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Tips for Renewing your Driver’s License While Waiting for Your H-1B Extension Approval

Posted by Ann Badmus | Jul 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

Under current immigration law,  an H-1B visa worker whose visa renewal or extension application is filed before his current H-1B visa expires,  may continue to work for the same employer for a maximum of 240 days prior to the approval of the extension. However, many extension applicants have driver's licenses that expire on the same day as their current H-1B status.

Problem:  Even though they may continue to work legally for a maximum of 240 days after visa expiration, H-1B extension applicants might have a problem with driver's license renewal depending upon their state's rules.  Some states require an approval notice for renewal of the driver's license.

Keeping in mind that the issuance of a driver's license is entirely under the discretion of each state's motor vehicle agency,  here are some tips in order to try to renew a driver's license if your H-1B extension is pending:

  1. Look at your state's licensing agency website for the renewal requirements. Most states provide a detailed list of the documents you need to renew your license.
  2. If the website is not clear as to requirements, call the agency and specifically ask what documentation is needed and whether an I-129 Receipt Notice is accepted (federal form I-797).  Many states will accept certain receipt notices along with other documents and issue temporary licenses based on those documents.
  3. Personally go to the agency and take the following documents

If these steps fail, then you should fast track your H-1B application and request premium processing.  Currently, the USCIS will act on your application within 15 days after receipt of the $1225 premium processing fee.  Premium processing can be requested online at

About the Author

Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney


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