My Petition Has Been Approved. Now What?
Congratulations on the approval of your petition. This article helps answer FAQ about your new status and related issues. Please carefully read and keep this information available for future reference.
Employment and Status Issues- Your nonimmigrant status has a limited validity as noted in your approval notice. You will
have to extend your status or seek another immigration status if you wish to remain in the
United States beyond the validity of your new status.
- There might be a difference in the validity duration of your petition (Form I-797, approval
notice) and your I-94 card. For example, for H-1B workers, the I-94 card might include an
additional 10 days at the end of the validity period. These 10 days are intended as a grace
period with no work authorization.
- You are responsible for keeping track of the expiration date of your status and of notifying
your employer at least six months in advance of the expiration date so that an extension or
some other appropriate action can be taken in a timely manner.
- Your petition was approved for a specific employer and location. A material change in
your employment might require a new filing.
- If your petition was approved for consular notification, then you will not receive an I-94
card at the bottom of your Form I-797, approval notice. You will need to depart the U.S.
and apply for a visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad before your status can
- You are responsible for notifying USCIS of any address changes (unless you permanently
depart the U.S. or become a U.S Citizen). This can be done electronically using form AE11 within ten days of you address change. A separate form is required for each family
- It is extremely difficult to replace an Approval Notice. You must keep your copy in a safe
- Make sure that you maintain a current passport for your entire period of authorized stay in
the U.S. Check with you home country*s consulate about the renewal process and apply
International Travel- If you plan to travel abroad, advance planning and early visa application are critical.
Individuals have to weigh the risk of travelling abroad before making travel plans.
- Although some immigration officers claim that the employee should have a copy of the
original I-797 approval notice when applying for entry into the U.S., this is not required by
law. The receipt number on the visa stamp, beginning with three letters such as EAC or
WAC, is sufficient for immigration officials to look up the petition approval in the system.
- However, the employee should carry a copy of the I-797 approval notice and related
- When reentering the U.S., the US Customs and Boarder Protection (*CBP*) officer at the
port-of-entry should make an electronic record of your entry. Review your I-94 record at
https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home after every admission to ensure it is correct. If the
information is not correct, please contact CBP as soon as possible. You are authorized to
remain in the U.S. only through the date indicated in your I-94 record.
- To facilitate your admission, we recommend that, in addition to your current passport (valid
for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay) and valid visa and/or travel
document, you carry with you and have available to present to an immigration officer upon
his or her request the following additional documentation:
o A copy of your Form I-797, Approved Notice; and
o Copies of your two (2) most recent pay statements
Social Security Number- An employee can begin work for an employer while his/her application for a Social
Security Number (SSN) is pending. Before an SSN can be issued, the Social Security
Administration must verify the person*s immigrant status with the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS). It is best to wait 10-15 business days to file for a SSN to
minimize verification difficulties. If the applicant departs the U.S. while the SSN
application is pending, the system may indicate the departure and the application may be
suspended. We recommend that the applicant remains in the U.S. until the Social Security
card is issued.