Your permission to stay in the United States ends on the expiration date of your I-797 approval notice or your current I-94 Departure Record card. Extensions up to a six year maximum period in H1B status are possible provided your department is willing to sponsor you for an extension.
Discuss extension with your supervisor at least eight months before your current H1B status expires.
Upon decision to extend, the department will commence with the steps necessary to request an extension.
You may travel while the extension petition is pending until the expiration date of your current H1B status; if this date has passed and you still have not received a new I-797 approval notice, you should NOT travel outside the U.S. You will need the approval notice for the extension to re-enter the U.S.
Important Note on Travel: If you intend to travel while a request for extension is pending either with the department or with ISSS, you must communicate such travel plans with your ISSS scholar advisor. If you are physically present outside the U.S. when an extension request is filed and received by USCIS, the H-1B extension will NOT be approved for an extension of stay inside the U.S. Instead it will be approved for consulate notification, requiring that you travel, apply for an H-1B visa stamp, and then return to the U.S. in H-1B status BEFORE you may continue working at Emory.
While you have a pending H1B extension, you may continue working for 240 days beyond the expiration date of your current H1B status. If however the H-1B extension request is either denied or approved for consulate notification, your employment must be terminated immediately and you must depart the U.S. In the case of an extension being approved for consulate notification, you may not be rehired into your position until you have traveled, successfully secured an H-1B visa stamp (if a visa is required), and return to the U.S. in H-1B status.
Extension of your status is your responsibility. If you forget the deadline and apply late, you risk denial. If you are employed and overlook the date, you will be working illegally. Since such mistakes can have serious consequences, you should make certain that you apply well in advance if you need to extend your stay.