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Maintaining Valid H-1B Status

As an H-1B temporary worker, you are responsible for understanding how to maintain valid H-1B status. Please read through the information below and contact the International Center if you have any questions.

1. Maintain valid immigration documents while in the US

  • While in the US, make sure that your passport remains valid at least six months into the future at all times
  • Check your I-94 admissions record (print your I-94) or I-797 approval notice to make sure that your H-1B status expiration date is always into the future

2. Notify USCIS within 10 days of any changes to your US address 

  • Report any changes to your US residential address to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) within 10 days by downloading Form AR-11 (Form AR-11 may be filed using either paper or online format)
  • Update your address and contact information in Tufts Employee Self-Service and with the International Center (send an email to internationalcenter@tufts.edu)

3. Do not accept outside employment

  • As an H-1B worker sponsored by Tufts, you are limited to working for your Tufts department, for the job and position for which you were originally sponsored
  • If you receive an offer for employment from an outside employer, your other employer must submit their own H-1B petition to request employment authorization for you

4. Contact the International Center before accepting any changes to your H-1B employment 

  • H-1B status is specific to your employer and position, so any material changes to your employment - such as a change to your department, job title, job duties, hours, or plans to take a leave of absence - must be reviewed in advance by the International Center
  • Depending on the change, the International Center may need to file a petition with USCIS to amend or update your employment authorization before your employment changes can take place

5. Travel using your H-1B visa and I-797 Approval Notice 

  • While working at Tufts as an H-1B employee, travel only using your H-1B visa and I-797 approval notice from Tufts (note: Canadian citizens are not required to have visas)
  • Check your I-94 admissions record (print your I-94) every time you return to make sure your arrival was processed correctly and your "admit until" date is in the future
  • Contact the International Center if you are planning to travel while Tufts is processing an H-1B extension for you, and/or if you are

6. Depart the US by the expiration of your H-1B status, or seek a timely extension of your H-1B status before your current H-1B authorization expires

  • Always keep a copy of your I-797 Approval Notice and I-94 departure record so that you know when your H-1B status expires
  • Plan to leave by the expiration of your H-1B status, or ask your department to submit an H-1B Extension Request to the International Center at least six months before your H-1B expires
  • If you have any questions about when your H-1B status expires, contact the International Center

Other H-1B Information

If you are in H-1B status, you are permitted to study in the US, on either a non-degree or degree basis, as long as you are otherwise fulfilling the terms and conditions of your H-1B employment. You are not required to change to F-1 student status unless you decide to terminate your H-1B employment and change your primary purpose from employment to study. Contact the International Center if you have further questions.

H-1B temporary workers may be accompanied by family members, including their legal spouse and/or dependent minor children under the age of 21. Family members of an H-1B worker are given H-4 status. Dependent children lose H-4 status when they get married or turn 21.

Obtaining H-4 Status

To obtain H-4 status, the family member must apply for an H-4 visa at a US consulate (note: citizens of Canada are not required to apply for visas, but must show documents establishing eligibility when requesting H-4 status upon arrival in the US). Required documents include:

  • Copies of the H-1B worker's passport, H-1B visa, I-797 Approval Notice, and proof of employment with salary information (such as an employer's letter, copies of paychecks, etc.)
  • Recommended: a copy of the H-1B employee's I-129 application packet, provided by the employer
  • Proof of marital / family relationship
  • The H-4 family member's own passport

H-4 Benefits for Study and Employment

Any dependents in H-4 status are permitted to study while in the US, on either a part-time or full-time basis. H-4 dependents are not allowed to work, except for certain H-4 spouses who are allowed to apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for H-4 employment authorization.