Maximum leave of absence duration while on H1B


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Is there a time limit on leave of absence for H1B employees? Leave of absence implies no pay or benefits - which may look similar to being unemployed. If the employer is okay with a long leave (3-6 months), is this gap an issue for USCIS? Will this impact stamping if traveling outside the US?


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If an individual is on a leave of absence pursuant to their employer’s policies for absences, the length of time is normal for the situation, and the absence is at the request of the employee and not due to a lack of work, such as maternity leave, then it should not be considered a violation of H-1B status. To ensure you do not have issues later regarding a visa application or extension of status, it is best to obtain evidence that the leave of absence was voluntary and at the request the employee, was approved by the employer, and the duration was normal for the situation.  Given that this is a highly fact specific scenario, I would suggest scheduling a consult with an attorney in order to discuss your specific case.

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