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Congratulations, You’re Approved!

Your petition has been approved by USCIS. You’re ready to continue your U.S. journey!

Now What?

Legalpad’s Post-Approval Guide will help you complete your next steps so you can focus on achieving your goals in the U.S. and travel with ease knowing you have everything you need.

Approval Category:

When we filed your visa petition, it was filed under one of four categories. Please select the category that matches your petition. Not sure? Refer to your approval notification email.

Table of contents

Introduction

This guide provides a checklist of what to do post-approval, with detailed step-by-step instructions, considerations during COVID-19, and more!

This guide walks you through what to do if you change your U.S. address, employer, job duties, or work location.

Need an extension or interested in learning about the green card process, this guide has you covered!

Consular Processing

Information

Your petition was approved “Consular Processing”. This means that your status will not automatically change. To activate the status, you will need to present your I-797B Approval Notice and Passport and enter the U.S.

Visa-Exempt

Canadians are visa-exempt. This means that you do not need to obtain a visa stamp to enter the U.S.

Post-Approval Checklist

 

Step 1: Carry Documents For Entry Into The U.S.

  • You will need to carry your valid: 
    • Canadian Passport
    • I-797B Approval Notice
  • Your Canadian Dependents will need to carry their valid: 
    • Canadian Passport 
    • I-797B Approval Notice
    • Marriage Certificate (for Spouse)
    • Birth Certificate (for Child)

 

Step 2: Review I-94

 

Step 3: Complete I-9

  • You will need your valid: 
    • Passport
    • I-94 - A new I-94 is issued every time you enter the U.S.

 

Step 4: Request Social Security Number (SSN)

  • You will need your valid:
    • Passport
    • I-94

 

Step 5: The Next Time You Travel Outside The U.S.

  • You will need to carry your valid: 
    • Canadian Passport
    • I-797B Approval Notice
    • 2-3 Recent Pay Statements from Employer Listed on I-797B Approval Notice 
  • Your Canadian Dependents will need to carry their valid: 
    • Canadian Passport 
    • I-797B Approval Notice
    • Marriage Certificate (for Spouse)
    • Birth Certificate (for Child)
  • Your Non-Canadian Dependents will need to carry their valid:
    • Passport 
    • Visa Stamp
    • I-797B Approval Notice
    • Marriage Certificate (for Spouse)
    • Birth Certificate (for Child)
  • Receive a new I-94 each time you re-enter the U.S. 

Post-Approval Instructions

 

Step 1: Carry Documents For Entry Into The U.S.

  • You will need to carry your valid Canadian Passport and I-797B Approval Notice.
  • Your Canadian Dependents will need to carry their valid Canadian Passport, I-797B Approval Notice, Marriage Certificate (for Spouse), and Birth Certificate (for Child).

 

Step 2: Review I-94

  • View your new I-94 on the I-94 - Official Website. Review your new I-94 each time you travel internationally and re-enter the U.S. 
  • Dependents will have a separate I-94 record. 
  • The I-94 is the controlling document regarding your status. 

 

Step 3: Complete I-9

  • Present your valid Passport and I-94 showing valid status.

 

Step 4: Request Social Security Number (SSN)

  • You will need your valid Passport and I-94 showing valid status to apply.

 

Step 5: The Next Time You Travel Outside The U.S.

  • You will need to carry your valid Canadian Passport, I-797B Approval Notice, and 2-3 Recent Pay Statements from Employer Listed on I-797B Approval Notice. 
  • Your Canadian Dependents will need to carry their valid Canadian Passport, I-797B Approval Notice, Marriage Certificate (for Spouse), and Birth Certificate (for Child).
  • Your Non-Canadian Dependents will need to carry their valid Passport, Visa Stamp, I-797B Approval Notice, Marriage Certificate (for Spouse), and Birth Certificate (for Child).<
  • Receive a new I-94 each time you re-enter the U.S. 
  • Follow Step 2: Review I-94.

Considerations During Covid-19

Considerations During Covid-19 & U.S. Travel Updates:

 

Sign up for our Newsletter! Get visa resources, immigration news, and event announcements delivered right to your inbox. Don't worry, if you change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

 

 

Check out our Blog! Travel requirements and restrictions may change at any time. Legalpad will update our blog as new guidance is available.

 

 

 

 

Check with your Local Consulate for the latest information.

Dependent Information

Employment Authorization:

Certain Dependents (Spouse) are eligible for Employment Authorization once they enter the U.S.

