The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY -

An H-1B holder can con­tinue to live and work in the US for up to 240 days while the ap­pli­ca­tion for ex­ten­sion of his visa is pend­ing as long as the ex­ten­sion ap­pli­ca­tion was filed prior to ex­piry of the ten­ure in his orig­i­nal H-1B visa. As USCIS takes con­sid­er­able time to process the ex­ten­sion ap­pli­ca­tions, it’s likely that the pe­riod in the orig­i­nal H-1B visa has ex­pired and the em­ployee’s stay in the US is solely de­pen­dent on the 240-day work au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

If the ap­pli­ca­tion for ex­ten­sion is de­nied, the in­di­vid­ual would be held as “un­law­fully present” as on the date of de­nial and USCIS can is­sue an NTA and de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings would com­mence. Visa ex­ten­sion ap­pli­ca­tions can no longer be taken lightly as the de­nial rate, on var­i­ous grounds, is on the rise.

Says Ra­jiv S Khanna, man­ag­ing at­tor­ney at Im­mi­gra­ “USCIS takes more than six months to ad­ju­di­cate an H-1B ap­pli­ca­tion. In many cases it is in­evitable that the pre­vi­ous H-1B sta­tus will ex­pire while the ap­pli­ca­tion is still pend­ing. Thus, ap­pli­ca­tions should be filed at the ear­li­est. For ex­ten­sion of H-1B visas, ap­pli­ca­tions can be filed up to six months be­fore the ex­piry of the ex­ist­ing visa ten­ure. Se­cond pre­mium pro­cess­ing must be opted for, which is more ex­pen­sive but en­tails a shorter pro­cess­ing time­line.”

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