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USCIS New Policy: Individuals eligible for 7th Year H-1B Extension are NOT required to be in the U.S., or in H-1B status.

The USCIS has announced that after completing a policy review that it was clarifying that “Aliens who are eligible for the 7th year extension may be granted an extension of stay regardless of whether they are currently in the United States or abroad and regardless of whether they currently hold H-1B status.”  The 7th year H-1B extension is available for individuals with Labor Certification (PERM, traditional, or RIR) applications or I-40 petitions pending for more than one year, and for individuals who have approved I-140 petitions, under the terms of AC21.  The new policy was announced in a USCIS Interoffice Memorandum from Michael Aytes, Associate Director, Domestic Operations, to all Regional Directors and Service Center Directors, dated December 5, 2006.  The USCIS Memorandum stated:

B. Periods of Stay in H-1B Status Beyond the Six Year Maximum

In sections 106 and 104(c) of AC21, Congress provided exemptions to the six-year maximum period of stay rules for certain H-1B aliens who were being sponsored by employers for permanent residence and were subject to lengthy processing delays. Though both provisions of AC21 use the term “extension of stay,” eligibility for the exemptions is not restricted solely to requests for extensions of stay while in the United States. Aliens who are eligible for the 7th year extension may be granted an extension of stay regardless of whether they are currently in the United States or abroad and regardless of whether they currently hold H-1B status. Further, in examining eligibility for the 7th year extension, USCIS will focus on whether the alien is eligible for an additional period of admission in H-1B status, rather than whether the alien is currently in H-1B status that is about to expire and seeking an extension of that status in the United States pursuant to 8 CFR 214.1(c).

Note: The burden of proof rests with the petitioner and alien to establish his or her eligibility for any additional periods of stay in H-1B status beyond the six year maximum, including evidence of job requirements, alien credentials, labor condition application approval, previous H-1B status, and, as applicable, pending labor certification or immigrant petition or approved petition and unavailability of immigrant visa number, and admissibility or maintenance of nonimmigrant status.

Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for H1B Visa employers.

"FMG Friendly" Employers

Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

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