MENU Office of International Services

Maintaining Status


You must meet certain obligations in order to maintain your lawful status, including:

  • Work only in the authorized place of employment and for the period approved on your I-797.  If your job ends sooner than the I-797 end date, your status ends on the same day.
  • Maintain a valid passport, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, and I-797 at all times.
  • Have the department notify OIS if significant change in duties, responsibilities, salary or work site is expected during your authorized employment.  An amended petition may be necessary.
  • Report any change in residential address, within 10 days of moving, to the USCIS (Form AR-11), to OIS by email, and in UIC’s NESSIE system.


  • Renewals: Have the department apply for renewal of your H-1 B status (if eligible) 4-6 months prior to the expiration of your current status.  Keep in mind that the maximum allowable time in H-1B status is generally 6 years.  There are exceptions to this 6 year limit (please contact OIS).
  • Portability: It is possible to “take” or “transfer” your H-1B status to another employer/institution.  Please note that employment must be continuous from UIC to another employer.  Also, you must maintain your immigration status.  During the transition to the new employer, you will be able to remain in the U.S. and continue working for 240-days while your case is pending.  Please consult with your new employer for exact details on this process.
  • Recapture: Keep records of any significant amount of time that you are outside of the U.S.  It may be possible to request an extension of your H time by the total amount of days you were not in the U.S.
  • H-4s: H-4 Dependents are not eligible to work, or volunteer to work.  They may attend school.  They have the same travel requirements as H-1B workers.
  • Taxes: Individuals in H status are required to file both state and federal taxes.
  • Travel: You will need to borrow your original I-797 from OIS for travel.  You may request this by contacting your advisor or sending an email to  Remember travel with Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR) only applies to travel to Canada or Mexico.  Please see the Travel and Visa information for additional travel details.
  • Grace period: Upon completion of employment, H-1B workers do not have an official “grace period.”  Some H-1B workers may be given a discretionary extra 10 days at the end of their stay granted by the immigration officer at the port of entry.  If this additional 10 days is not noted on the I-94 card, then you do not have a grace period.
  • Departure: You are required to submit a Departure Verification Form upon leaving UIC.  This form is required regardless of your departure reason:  departing the U.S., changing employers, or changing immigration status.
  • Unlawful Presence: This occurs when you stay beyond the ending date of your I-94 or upon determination by Department of Homeland Security.  Consequences include a 3-year bar from reentering the U.S. if you have stayed unlawfully in the US for 180 days or more, and a 10-year bar if you remain unlawfully in the U.S. for 360 days or more.  Violation of your H-1B status makes you ineligible for any immigration benefits.  This does not apply if a timely, non-frivolous petition to extend your stay has been received by the USCIS prior to the end date of your I-94.