H1B petition validity duration, approved in sep, 2012?


I have got H1B approved petition in sep, 2012 and it’s not stamped yet.

Can anyone tell me what is the validity period for that?

Is it mandatory to stamp it before 31st March, 2013? If no then upto when we can keep it without stamped?

Appreciate your help!

The start date and end date are mentioned on I797B, the form which you should have received from your employer along with the I-94. For example - If it is mentioned as start date Sep, 2012 and end date Sep, 2015 then this h1 is valid till that time. You will only need stamping if you move out of country and intend to come back again on the same visa.

You can get it stamped anytime during petition’s validity period.

So that means I can stamp my visa anytime with in 3 years, right?

I have I129 approval notice and showing H1B validity dates as
1st Oct, 2012 TO 30th Sep, 2015. so it’s a petition validity dates, right?

No, that is I-129 validity date. Look at your I-797, which will have the petition validity date.

I have notice consist of 2 pages having bottom text “Form I797B” written in footer but showing case type as “I129” in top. I guess this is the form I797B you are talking about.

That is form 797. 797 is general Notice of Action in which they also mention the original application number against which it was issued (in this case I-129).

So the validity dates mentioned on this are for 797. I-129 is a 10-15 page document which your employer submitted to USCIS and is not returned to employer (they may have kept a duplicate w/ themselves and should share it w/ you for the purpose of stamping).

YES, I have 2 pages for 797B and 12 pages for I-129.

First page of 797B says Valid from 10/1/2012 to 09/30/2015.

So it’s petition validity, right? I can go anytime during this period and can get it stamped?

That is correct. Whenever you go for stamping, make sure to carry recent documents including offer letter, client/project details etc. In other words, do carry documents dated 2012 if you appear for stamping in later half of 2013.

“do carry documents dated 2012” what does that mean Saurabh?

I meant do NOT carry documents dated 2012. In other words, if your offer letter has a date of June 2012 and you appear for stamping in June 2013, then that’s not correct. You should carry documents issued within few months of your stamping date. So in this case, the employer can re-issue another offer letter w/ the new date.

Ok, I got it Saurabh!

Thanks a lot for providing such a useful information.

Hi Saurabh,

Can you please tell me If I have approved petition but not stamped, can I go to stamp it with the other employer’s offer letter not the employer who filed my petition. what you say/suggest on this.

You can but only after the other employer has filed a petition for you. The other employer needs to file a cap-exempt petition (aka H-1 transfer) and once approved, you can appear for stamping through them using the newly approved petition.

They can apply for transfer in anytime in year or just after 1st April? and more over I only have petition not VISA yet.

If they are able to apply then how much time it can take to transfer?

They can apply for transfer anytime in the year. For transfer they just need the petition to be approved. Once the new employer’s petition is approved, you can appear for visa stamping through the new employer.

Processing time can be anywhere b/w 2-6 months under regular processing, and 15 calendar days under premium processing. If RFE is issued, then it will take longer.