Maintenance of Legal Status-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Maintenance of Legal Status

In short, for an H1B employee to maintain legal status, s/he must continually engage in the employment described by the employer in the H1B application to the USCIS. Should any employment details change - the employer, the job title or duties, salary, location, etc. - then the H1B employee should consult with the employer or immigration attorney and a new or amended H1B petition must be submitted to the USCIS.

Grace Period

There is no formal "grace period" (beyond a generally assumed 10-day period) in H status. (This situation is unlike the clearly articulated 30-day grace period for J holders and the 60-day grace period for F holders.) Therefore, when a job ends, the H1B status ends too. This can be problematic if a person suddenly quits or looses his/her job. An employee should speak with an immigration attorney to understand the options before the job ends, not after!

Dual Intent

H1B status carries "dual intent." This is an important distinction and difference from F or J status. "Dual intent" implies that a person may choose to return to the home country or may choose to move into permanent residency (or immigrant) status in the US. This issue is helpful when applying for the visa stamp overseas - unlike an F student or J researcher, an employee will no longer need to "prove" the intention to return home after program completion. "Dual intent" is also the reason that OIE and many attorneys will advise a person to obtain H1B status before applying to permanent residency in the US.

Last Updated On: January 10, 2017