be eligible to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), which allows you to work in the US while your green card application is pending.
It’s important to note that the green card application process can be complex and time-consuming, and it’s advisable to seek legal assistance to ensure the best chance of success.
Foreign workers who have H-1B visas that are about to expire face an uncertain future. However, by understanding their options and taking the necessary steps, they can remain in the US legally. Applying for an extension, exploring other visa options, or applying for a green card can all provide viable solutions for workers who want to remain in the US.
Q: Can I stay in the US after my H-1B visa expires?
A: You can apply for an extension or explore other visa options, such as the O-1 visa or EB-1 visa. Another option may be applying for a green card.
Q: Can I work while my visa extension application is pending?
A: Yes, you can continue working while your extension application is pending.
Q: How long does it take to apply for a green card?
A: The green card application process can take several years, and it’s essential to seek legal advice to ensure the best chance of success.