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Can I get an extension of 3 years on H1-B visa beyond 6 yrs using approved I-140 even though I have switched my field of work?

Tempe, AZ |

Here are the details of my case:
I have an approved I-140 from my previous employer, a Civil Engineering company. I lost my job with that company during the recession and right now I work for a Software Company on H-1B visa. I am in my 6th year of H-1B. And my previous company has NOT revoked the I-140. So basically I have switched from one industry to another after getting the I-140 approved. I am not asking about I-140 portability or retaining the Priority Date, just the ability to extend H-1B visa beyond 6 years.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    The rule is that you can extend your H-1B for 3 additional years if you have a previously approved I-140 petition , but were unable to adjust status, due to visa retrogression backlogs.

    I would schedule an individual consultation appointment about the facts of your case with a competent immigration attorney in your area to advise you further.

    Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. My quick & dirty opinion is I think you can go up through your 6th year + any time you were out of the country during the 6 years. Your occupation has changed, therefore, you would have difficulty supporting the porting of your old PERM petition to the new employer. You really need representation by an immigration lawyer to review your whole history.

  3. I agree with Atty Behar. Also, you are eligible for one-year extensions of your H-1B status if you PERM application or I-140 was submitted over one year ago.

    Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

    Carl Shusterman, Esq.
    Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
    Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
    Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic or In-Person
    600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
    Los Angeles, CA 90017
    (213) 394-4554 x0
    Web: (English) (Spanish)

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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