An H1-B visa is a specific type of employment-based visa. It is usually classified as a temporary work visa, which allows a non-citizen alien to work for a certain period of time in the United States. In order to obtain an H1-B visa, it’s necessary to fulfill certain requirements and to submit various immigration documents. In particular, the applicant usually needs to obtain work certification and must have a sponsoring U.S. employer who will petition them for work in the U.S. Many foreign nationals travel to the U.S. each year under H1-B visas.
What is an H1-B Change of Status?
A change of status, or adjustment of status, allows a person to live in the U.S. permanently under lawful permanent resident status. This grants them further civil benefits, including the right to vote and other privileges. Under an H1-B visa, it is usually possible to file for an adjustment of status after some time.
Some requirements for obtaining an H1-B change of status include:
- Filing a request with the immigration authorities (Form I-485)
- Submitting all requested documents, papers, and records
- Providing proof of employment and a history of previous residence locations
- Providing proof that the person has a clear criminal record
In some cases, an adjustment of status may refer to other types of changes in one’s immigration status, such as changing the H visa to a B visa. However, most people refer to the obtaining of permanent residence as change of status.
What if my Application was Denied?
In some cases, a denial of an application for a change of status can occur. For instance, there might not be any more remaining slots for that year, as the number of permanent resident applications that can be granted each year is limited. If this occurs, it may be possible to appeal the request.
Alternatively, H1 visas can often be subject to additional extensions upon request with immigration authorities. H1 visas can be extended in different ways, for instance, for one additional year at a time, or up to three additional years at a time. It may be necessary to hire a lawyer for help with options such as these.
Should I hire a Lawyer for help with an H1B Change of Status?
Changing your immigration status is a major undertaking. You may wish to hire a immigration lawyer for help with an adjustment of status. Your attorney can help ensure that you are following all the requirements and that your application is not lacking anything. Also, a qualified attorney can provide you with legal guidance and representation if you need to attend any immigration interviews or board hearings.