H-1B employees are responsible for understanding and complying with U.S federal laws and regulations governing H-1B status. Failure to do so could result in the violation and loss of your immigration status. Please contact the OIS if you have questions. Upon approval of H-1B status, all H-1B nonimmigrants must complete the "Maintaining H-1B Status E-form".
Instructions for Accessing the "Maintaining H-1B Status" E-form
Be Familiar with Your Immigration Documents
Passport: Keep your passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your H-1B status - and in a safe location - at all times. Report a lost or stolen passport to the police, as your government may require a police report before issuing a new passport. To renew or replace your passport, contact your country's consulate in the U.S.
I-797 H-1B Approval Notice: this document shows that you are the beneficiary of an approved I-129 (H-1B petition) and you are authorized to work for the sponsor of the H1B (JOHNS HOPKINS) in the capacity described in the petition for the time period indicated on the I-797.
Form I-94: Admission to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant is evidenced in most cases by a Form I-94 that reflects the date and class of admission, and the expiration date of the period of authorized period of stay. Each time you enter the U.S., you should print your I-94 record to ensure you were admitted in H1B status for the correct amount of time and in the correct status. It is recommended that you keep copies of your I-94 records with your other immigration documents Form I-94 from your most recent entry can be printed from the Customs & Border Protection website: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
H-1B Petition (I-129, LCA and supporting documents): I-129 (H-1B petition) is the petition that was filed with USCIS by Johns Hopkins on your behalf. A copy of the H1B petition was emailed to you with other documents when your H1B status was approved. When you apply for the H1B visa at a U.S. Consulate, you will need to take a copy of the petition with you.
Included in the H1B petition is the Labor Condition Application (LCA). A copy of the LCA was emailed to you as a separate PDF when your H1B was approved. The LCA is a formal declaration filed by the employer (JOHNS HOPKINS) with the U.S. Department of Labor stating our intention to employ you, a non-immigrant worker in H1B status. The LCA specifies the dates of your employment, your minimum annual or hourly salary, your job title and the address(es) of your employment. The LCA also is an attestation that we have met specific H1B sponsorship requirements (e.g. wages, work conditions, etc.).
Change of Address
USCIS requires that you report an address change within 10 days of the move. To report an address change you must:
- Submit Form AR-11 to USCIS. AR-11, Change of Address Form
- Email H1Bfirstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, date of birth, and new address
- You also must update your address on file with your H-1B employer. Hopkins employees can update their address at "My JHU": https://my.jh.edu/portal/web/jhupub/
Additionally, if you are a postdoctoral fellow in SPH, please update your address in SIS. SOM Postdocs will need to update their address in the SOM Registrar's Office.
Work only for the employer and in the position for which your H-1B status was granted
Your H-1B is both employer and employment [i.e. job/position] specific, which means that you may only work for the employer listed on your I-797 approval notice in the position described in the H-1B petition. It is extremely important to report any proposed changes in your employment conditions to the OIS well in advance of the proposed change (e.g. change in title, hours, benefits, duties). Changes may require an amendment to your petition. If you change employers, the new employer must file a new H-1B petition before you begin your new employment.
Honoraria and consultation fees paid by an employer other than the JH entity that sponsored the H-1B petition constitute illegal employment under USCIS regulations. For preservation of legal H-1B status, H-1B workers should not accept any offer of honoraria or consultation fees.
When you travel outside of the U.S., you should take a the following with you:
- A copy of the H-1B petition (attached)
- The original I-797 approval notice (please request this from our office prior to traveling abroad)
- Your valid passport
- Proof that you are maintaining H-1B status (3 recent paystubs).
- You can also request a "Travel Letter" from our office.This is not required, it is a courtesy that OIS provides.
You are required to have a valid H-1B visa in your passport to return to the U.S. from all countries except for brief trips (less than 30 days) to Canada & Mexico (see below). Before applying for the H-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy abroad, please review the U.S. Consulate/Embassy website where you will apply for the visa to see if they require documents in addition to those listed above.
Travel to Canada & Mexico: You are permitted to travel to Canada and Mexico for less than 30 days without a H1B visa in your passport (you still need to take the other documents mentioned above). For detailed information about automatice visa revalidation, please refer to the information provided on Department of State's website .
Important Steps to take when you return to the U.S. from travel abroad
1. If you have an electronic I-94, retrieve and print your I-94. To access your record you will need your passport. Go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
2. Verify that the following information on the I-94 printout is correct.
- Your name should appear as it is stated in your passport
- The appropriate visa classification (H-1B or H-4)
- The end date on the I-94 should match the H-1B approval notice (Form I-797) or be extended for 10 additional days beyond the end date of the H-1B approval notice
- If your I-94 is shortened due to your passport expiring prior to the I-797, your status will end on the date marked on the I-94 record rather than the H-1B approval notice.
3. Contact the OIS if you notice an error or data inconsistency, or if the end date on the I-94 does not match your H-1B approval notice (or the H1B approval end date + 10 days).
4. Upon return from travel, document your time abroad on the Recapture Worksheet. The worksheet will make extensions beyond six years less cumbersome, and help ensure all available H-1B time can be requested from USCIS.
Termination of H1B employment by your employer/Resignation of H1B employment by employee:
If your employment at Johns Hopkins is ending, please consult with the OIS to discuss your H1B status. When your employment ends, your H1B status ends. There is no "grace period" for H1B status **, so it is important that you take steps to secure an alternate status or depart the U.S. in a timely manner. You also must notify the OIS via the Notification of Departure Form.
** USCIS published a Final Rule for certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs on November 18, 2016. The new rule went into effect on January 17, 2017. The rule includes some provisions for USCIS to grant a discretionary 60-day grace period for H-1B workers where certain conditions are met. As this grace period is not guaranteed or available to all H-1B workers whose employment ends, applying for an alternate status prior to the end of employment is still strongly recommended. Please consult an H-1B advisor in the OIS if you anticipate your H-1B employment will be ending.