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Maintaining your H-1B Status

Checklist for Maintaining your H-1B Status

To maintain H-1B status, faculty/staff must do the following:

☐ Report any change of your U.S. home address within 10 days directly to the USCIS.

☐ You must only work for the petitioning employer in the specific position that was approved with USCIS.

☐ Unauthorized employment: You must not participate in any unauthorized employment since your immigration status may be subject to termination when you engage in such activities. You must get authorization in advance from OISS to participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations. Such lectures and consultations must be incidental to your H employment. You must report to OISS any material changes in advance to the position previously approved in original petition (e.g., a substantial promotion, such as from post doc to assistant professor). Filing an amended petition may be necessary. It is possible to add a second employer if you are offered employment outside of Tulane. The second job must be approved by USCIS before you can begin working.

☐ If your employment at Tulane is ending, please consult with the OISS to discuss your immigration status before your employment end date.

☐ Maintain a valid, unexpired passport for the duration of your employment, even if you are not traveling outside the U.S.

☐ Dual Intent for H-1Bs: Certain nonimmigrant classifications require foreign individuals to prove they have a residence abroad that they do not intend to abandon, and that they do not have the intent to immigrate permanently to the United States. However, the H-1B category benefits from the doctrine of "dual intent." Dual intent allows the H-1B employee to be considered a “nonimmigrant” even when steps are taken towards obtaining U.S. permanent residence.

☐ Avoid criminal activity, especially related to illegal drugs and drinking and driving. Any arrest, even if you are not convicted of a crime, can have serious immigration consequences. Contact OISS and/or the Tulane Legal Assistance Program (TULAP) immigration attorney if you have been arrested. Even if you have criminal legal defense, you must receive additional legal advice from an immigration attorney, as these are separate areas of the law.


H-4 Dependents

☐ An H-4 dependent's status is valid only if the H-1B principal continues to maintain their status.

☐ H-4 dependents may study in the U.S. without restriction.

☐ H-4 dependents can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States IF the H-1B spouse is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; OR has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21). The H-4 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS.

☐ Before an H-4 dependent child reaches the age of 21, s/he must make arrangements in advance for a change of immigration status if the dependent child plans to stay in the U.S.


Maintaining Status While Traveling Outside the U.S.

☐ Passport: Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months into the future. You can be denied entry to the U.S. if your passport is expired. If your passport needs to be renewed, start the process as soon as possible. If you need to renew it within the U.S., contact your country’s embassy or consulate for the proper procedures and application materials.

☐ Visa: Make sure your H-1B/H-4 visa is valid. If you need to renew your visa, the best place is generally your home country. If it is not feasible to travel to your home country to renew your visa, contact the OISS for guidance. (Not applicable to Canadian citizens, who do not receive a visa stamp in their passport.)

☐ Proof of status: Make sure that you bring a copy of your H-1B petition and approval notice

☐ Proof of employment: We advise you to bring a letter from your supervisor stating your employment activities at Tulane in case there is a question about your status at Tulane.

 I-94: Your I-94 is the official record of your immigration status at the time you enter the U.S., and it must be correct. Every time you leave the U.S. and return, you must check your I-94 online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/ to make sure it shows your most recent date of entry, your class of admission is H-1B/H-4, and your admit until date is correct. If any of these are in error, contact the OISS immediately to request help with correcting your I-94 record.

☐ Travel tips: All travelers are subject to search when entering the U.S., including a search of your electronic devices like phones and laptops. To reduce the possibility of your electronics and social media being inspected when you enter the U.S., keep them in your luggage and present only your passport and paper copies of your immigration documents and airplane tickets. For more information on your rights at the airport, visit the American Civil Liberties Union website.

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