H1B Visa Extension
Extending (ReValidating) Your H1B Visa
A US visa can only be revalidated / extended if you currently have the same visa classification stamped in your passport as the visa type you are trying to revalidate. If you are seeking a visa which is in a different category to your existing visa, you must follow the process to obtain or transfer from your current status to the new visa status.
Important: all male nonimmigrant visa applicants from the ages of 16 to 45, no matter what nationality or where they apply, must complete and submit a form DS-157 with their Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-156). Applications submitted without the required forms will be denied.
How can I
extend my stay in the U.S.?
When you enter the US, the USCIS office at your port of entry will issue you a Form I-94, in your passport. The USCIS inspector will write the duration of your valid status in the US on your I-94. The date on the Form I-94 is the date to which you can stay in US. That is, if you have "duration of status" you may remain in the US as long as you are in the same job or same category of job. It is always advisable to apply for your extension of stay with INS a few months before your I-94 expiration date
How can I
Revalidate/Extend my H1B Visa?
You will require the following documents :
1) Your passport valid for at least six (6) months. Your passport must contain your existing visa of the same classification/category as the one you are revalidated. For example; if you currently hold H1B status, you can revalidate/extend your H1B visa. Whereas, if you hold an H4 visa or other visa type, you cannot revalidate to an H1b visa .
Your visa may be revalidated if it has a remaining validity of not more than sixty (60) days, or has not been expired for more than one year.
2) You will need your original Form I-94 annotated by the (USCIS) inspector when you were last admitted to the USA. Your original I-94 should be stapled in your passport. If your Form I-94 has expired, you should submit a valid Form I-797 Notice of Approval from the USCIS for each visa applicant.
3) A valid Form I-797 (employment petition) which was issued by the USCIS must be submitted. The form will indicate your current employer and the approved extension of your stay in the USA.
4) You will require a comprehensive letter from your employer identifying you and describing in detail the nature and duties of your position, the company you work for and its business standing and markets to justify the need for the visa extension. The letter submitted must be on your employers letterhead. The letter must have an 'original' signature from the company representative and must be addressed to the Visa Office, Department of State. Do NOT sign the leter yourself, as the Visa Office will NOT accept letters signed by the visa applicant.
5) A typed nonimmigrant visa application form, OF-156, with one 'official' passport-size photograph for each applicant, regardless of age. The photographs must be attached to the respective forms in the designated place. You should spell out the month of birth (i.e., write "March 27th," NOT 1/2 or 2/1). Incomplete or improperly filled out applications will be returned without visas.
6) If the spouse and/or dependent children are applying for visas separately from the 'principal' visa holder, certified copies of the principal visa holders valid visa and valid I-94 (front and back) must be submitted in addition to all other requirements (this is for H4 to H4 revalidation)
7) There is a required non-refundable fee for each machine readable visa. Payment may be made by bank draft, money order, or corporate check made to the order of the "U.S. Department of State." Cash and personal checks are NOT accepted. In addition, certain nationalities must also pay a "reciprocity fee." The amount of these fees vary from country to country. In the case of multiple applicants, you can combine all the fees into one payment check.
Current processing times for visa revalidations is 6-8 weeks.
US Department of State/Visa,
P. O. Box 952099,
St. Louis, MO63195-2099
US Department of State/Visa (Box 2099),
St. Louis, MO63101-1200
What if the Information on my Revalidated visa is 'incorrect'? if you revalidate your visa and it is returned to you with incorrect information on it by Visa Services, you can return it to for correction.
You will need to send;
~ your passport with the revalidated visa,
~ a letter explaining what needs to be corrected,
~ the documents substantiating the correct information,
~ a current photograph.
There is NO fee for a correction on visas revalidated by Visa Services
You should send your request by U.S. mail or commercial courier, and make sure to write "CORRECTION" on the front of the envelope for quicker service to:
CA/VO/P/D - Visa Services
U.S. Department of State
2401 "E" Street, NW (SA-1, L-703)
You should expect a turnaround of approximately five business days. If you make no provisions for the return of your documents, they will be returned by ordinary surface mail.