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H1-B Extensions

Boise State University may apply for an H-1B extension if the position and employee remain eligible for H-1B status.  The application process and processing times for an H-1B extension are the same as an initial application.  It is therefore very important to start the process as soon as possible.  The hiring department and the employee are responsible for initiating the extension request by submitting the required materials to the Center for Global Education (CGE) at least 6 months prior to the current H-1B expiration date.

Processing Times

It is the department and employee’s responsibility to request an H-1B extension in a timely manner.  Processing times are the same as a first-time H-1B application.   Departments and employees should submit a complete and accurate H-1B application package to CGE at least 6 months before the H-1B end date.  If CGE does not receive a timely, complete application then the employee may have to cease employment and leave the US until USCIS approves the H-1B petition.  H-1B employees can continue to work for an additional 240 days after the H-1B end date if the H-1B extension is filed with USCIS before the current H-1B ends.  More information on processing times is available on our H-1B Processing times page.

Time Limits

An employee can be in the US in H-1B status for a maximum of 6 consecutive years.  This includes time in H-1B status with previous employers.  After six years the employee must spend one year outside the US before USCIS will approve another H-1B petition.  There are some limited exceptions to this 6-year limit, related to delays in the processing of applications for permanent residency.

Wage Requirements

Prevailing and Actual Wage requirements are part of the H-1B extension process. The Department of Labor adjusts the prevailing wage requirements on an annual basis, often significantly. Boise State University cannot file an H-1B extension if the salary does not meet the new prevailing and actual wage requirements.  More information about wage requirements can be found on our H-1B Wage Information page.

USCIS Review

USCIS reviews extensions as a new application, which means that prior approval does not guarantee approval of the extension.  This is the case even for the same position at Boise State University.

Gap between current H-1B end date and extension approval

There is a significant chance that USCIS will not approve the H-1B extension before the current H-1B end date because of long processing times (sometimes as much as 7-10 months).  Additionally, CGE cannot file an extension request with USCIS more than 6 months in advance of the H-1B end date.  However, regulations allow employees to work for up to an additional 240 days while the H-1B extension is pending, so long as the extension application is filed with USCIS before the current H-1B ends.   USCIS review of H-1B petitions has been evolving rapidly, and there is some risk of application delays.  In such cases, the employee may have to leave the US temporarily while USCIS reviews the application.

The only way to reduce the risk of an employment gap is to file the extension as early as possible, and/or pay for premium processing.  Please see the H-1B costs page for details.

International travel while H-1B extension is pending

International travel during the H-1B extension can lead to USCIS abandoning the extension request.  Please discuss all travel plans with CGE before the extension process begins.