H1B Visa Renewal

H1B Visa is normally valid for three years at a time and can be extended by another three years on renewal. Individual legal status depends on the expiry date mentioned on the I-94 card by the INS officer at the time of entry. As long as the given date is valid, irrespective of whether visa stamp on the individual passport has expired or not, individual can work for the sponsoring employer under the terms of the petition and legally permitted to be in the US. However, individuals need to renew visa stamp if they plan to leave the country for a while. For H1B Visa renewal following documents need to be submitted to the US State Department.

  • The individual passport must be valid for at least six months. The passport must contain existing visa of the same category as the one individual is revalidated, different category of visa cannot be revalidate to H1B visa.
  • Individuals need the original Form I-94 annotated by the USCIS inspector when they lastly entered the USA. The original I-94 should be stapled in the passport. If the Form I-94 has expired, individual should submit a valid Form I-797 Notice of Approval from the USCIS.
  • A valid Form I-797 (employment petition) issued by the USCIS must be submitted. The form will indicate current employer of the individual and the approved extension of individual stay in the USA.
  • Individuals require a comprehensive letter from their employer identifying them and describing in detail their job nature and duties, the company they work for and its reputation to justify the need for the visa extension. The letter submitted must be on employer’s letterhead, must have a signature of the company representative and addressed to the Visa Office, Department of State.
  • A Properly filled non-immigrant visa application form, OF-156, with passport-size photograph should be submitted along with non-refundable fee for H1B Visa Renewal.

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