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H-1B workers have the right to work only for the employer that filed the H petition. If the employer/employee relationship ends, then the H-1B status based on the position end, and the H-1B worker must leave the U.S. or file for a change of immigration status with USCIS.

H-1B workers are admitted only until the end date annotated on the I-94, and may work only until that date Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents at the Port of Entry have the discretion to give a 10 day grace period beyond the date on the I-797. An H-1B may not work during those ten days.

Rights and Responsibilities

All nonimmigrants in the U.S. are responsible for maintaining their own lawful status. Failure to do so can result in severe consequences. The foreign national is responsible for understanding the laws and regulations that pertain to his/her status.  The staff at ISSS is available to assist UNC-CH nonimmigrants in understanding their rights and responsibilities.

ISSS regularly provides sessions for international employees as a way of disseminating the information. ISSS advisors are also available to answer questions on an individual basis.

Employment Authorization

H-1B workers are authorized to only work for the employer who filed the petition under the terms and conditions of the employment as authorized by the DOL and USCIS in the H-1B petition (e.g. title, hours, work-site location, etc.) Employment and status are maintained only until the ending date of authorized stay noted on the I-94 or until the employment ends, whichever comes first. If collaborative work is done for several employers, each employer must file a separate H petition.

Although H-4 dependents are not permitted to work, they may however, qualify to change to a separate, independent immigration status that does permit work.


The passport must be valid at all times. When entering the U.S. in H-1B status, the passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the expiry date on the I-797. In this case, the CBP agent will note the expiry date of the passport rather than the expiry date of the I-797. This will mean having to file an extension of stay much sooner.

Reporting a Change of Address

All immigrants and non-immigrants are required to report a change of address within 10 days of the change. For employees in H-1B status, this must be done by using USCIS Change of Address Online  or  by completing the USCIS form AR-11 found on the USCIS website. It is advisable that you print the address change confirmation from the USCIS website or send the AR-11 form to USCIS via some type of receipted mail.