H1B renewal - consular option

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I'm employed on H1B (16th year on H1B and GC processing is in progress) and currently still on US payroll. However I'm currently in India and unable to travel back to US due to travel restrictions and expired visa stamping.

With my I-797 (and I-94) expiring soon, H1B renewal application is being submitted but as a consular option and it would be of immense help if I can get some details on below questions.


  1. With new petition filed as a consular notification, when my current H-1B expires, can I still be employed on US payroll (while staying in India) before obtaining new H-1B Visa and re-entering US?
  2. Is premium processing available/applicable for a H-1B application submitted as consular notification? If no, Usually how long will it take to get a decision from USCIS for a H-1B application submitted as consular notification?
  3. As my current GC processing is in progress (priority date is current), does this situation affect validity of my current GC application and ability to file I-485?

Thank you in advance.

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You are by definition not on H1 if you are outside the US. You can work from your home country for as long as you want to, but you may have to pay taxes in your home country.

No premium for consular notification.

No effect on the GC, either. But be aware that an I-485 can only be filed while in the US in valid status. The I-485 is Adjustment of Status, and you only have a status to adjust while in the US.. You can always go for Consular Processing for the GC. Talk with your lawyer.

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