H1b extension approved with consular processing. What does this mean? | Consular processing

H1B extension approved with Consular processing means your H1b visa was approved without change of status. There are two types of H1b extension and h1b transfer processes.

  1. Status change.
  2. Consular processing.

When your employer file petition for H1b visa extension. They can choose any of these processing types. It is really important to understand the difference between these two types.

1 . h1b Status change

Mostly your employer will file h1b extension and h1b visa transfer in this category. But USCIS will look for your status in USA. If they found that your status was not maintained properly or your i94 was not valid. Then they will approve your h1b visa in consular process.

It is completely unto USCIS to decide your valid status in USA. If they find anything wrong or suspicious. Then they will approve your h1b visa extension or transfer for consular process.

2 . h1b Consular processing

Consular processing is little bit complicated. If you are not living in USA while applying. It means your status is not valid. So, you cannot apply h1b extension for change of status.

Your employer will file your h1b extension or transfer in this category. If your visa gets approved with consular process. You will get i797B instead of i797A. It means that your approved i797B will not have i94 attached.

USCIS will also mansion the consulate where they will send your related documents. But it is not necessary to go to the mentioned consulate. They will be explaining in the next page why they have approved your case for consular process.

Please have a look at the i797B page 2 which explains the reason. They will clearly mention why they approved your h1b visa transfer or extension case for consular processing.

i797B image for H1b extension approved with consular processing.

I797B: H1b extension approved with consular processing.
page 1: i797B notice of action. approved for consular processing.
i797b notice of decision.
Page 2: i797b notice of decision.

For mor info about i797A and i797B. Click this link what is the difference between i797A and i797B.

What should i do if i get h1b extension approved with consular?

This is a complicated situation. When you get your h1b visa extension approval with consular. It means you have gotten I797B. Always remember if you get I797B, it means your status has not changed. And your I797B does not have I94 attached at the bottom.

You cannot stay in USA with i797B until and unless you have valid previous i94. And you are still working with the company for which you have got i94. I have explained all the cases in this link where it will explain what should you do when you get i797B. 
what should i do when i get i797B.

What will happen if i do not leave USA after getting h1b approval with consular processing?

Legally you are not allowed to stay in USA if your status is not valid. You should leave immediately and re-enter.

Follow this link. This link will explain what should you do when you get your approval without change of status. 
i797B conditions.

for more info please visit. 

H1b visa approval with change of status

h1b visa approved with changed of status means you will get I797A. And you don’t have to do anything. Enjoy :).

H1b visa approval without change of status

H1b visa approval without change of status means you will get i797B. Please visit link I797B Case.

7 thoughts on “H1b extension approved with consular processing. What does this mean? | Consular processing

  1. Hi,
    Your article is so helpful to understand the process. Thank you!
    Currently I am in US and joined new employer with H1B transfer notice receipt, but transfer petition is in RFE. Because my previous employer filed a H1B amendment for location change, since this is not informed in the transfer petition, USCIS raised a question why beneficiary not maintain the H1B status.

    Since existing amendment petition is in progress, New employer advising to go for H1B Extension via consular processing, I read your article and understand the process.
    In my case, I am having valid stamping till 2023. So, can I visit Mexico and reenter using existing stamping. Please advise.

  2. Your case is almost similar to mine. I got the I797B(consular approved). I had the visa stamping from previous employer. So i went to Mexico and came back after two days. Its absolutely fine to visit Mexico if you have valid stamping

    1. Thanks Taniya,
      When you reentered, hope you showed the latest approved petition to POE officer for new i94. Am I correct?
      Did POE officer asked any questions like why stamping and petition employer is different?
      Hope entering into Mexico doesn’t required Visa and please share me any important things to be aware during exit and reenter into US.

  3. Yes, you have to show the new approved petition and you will get i94 updated accordingly. Valid stamping is enough to travel Mexico. Entering to USA will be same as if you are coming from India.

  4. Dear Madam\Sir,
    Recently I have attended H1B Visa interview. Consoler asked Client letter. 221g Yellow color Query he have mentioned. After that i have provided Project letter and along with ORG chart, After they Reviewed again they asked Client letter.
    I have SOW document. I for got to submit.
    Can you please suggest me what i need to do with out submitting client letter, is there any way to submit SOW , They will accept. Please help me . please help me.

  5. ANyone with expired I94 had H1B visa dropbox appointment?
    I have a situation here where I overstayed my I94 and NPT request was filed but it was denied by USCIS and I have received I797B with counselor processing. I am worried about getting a stamp with DS160 saying yes about overstay.

    If anyone had similar experience, please help.

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