Maintaining Status on an H-1B visa status

All Non-Resident Aliens (NRAs) are required to notify USCIS within 10 days of a change of residential address. H-1B status holders may report a change of address by completing Form AR-11 or Form AR-11SR found at: Please also update Oracle HCM.

An individual’s H-1B status is dependent upon continued employment. H-1B petitions are employer and position specific, which means that the individual is authorized by USCIS to work only at Middlebury/MIIS in a specific position. ISSS should be consulted prior to any changes in H-1B employment such as:

  • location
  • job title
  • job duties
  • salary
  • percentage of time

An amended H-1B petition may be required under certain circumstances.

As H-1B status is employer specific, scholars may not accept compensation, including honoraria, from any other entity. Individuals in H-1B status invited to give a lecture, collaborate, conduct research or present at other institutions can receive reimbursement for reasonable living and transportation costs only.  All H-1B employees sponsored by Middlebury/MIIS or any other employer are required to obtain a written approval from their employer/visa sponsor to receive reimbursement.


In order to enter the U.S. in H-1B status, the following documents are required to be presented at time of entry:

  • Original Form I-797, H-1B Approval Notice from the USCIS which is valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel
  • Copy of Form I-129, the H-1B visa petition provided by ISSS with the approval notice
  • Valid H-1B visa stamp in the passport (except for Canadian citizens)
  • Valid passport
  • Your most current contract/offer letter

NOTE: US Customs & Border Protection officers will not grant H-1B status any longer than the validity of a passport or the H-1B approval notice whichever is shorter. Please notify ISSS if you are admitted with an end date different than what is on the I-797 Approval Notice.

To apply for an H-1B visa stamp at a US Embassy or Consulate outside of the U.S., all of the following documents may need to be submitted in addition to any other documents required:

  • Original Form I-797, H-1B Approval Notice from the USCIS which is valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel
  • Copy of Form I-129 (the H-1B visa petition) and supporting documentation submitted by ISSS to USCIS
  • Valid passport
  • The most current contract/offer letter
  • Proof that that all U.S. tax laws were complied with for previous stays in the U.S.
  • Original I-612 waiver approval notice showing the 212(e) 2-year home presence requirement was waived or proof the requirement was met must be submitted when applying for the H-1B visa.  [This only applies to those who were in the U.S. in J-1 status previously and were subject to 212(e)].

Upon entry to the U.S. you are given an I-94 Admission Arrival/Departure Record. You are given a new record for each entry. After each entry into the U.S., you need to go to to check the record to make sure that you were admitted in the H-1B status for the period of admission until the end date on the I-797 approval notice.  If you were not granted the H-1B status or the end date is different than what is on the I-797 approval notice, please notify immediately.


The H-1B extension process is identical in paperwork requirements as it is for an initial H-1B application. An H-1B extension petition will require a new prevailing wage and a new labor condition application (LCA) along with new supporting documents. A petition must be filed before the current H-1B status ends in order to allow an individual to maintain status and continue to remain on payroll.

The earliest an extension can be filed with USCIS is 6 months prior to the end date of the current H-1B status. If a petition is filed in a timely manner, an individual in H-1B status is authorized to continue to work and be paid for up to 240 days after the expiration of his/her current H-1B status. ISSS will update Banner with the filed date and notify Human Resources once the extension petition has been filed with USCIS to verify an individual’s eligibility for continuing work authorization. It is very important to inform ISSS of any travel outside of the U.S. when the H-1B petition for extension will be pending with USCIS as this may affect the petition processing.

Once the extension petition is approved by USCIS, individuals traveling abroad may need to visit a U.S. embassy or consulate to get a new H-1B visa stamp before returning to the United States. Canadian citizens do not need to obtain H-1B visas in their passports.

Leaving Middlebury

If an individual in H-1B status leaves Middlebury before the end date on his/her H-1B approval notice, ISSS is required to notify the U.S. Department of Labor and USCIS.  Scholars should inform ISSS if they end their job with Middlebury/MIIS before the expiration of their current H-1B status.  Individuals in H-1B status should make sure that their departments are informed of their intending departure and their future contact information.

Remaining in the United States

Individuals intending to remain in the United States after leaving Middlebury should take the initiative to prepare and submit proper paperwork to maintain lawful immigration status. This may involve applying for H-1B status with another employer or changing to an entirely different visa category.  

Change of H-1B Employers (Portability Provision)

Whether a scholar is leaving Middlebury to go to another employer or coming to Middlebury/MIIS from another employer, this is called ‘porting’ the H-1B.  This requires that the new employer file an H-1B petition on behalf of the employee they intend to hire. The change of employer process is identical in paperwork requirements as it is for an initial H-1B visa. An H-1B change of employer petition will require a new prevailing wage and a new labor condition application (LCA) along with new supporting documents.

H-1B regulations allow individuals already holding H-1B status to begin employment with a new employer once the new petition is filed with USCIS. This means that individuals may begin new employment before the petition is approved by USCIS, but no earlier than the start date of the petition. Further guidance should be obtained from ISSS if being hired by Middlebury or from the new employer for those who leave Middlebury.

Moving from the United States

Individuals in H-1B status are required to leave the United States on or before the end date on their Form I-797.

When an individual is admitted to the United States in H-1B status, a grace period of 10 days may be given at the discretion of an immigration officer at the port of entry. The 10 day grace period is indicated on the individual’s Form I-94.

Last updated 1/13/2022

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