 

For Example:

  • If you are in L-1 status, certain L-2 Spouses do not need to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the U.S. Please contact us for more information.

 

 

  • If you are in O-1 status or TN status, your O-3 and TD Dependents are not eligible for work authorization in the U.S.

 

Contact us for specific Dependent status information & eligibility. 

F-1 & J-1 Student Information

FICA Taxes Exemption

Generally, students in the U.S. in F-1 and J-1 status are exempt from FICA Taxes (Medicare and Social Security Taxes).

However, if you later change status from F-1 or J-1 to a different status, such as O-1 or H-1B, you will then become subject to FICA Taxes.

Your U.S. Employer must begin withholding FICA Taxes from your “Change of Status” effective date.

Checklist & Instructions:

  • You are subject to FICA Taxes because you changed status from F-1 or J-1 to a different status - such as O-1 or H-1B. 
  • Your Employer must begin withholding FICA Taxes from your “Change of Status” effective date - from the day your status begins.

STEM OPT

If you change from F-1 STEM OPT to a different status, such as O-1 or H-1B, you must complete the “Final Evaluation on Student Progress” section of Form I-983 STEM Training Plan.

This section must be signed by both You and your U.S. Employer, and then submitted to your University.

Checklist & Instructions:

  • Both You and your U.S. Employer must sign the form. 
  • Submit the signed form to your University. 

"Changes & Amendments"

Plan On Making Changes?

Please reach out to us before changing your home address, employer, job duties, or work location. A Change of Home Address, Change of Employer, or Amendment filing may be required.

Change Of Home Address

You must notify USCIS if you change your home address.

 

Checklist & Instructions:

  • Within 10 days of the move. This will notify USCIS.

Change Of Employer

Your new employer will need to file a “Change Of Employer” petition on your behalf, if you want to work for a different employer.

Depending on your status category, you may only be able to start work for the new employer once the “Change Of Employer” petition is approved.

 

For Example:

  • If you are in O-1 status, you cannot start for the new employer until after the “Change of Employer” is approved. 

 

  • If you are in H-1B status, you may potentially be able to start for the new employer based on the filing of the “Change of Employer” petition, and may not have to wait until the approval. 

 

Please reach out to us for confirmation of the timeline and impact of changing your employer based on your specific status and situation. Follow the “Change of Employer” Checklist & Instructions.

Checklist & Instructions: 

  • Reach out to us before changing your employer if you want to work for a different employer.
  • File for a “Change of Employer”. Your new employer will need to file a “Change of Employer” petition on your behalf, if you want to work for a different employer.
  • Receive your “Change of Employer” approval.
  • Start working for your new employer. Depending on your status category, you may only be able to start work for the new employer once the “Change of Employer” petition is approved.

Amendment

A “material” change to your role would require an Amendment. If there is a substantial change in your job duties from the duties listed in the petition, or if you change from working full-time to part-time, you may require an Amendment.

Please reach out to us for confirmation of the timeline and impact of filing an Amendment based on your specific status and situation. Follow the Amendment Checklist & Instructions.

Checklist & Instructions: 

  • Reach out to us before changing your job duties or work location. 
  • File for an Amendment if required. A “material” change to your role would require an Amendment.
  • Receive your Amendment approval. You cannot start working in the new role until the Amendment petition is approved. 
  • Start working in the new role, once you have the new approval. Depending on your status category, you may only be able to start work in the new role once the amendment petition is approved.

Extensions

FAQs About Extensions:

 

How Long Is My Status Valid?

  • Check the validity date on your I-797B Approval Notice.

 

How Often Can I Extend My Status? 

 

How Do I Start The Extension Process?

  • Extend your status with us by starting the extension process early!
  • If Legalpad filed your visa petition, we'll reach out to you prior to your status expiring.
  • If Legalpad did not file your visa petition, reach out to us to get started.

 

How Early Can I File?

  • File early - up to 6 months prior to your status expiration!
  • If Legalpad filed your visa petition, we'll reach out to you in advance - long before your visa expires.
  • If Legalpad did not file your visa petition, reach out to us to get started.

Permanent Residency

Direct Path To A U.S. Green Card!

We can help create your path to permanent residency through the green card process.

 

Learn More About How To Get A U.S. Green Card!

 

Immigrant Petitions:

 

 

Green Cards:

 

 

Contact us for more information. 

Reach out to us to get started today!