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How Long Can An Alien Work After His/Her H-1B Validity Expires?
December 17, 2011

H-1B validity is granted for a period of three years. After that, an extension can be granted for a further period of three years. At the end of the six year period, extensions can be granted at one year increments if a Labor Certification application filed on behalf of the alien has been pending for at least one year as of the H1B expiry date. If an I140 Immigrant Visa Petition is approved and the alien is waiting for a visa number to become available, the H1B extension is granted for three years.
For any of the above extensions, a Petition can be filed as much as 6 months in advance of the expiry of the H1B Petitions. But in practice, we have seen that employers waiting for much longer to file the extensions. Some even file just before the expiry date.
Now the question arises as to how long can the alien work after the expiry of the H1B validity in such situations. The rules provide that, if the extension petition is filed timely, i.e., before the expiry of the validity period, the H-1B person is authorized to work for the petitioning employer for a period of up to 240 days.   But if the petition is denied, such employment authorization is automatically terminated upon notification of the denial decision.

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