Length of Stay
H-1B status is given in 3-year increments for a total of 6 years.
H-1B workers are authorized to stay in the U.S. and work for their petitioning employer (i.e., UM) until the expiration date of their I-94, provided they are maintaining their H-1B status. In most cases, the expiration of the H-1B status will correspond with the expiration of the H-1B petition that the university filed.
At times, an immigration officer at the port of entry may give an H-1B worker an extra ten days beyond the expiration of the H-1B petition when readmitting them from a trip abroad. This is solely at the discretion of the officer and is NOT a grace period that is authorized by regulation for all H-1B workers.
An immigration officer may also readmit an H-1B worker for less time than their H-1B petition is valid for, due to the expiration date of the passport. It is essential for you to be conscious of how long you are admitted for when you reenter from a trip abroad. If this occurs, it is imperative that you come to the OIS to provide this information and receive advice. An H-1B worker is authorized to remain in the U.S. and work until the expiration of their I-94 or H-1B petition,whichever is earliest. Failure to extend your status by the expiration date can have very serious consequences for H-1B workers.
240 Day Rule
... for H-1B portability
Since the H-1B is the employer’s application, H-1B status is employer specific. If the university wishes to employ someone who is currently in the U.S. in H-1B status with another employer, UM must file an H-1B petition on their behalf. Once the OIS has filed the H-1B petition with USCIS and has received a receipt notice documenting timely filing of the H-1B petition, the H-1B worker can begin work at UM for 240 days from the requested start date of the H-1B petition. This provision is called H-1B portability, and is useful because the university does not need an approval from USCIS in order to legally employ the worker. As such, premium processing is not necessary for most H-1B concurrent and transfer petitions. H-1B portability only applies if the H-1B employee continues working for their current employer until UM has had the opportunity to file an H-1B petition with USCIS.
... for H-1B extensions
For current UM H-1B workers who are extending their H-1B status, UM can continue to employ the H-1B worker for 240 days past the expiration of the prior petition as long as UM files the extension with USCIS before the expiration date. As such, premium processing is not necessary for timely filed H-1B extensions unless international travel is planned.