Immigration Issues/H1B visa stamp

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,

I came in US on F1 in Dec 2007. Finished my MBA in 2009. Worked on OPT with an employer, they offered me H1B which got approved for 18 months and expiring in Mar 2012. I have never been to India since I came here. Have filed my labor and received "application received" notice.

My employer would like to renew my H1B and not sure what are my options. Do I have to go to India/Canada/Mexico for renewal?

ANSWER: Hi,

Your employer would file an H1B petition requesting extension of H1B status. You would not be required to depart the U.S.

However, if you do depart the U.S. for any reason, you would need an H1B visa stamp issued by a U.S. Consulate outside the U.S. in order to enter the U.S. since the purpose of your entry would be employment with the H1B employer.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: First of all thank you for the prompt answer. But, would like to know in case I have to go outside US where can I go to get stamping on my visa? as I was on F1 then OPT and now on H1B. Can I go to Mexico or Canada or I have to go back to India only. Also, I have to go through HR dept which are not much aware of this renewal laws. I really appreciate if you can put checklist for H1B renewal.

Thanks again in advance......

Answer
Hi,

You can apply in Canada, but not Mexico. Applying in Mexico requires an existing H1B stamp (even if issued by a consulate in another country, or even if the H1B visa is expired): http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov/non-immigrant_visas/third-country-national-tcns

For Canada, the following link is helpful: http://canada.usembassy.gov/visas/visas/categories-and-requirements/important-no

For visa stamping in your home country (India) please see: https://www.vfs-usa.co.in/USIndia/Index.html

Please contact the Consulate for documents to take to visa interview.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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