My 6 year period of H1b visa expires in Dec 2010 and my labor application is still pending for approval. It was filed in February 2009. Am I eligible to apply for a visa extension , if so when should I apply for that? I assume I still have time.
H-1 extension beyond six years can be obtained under two circumstances:
First, indefinite H-1 extensions in one-year increments can be obtained, if the I-140 (or I-485) was filed and the process was started a year ago. The process is started for:
- Labor Certification based cases (including PERM) the date for the begining of the countdown is the date when the labor certification is officially received:
- for PRE PERM cases - by the local office (SWA); and
- for PERM cases - the date it is received by the ; and
-EB-1 and National Interest Waiver cases; when the I-140 is officially filed with .
Second, if your I-140 has been approved but you cannot file I-485 because your priority date has retrogressed, you can get H-1 extensions (most probably) in chunks of three years each time.
You are permitted to apply for an extension 6 months ahead of time, as long a you meet one of the above two criteria on the requested start date of H-1.