After H-1B

Strategies and Green Cards

The H-1B has a limited duration of 6 years, total cumulative time during a consecutive stay in the U.S. For those who might want or need to stay longer than this it is important to plan far in advance. Most people who stay in the U.S. after the H-1B maximum time change to some sort of LPR or green card status. Please review the following points and speak to an advisor in OISS while planning your extended stay in the U.S.

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Re-claiming H-1B time
If during your H-1B stay you have taken vacation or business trips outside of the U.S. you may be able to “reclaim” this time in the form of an H-1B extension application through OISS.

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Re-Starting the H-1B time period
If you have H-1B status but then leave, and live outside the U.S. for 12 months or more you can apply to return to the US in a new H-1B status that includes a new 6 year maximum.

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Extending the H beyond 6 years based on a LPR application
There is a legal provision that allows some people to extend their H-1B beyond 6 years, as long as they have made a non-frivolous LPR application at least one year prior to the end of the H-1B. In other words, the deadline is to have immigration receive a complete application before the end of your 5th year in H-1B status.

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Changing to Other Visas
Most people in H-1B status would not qualify to begin a new Exchange Visitor Program on the J-1 visa. Canadian and Mexican citizens might qualify for TN status, Australian’s might qualify for E-3 status. Otherwise the only visa option might be the O-1 which is often very difficult to obtain.


Legal Permanent Residency (LPR)

Some Yale employees in H-1B status will qualify to have Yale sponsor them for LPR and others will not. Basic eligibility requirements can be found on this Web site.

If it is your desire to apply for LPR status you need to plan in advance. In your 4th year of H-1B status you should evaluate whether or not you qualify for Yale sponsored LPR status.

If you do qualify, OISS at Yale will work with you to meet the H-1B 6 year expiration deadline. If you do not qualify for Yale LPR sponsorship you need to secure an immigration attorney to evaluate whether or not you qualify for another LPR category.

Many researchers at Yale that do not qualify for Yale sponsorship do qualify for a self-sponsored green card. It is important to plan in advance and work with an immigration attorney so that you can file a successful application no later than the end of your 5th year in H-1B status.