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Western Kentucky University

Maintaining H-1B Status

Maintaining H-1B Status

Maintaining H-1B status is the responsibility of the H-1B status holder! Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Report address changes to USCIS.
  2. Do not let your I-797 Approval Notice expire.
  3. Do not let your passport expire.
  4. Carry Registration Documentation.
  5. Work only in the position for which your H-1B was approved.
  6. Work only in the location for which the H-1B was approved.
  7. Consulting work and lectures at other institutions or conferences
  8. Maintain a full-time appointment
  9. On leave status
  10. Pay your taxes
  11. Depart the U.S. in a timely manner

Report address changes to USCIS.


Persons in H-1B and H-4 status must report all residential address changes to USCIS within ten days of the move. (This can be done electronically or by using Form AR-11.)


Do not let your I-797 Approval Notice expire.


Note that the I-797 Approval Notice has an expiration date. To determine if an extension might be possible, contact your department head and the Office of International Programs at least 6 months prior to that date. Do NOT assume anyone will automatically know when it is time to renew your H-1B status. Be proactive and don't allow your status to expire. Keep every I-797 Approval Notice for your permanent record. (You may be required to produce them when applying for permanent residence.)


Do not let your passport expire.


Your passport must be valid at all times. Report a lost or stolen passport to the police, as your government may require a police report before issuing a new passport. To renew or replace your passport, contact your country's consulate in the U.S. While in the U.S., always carry with you a copy of your passport's identity page and a copy of your I-797 Approval Notice.


Carry Registration Documentation


U.S. law requires all foreign nationals eighteen years of age and older to carry "registration" documentation with them "at all times." For individuals in H-1B and H-4 status, evidence of registration is your most recent Form I-94 Arrival-departure record. This requirement can be found at INA § 264(e) and the list of documents that qualify as evidence of registration is found at 8 CFR § 264.1(b). Failure to comply with the requirements of INA § 264(e) is a misdemeanor . You can be cited with a fine up to $100 or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.

Work only in the position for which your H-1B was approved.


Your H-1B status is both employer specific and job specific. Your WKU sponsored H-1B does not allow you to work for any other employer. If you need to change employers, your prospective employer must file a new H-1B petition before you begin working. If your WKU job duties or responsibilities change, including (but not limited to) a change in job title or employing department, the University must file an H-1B petition with the USCIS before the change becomes effective.


Work only in the location for which the H-1B was approved.


Your H-1B status is also location specific. You may work only in the locations listed in part G of the Labor Conditional Application. Any changes in worksite must be authorized in advance.


Consulting work and lectures at other institutions or conferences


You cannot receive an honorarium or other monetary or material gain for such activities, although reimbursement for travel and reasonable expenses is allowed.


Maintain a full-time appointment


Your employment at WKU must remain full-time while you are at WKU under H-1B sponsorship. WKU does not provide H-1B sponsorship for part-time positions without approved policy exception from Academic Affairs.


On leave status


An individual on H-1B status generally maintains lawful status in the U.S. only when maintaining paid employment. Before requesting an unpaid leave, contact The Office of International Programs. In general, Western Kentucky University will grant H-1B employees unpaid leave only for situations required by law, such as the Family Medical Leave Act ("covered leave"). Any leave granted in these situations must be thoroughly documented in advance. Western Kentucky University will not allow employees to remain in WKU sponsored H-1B status while on a personal, unpaid non-covered leave.


Pay your taxes
You are required to file a yearly tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 for further information.


Depart the U.S. in a timely manner


Because your H-1B status is "employment" based," your lawful status in the U.S. ends when your paid employment ends. If your employment ends before your I-797 Approval Notice expires, you must depart the U.S. immediately upon termination of employment. There is no grace period following a termination. If your paid employment and the I-797 Approval Notice end at the same time, check the expiration date on your I-94 card as it may indicate an additional ten-day "grace period" for departure. When re-entering the U.S. after being abroad, you should request the ten-day grace period at the port of entry when U.S. Border Patrol issues you a new I-94 card.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14