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How long can an alien be in H-1B status?

Under current law, an alien can be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years. After that time, an alien must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Certain aliens working on Department of Defense projects may remain in H-1B status for 10 years. In addition, certain aliens may obtain an extension of H-1B status beyond the 6-year maximum period, when:

  • 365 days or more have passed since the filing of any application for labor certification, Form ETA 750, that is required or used by the alien to obtain status as an EB immigrant, or
  • 365 days or more have passed since the filing of an EB immigrant petition

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