Insights for Newly Approved H-1B Visa Petitions

November 14, 2022

The annual quota for H-1B visas capped out on August 23rd, 2022, and on October 1st, 2022, the approved visas went into effect. As a result, these foreign national employees will have two potential ways to activate their H-1B visa status.

    • Change of Status: A request for a change of status should automatically change the current status of a foreign national already present in the US. In this case, the H-1B recipient’s employer will receive an approval notice from USCIS alongside a new Form I-94. This I-94 can serve as proof of the foreign national’s employment eligibility. However, no international travel should occur during this period, or they will risk rejection. In addition, consumer processing must occur to acquire an H-1B visa. Assuming no issues arise, a change of status will take effect immediately on October 1st or the time of the petition’s approval without any additional steps.

  • Consular Processing: Consular processing is required if the foreign national is not present in the US at the time of the pending applications. With consular processing, the US Consulate will receive the approval notice. In this case, the foreign national must visit the US Consulate to apply for an H-1B visa. Here, they can acquire a visa stamp which will allow them to gain entry to the US, at which time H-1B status will take effect. This change will be apparent from the I-94 admission record.

Once a foreign national employee gains H-1B status, they may remain and work in the US for six years. However, any time spent in the US on an L-1 nonimmigrant status may reduce this timeframe. However, they can recapture any time spent outside the US after gaining this status.

Suppose, during this six-year period, the foreign national reaches certain points in acquiring a green card. In that case, they may remain past this period while the application process continues. However, any extensions will depend on the exact stage of the applicant’s progress and the foreign national’s country of origin.

One of the first steps that an H-1B worker should take as soon as they gain entrance to the United States is to review their Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. This document, which they can view and print from the CBP’s I-94 website, will show how long an individual may remain in the US. In addition, it can act as proof of employment eligibility for completing Form I-9.

When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.