Thanks all for providing useful information in this forum. It really helped me a lot. My H1B case is approved on august. However the validity is given only till April 2017. Can you please explain me about the visa extension process?
An employer (existing or new) needs to file a cap-exempt petition for you and ask for an extended term. The paperwork is similar to initial petition. Additional documents include copy of original approval notice and H-1 payslips (if you are or have been to US on H-1). If you are inside US then existing H-1 employer can file it at most 6 months in advance. A new employer can file it anytime.
Thanks saurabh for the information. I will be traveling for the first time to US. As per the current situation, I may travel by Jan or Feb. If my employer starts the visa extension process at that time, will it be completed by April 2017?. How well in advance should I travel before the expiry date in order to avoid last minute rush.
As it is first time, I am getting lot of doubts and questions.
Thanks for your help again
Assuming you are in US, the rule is that H-1 extension should be applied before the current one expires. So if the employer has paperwork ready (like LCA, I-129 etc), then you can enter as late as couple of weeks prior to current expiration date and still be able to file for extension.
You also need to consider the reasons why the current petition was approved for such limited time. If it was due to contract/project validity, then make sure you have an extended project when applying for extension. It would also help if you have at least 1-2 payslips at the time of filing this. Considering all this, I would say enter by Feb and ensure you are getting paid regularly.
Thanks saurabh for your prompt response. Keep up the good work.