Until now, lengthy processing times and agency backlogs by the DOL (Department of Labor) have sometimes precluded H1b visa holders from being eligible to apply for a one-year extension past their six year stay, while seeking a Green Card.
On November 2nd, President Bush signed the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21) into law.
The rule will now include labor certification applications that have been pending for over 365 days in addition to pending I-140 applications (filed on behalf of or used by the H1b visa holder) or an immigrant visa petition.
In these circumstances, your H1b status can be extended one-year at a time.
This is true even if the H1b visa holder has since changed their status or left the USA.
If an application for a labor certification or adjustment of status or a petition for an immigrant visa petition is denied, the extended H-1B status ends at that point.
Other employment-based immigration provisions of interest incorporated into the new law, benefit foreign physicians willing to work in medically underserved areas and also makes positive changes to the immigrant investor program.
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