What To Do If Your Work Visa Is About To Expire

A work visa makes it possible for a citizen of another country to enter the USA for the purpose of working. Different types of work visas are available depending on the kind of work that you plan to do.

Regardless of what type of work visa you hold, it's essential to adhere to the terms of the visa so that you aren't in the country illegally. Violating the terms of your visa can also leave you ineligible for future work visas.

Your visa is only good until a specified date. After this date, you're no longer allowed to legally work in the USA and must leave the country. If your work visa is about to expire, it's important to understand your options. Here's what you need to know if your work visa is nearing its expiration date.

You Can Apply for an Extension of Your Work Visa

If you want to continue working in the USA, it's possible to apply for an extension of your work visa. To extend your visa, you need to complete the appropriate forms, submit any required evidence, and pay the filing fees associated with your visa.

It's important to be prompt when applying for a renewal of your work visa. Make sure that you apply for your visa renewal before your visa actually expires. When the work visa officially expires, you're expected to leave the USA, as you're no longer able to legally work. If you stay in the USA after your visa expires, you'll begin to accrue "unlawful status" days.

Once you hit 180 unlawful status days, you won't be able to legally enter the USA again for 3 years. Should you accrue a year or more of unlawful status days, the period that you're barred from entering the USA increases to 10 years. 

What to Do If You Haven't Heard Back About Your Visa Renewal

Unfortunately, applying for an extension of your work visa can be a fairly lengthy process. It's possible that you may not receive a decision by the date of your visa's expiration, even if you applied for the renewal well before the end date for your visa.

If you find yourself in this situation, know that you aren't allowed to legally work until you receive notice that your visa extension has been approved. However, you don't have to leave the USA while you wait for the decision. You're permitted to remain in the USA while you wait for news about your visa extension.