In most cases, individuals who are in the United States on a work visa
will only be allowed to stay for a six-month period, and no more than a year.
In reality, the length of time that you are allowed to stay depends heavily
on which type of work visa you have. For instance, individuals on an H-1B
visa for specialty occupations, such as fashion models, are typically
granted up to a 3 year stay.
Other factors that can affect the length of stay include;
- Whether this is the individual’s first time applying or a renewal
- The applicant’s current status in the United States
- Whether or not they filed their worm permit application with a travel document
Since there are many ways that a person can obtain a work permit in the
states, the validity period will differ and be determined by the USCIS.
In most cases, the length of the work permit and the length of the work
visa go hand-in-hand.
Applying for an Extension
Generally, immigrants on a work visa can apply for extensions of stay in
six-month increments. The reasons for extension will need to be consistent
with the terms of your original status when you first applied.
If you wish to extend your stay in the United States and your work visa,
you will need to file form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant
Status with the USCIS before your current visa expires. It is recommended
that you do so at least 45 days prior to expiration.
Effects of Overstaying a Work Visa in the United States
There is not much difference in someone who remains in the United States
after their visa expires and someone who simply enters illegally without
a visa at all. If you overstay your visa, you become “out of status”
and are up against the same repercussions as an illegal alien. The immigrant
officials will likely have you deported and ensure that you face other
consequences as well.
It is important that you take action to keep your status as legal if you
are coming to the United States on a work visa.
Contact our Philadelphia immigration lawyer from the Law Office of Matthew Archambeault if you need assistance with
any aspect of your
work visa process.