Maintaining Visa Status

MAINTAINING PASSPORT
All international faculty, staff, scholars and students should maintain their passport validity. In general, it is best to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months longer than the intended dates of stay. If renewal of a passport is necessary, check with your country’s embassy or consulate about the renewal process.

H-1B LIMITATIONS OF STAY
H-1Bs are valid for a maximum of 6 years. H-1B holders who have pending Permanent Residency Applications may be able to extend their H-1B status beyond the 6-year limit.

If the H-1B holder has not left the country since the most recent H-1B Approval/Chang-of-Status, they are valid to stay in the country for the time period listed on the H-1B I-797 Approval Notice.

If an H-1B holder has traveled outside of the U.S. since obtaining H-1B status, they should have a new I-94 card in their passport that notes their H-1B status and an end date of the status which matches the end date on the H-1B I-797 Approval Notice. The I-94 is the white card that is stamped at the Port of Entry and should be stapled inside the passport next to the most current H-1B Visa.

As long as the H-1B holder extends his/her H-1B status before the end date listed on the I-94 Card or on the H-1B I-797 Approval Notice, he/she will be able to remain in the United States.

If you leave the program or end your employment with Syracuse University earlier than the end date on your H-1B I-797 Approval Notice, you must inform the Slutzker Center so that we may withdraw your H-1B.

TRANSFERRING TO ANOTHER EMPLOYER – PORTABILITY REGULATIONS
An H-1B Holder can transfer to another employer as long as the employee is currently in valid status and the new employer files an I-129 application in a timely manner (before the intended start date of new employment and before the expiration of the current status).

Before taking new employment, talk to the Slutzker Center. The Slutzker Center must withdraw or cancel your H-1B when you end your employment with Syracuse University. The withdrawal of the H-1B petition may affect your employment eligibility with your new employer, so timing is critical.

EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS
H-1B holders are not allowed to work for any other employer or in any other work location other than those that are authorized on the I-797 Approval Notice.

The only way an H-1B employee can work for another employer (as in the case of a faculty member teaching at another institution for the summer months) is if the other employer files an I-129 Petition for concurrent employment. Concurrent employment for H-1Bs is subject to the same restrictions that govern the portability of employment.

H-1B holders CANNOT receive honorariums or fees for lectures or contractual services from other U.S. institutions or businesses. In such situations, only reimbursements for actual travel expenses such as airfare, hotel, and meals are allowed. Any University employee in H-1B status must check with the Slutzker Center prior to accepting any offer to give a lecture or conduct any employment outside of Syracuse University.

REPORT ADDRESS CHANGES
All faculty and staff in H-1B status have to report any address change directly to the Department of Homeland Security using the AR-11 Form or online change of address form.

If your address has changed since the last time you were issued a Form I-94 Departure Record (the little white card in your passport), you must report the change of address with DHS within 10 days of your move in order to satisfy the notification requirement.

To file change-of-address by mail - The AR-11 form and instructions can be found on the USCIS Website under "Immigration Forms" here: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

Online change-of-address with USCIS: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=coa

If you are mailing your form rather than filing an online change-of-address, the Slutzker Center recommends that you make a copy of your completed AR-11 for your records before you mail it. Use Certified Mail and request a Return Receipt from the U.S. Postal Service. This will provide proof that you sent notification of your change of address in case there is a discrepancy with DHS records.

You should also inform the Slutzker Center of any change of your physical residence (apartment or home address) or contact information in the United States using the online form - here. This is to ensure we have the most accurate contact information for you.

TRAVEL ABROAD AND REENTRY

There are specific travel requirements for anyone on a temporary visa: Before you Travel