Client Alert

President Bush Signs New H-1B Provisions Into Law: Extensions Beyond Six-Year Limitation Made Easier

November 04, 2004

Immigration Practice Group

On Saturday, November 2, 2002, President Bush signed H.R. 2215, “the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act,” which contains important new H-1B provisions. These provisions were discussed in our September 27, 2002 and October 2002 Client Alerts. The new law now permits an extension of an employee’s H-1B status beyond the six-year limitation if a labor certification application for permanent residence (where one is required) was filed at least 365 days prior to the final expiration of H-1B status, even though no immigrant petition has been filed. The legislative history makes it clear that the new law is not only applicable to persons who are currently in H-1B status, but also to persons who have already exceeded the six-year limitation and who have obtained another status (e.g., student or business visitor) or who have relocated abroad.

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