H-1B Extensions

An H-1B extension is possible if an employee is seeking to remain in the same job for a longer period of time. Extensions are normally granted for a cumulative total of six years (with a few exceptions for more time) as long as the application is received by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the expiration of the current H-1B Status.

Scholars currently employed at UC Merced in H-1B Status who plan to remain at UC Merced in the same position are responsible to contact their department administrator to begin an extension eight months prior to the end date of their current H-1B Status. In H-1B processing, each application — including extensions — repeats all steps of the H-1B process each time beginning with obtaining a Department of Labor (DOL) prevailing wage. Only after the OIA has completed the DOL process is it possible to file the H-1B extension with USCIS. Currently there is no expedited “Premium Processing” for the DOL part of the process.

H-1B Extension Instructions

Contact your department administrator approximately eight months prior to the expiration of your current H-1B Status.

Fill out the necessary H-1B application information forms and collect supporting documents to provide to hiring department, including supporting documents for dependents on H-4 Status.

If the extension application is filed with USCIS in a timely manner (before the expiration of the current H-1B Status), OIA will provide you with a receipt notice from USCIS. Provide a copy of this notice to the payroll office so they may extend your visa status.

(Note: An employee does not have to wait for the USCIS H-1B approval notice. With timely filed H-1B extensions, the employee is authorized to continue to work and be paid for up to 240 days after the expiration of his/her current H-1B Status. Therefore, in most cases “Premium Processing” is only necessary if the H-1B scholar will be traveling outside the U.S.)