I797B notice of action means your status has not been changed but h1b visa is approved. I797B means it does not have i94 attached. while i797A will have i94 attached. If you are in India you while applying extension or tenser. You will always get i797B. Even if you are in USA while applying extension or transfer. You may get I797B. Please follow this link for more info. h1b extension approved with consular processing.
I 797b Approval notice form.
This is how i797B looks like. It clearly shows that there is no i94 attached at the bottom of i797B.
The i797B notice of action or notice of approval will also have attached pages. Those pages will describe why USCIS decided to give you i797B instead of i797A. please see below picture
They will write the consulate where you should go for stamping but it is not necessary to go the same consulate. You can schedule your visa interview anywhere.
For more info please click what is the difference between i797a and i797b.
External source uscis.
My friend’s recent i797b notice of action experience
What should you do if you get i797b? Please read case studies
of i797b notice of action. One of my friend recently got I797B. He was transferring his visa to a different employer. Since his visa stamping was valid. His attorney asked him to re-enter the United States.
He could have come to India and go back to USA. But his attorney told him that he can go anywhere like Mexico or Canada and re-enter. You need visa for Canada. But if you have valid stamping, you can easily go to Mexico. For Mexico, You do not need a visa if you have valid USA visa stamping.
So, finally he decided to go to Mexico. He went to Mexico city, enjoyed 3/4 days and re-entered without any issue.
What should i do if i get i797B
If you get i797B then there can be many cases. Please go through all the cases.
Case 1: I got i797B and i am still with previous employer
If you are still with previous employer then you don’t need to do anything. You can continue working with previous employer as long as you have valid I94 with previous employer.
Case 2: I got i797B and i have valid visa stamping. I am still with previous employer and want to join new employer
In this case you have to go out of USA and re-enter using new i797B. You have to specifically tell the immigration officer that you have changed your employer. And show him your new i797B. If you don’t tell him anything. Then by seeing your visa he will think you are still with previous employer.So, he will give i94 according to visa stamping. If you show him your new i797B. He will give i94 according to new i797.
Case 3: I got i797B and i don’t have valid visa stamping. I am still with previous employer and want to join new employer
If you want to join new employer then you have to go out of the country as you have got i797B and re-enter. Since your visa has expired you have to go for visa stamping with new i797B.
Case 4: I got i797B and i have valid visa stamping. And i have already joined new employer
This is almost same as case 2. Only difference is you have already joined new employer. In this case you need to go out of the country and re-enter. You can just go to Mexico and re-enter with new i797B.