Maintain/Extend Status

Maintaining the H-1B Visa

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all individuals (except U.S. citizens and individuals in F and J status reporting through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System [SEVIS]) to report a change of address to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 10 days of any move by filing Form AR-11 (Alien’s Change of Address Card)
  • H-1B visas are employer and position specific (you may only work at UVA in the specific position detailed on your petition)
    • you must consult Human Resources Compliance and Immigration Services (HRCIS) before there are any changes in H-1B employment such as job title, duties, salary, and work location
    • changes to H-1B employment might require an amended H-1B petition through USCIS
    • if you work for more than one employer, you must have a concurrent H-1B petition filed and approved with the additional employer
    • scholars may not accept compensation (including honoraria) from any source. Scholars in H-1B status that are invited to present a lecture, collaborate, or conduct research can receive reimbursement for reasonable living and transportation costs only.

H-1B Extension

The extension process is similar to the application requirements for an initial H-1B visa.

  • It will require a new prevailing wage, a new labor condition application, and the required supporting documents.
  • A petition must be filed before the current H-1B status ends in order for the H-1B employee to remain work authorized.
  • An extension may be filed with USCIS up to six months in advance of the requested start date.
    • If the extension petition is filed in a timely manner, the foreign national is authorized to continue employment for up to an additional 240 days past the end date of the current H-1B visa.
    • If the foreign nationals wish to travel abroad while the H-1B extension petition is pending with USCIS, they will need to remain abroad until the extension petition is approved, or they may choose to expedite the extension petition process (through USCIS Premium Processing Service) in advance of the departure date.

Change of Employer

If a scholar is leaving UVA for another employer, or coming to UVA from another employer, the employer H-1B application process is identical to the requirements for the initial H-1B.

  • The change of employer petition will require a new prevailing wage and a new labor condition application along with supporting documents and required USCIS forms.
  • If the foreign national is leaving UVA for another employer, UVA is required to notify both USCIS and the U.S. Department of Labor of the termination of H-1B status with UVA.
  • When transferring to a new employer, foreign nationals should make sure they remain in valid H-1B status during the transfer process.
  • Portability Provision: USCIS H-1B regulations allow individuals in valid H-1B status with another employer to begin new employment at UVA as soon as UVA files an H-1B petition (even if USCIS has not yet approved the petition).