In recently issued H-1B approval notices the USCIS has approved the H-1B for less than the requested 3 years. The USCIS has explained the H-1B was issued for less than 3 years because the employee’s professional license expired before the end of the 3 year H-1B term.
The USCIS is mistakenly interpreting a clause of the code of federal regulations to state that an H-1B approval notice can be shortened to the validity period of an employee’s permanent professional license, when the law clearly states the H-1B can only be shortened to the term of a temporary license.
It is crucial that employees closely monitor the expiration date of their professional licenses, along with other documentation required for the H-1B filing, and timely renew all documents. This includes the professional license, passport, and Visa Screen (FCCPT certificate or CGFNS Visa Screen).
States vary in their procedures for renewing professional licenses and the validity term of the professional license. In addition, the length of time a passport is issued for varies by country. Visa Screens are valid for 5 years from the date of issuance and can take several months to renew. All foreign nationals should closely monitor the expiration dates of their documents.