Due to a technical error, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently began issuing H-1B approval notices on Form I-797 that incorrectly list the class as “1B1.”  This technical error affected H-1B approval notices for H-1B petitions that were filed with the Vermont, Nebraska, and California Service Centers.

The California Service Center confirmed on Feb. 28, 2017, that it is aware of the technical error and will begin to reprint and mail corrected H-1B approval notices that reflect the class as “H-1B” instead of “1B1.” These corrected H-1B approval notices will be mailed the week of Feb. 27; affected petitioners should allow for 10-14 days for receipt.  The Vermont and Nebraska Service Centers have not confirmed whether they will handle these technical errors in the same manner as the California Service Center.

Should a petitioner receive an H-1B approval notice that incorrectly reflects the class as “1B1,” the petitioner should place a service request with USCIS notifying the agency of the error and request that a corrected approval notice be reprinted and mailed.

“1B1” should not be confused with the class of “H-1B1,” which is a sub-set of the H-1B visa class reserved for Free Trade Agreement workers in specialty occupations from Chile or Singapore.  Before placing a service request for a corrected H-1B approval notice, petitioners should confirm whether the class listed on the Form I-797 approval notice is correct.

H-1B beneficiaries who have Form I-797 approval notices that incorrectly list “1B1,” and are obtaining visas abroad or traveling internationally, may receive questions about the incorrect class notation from U.S. Consulate officials, or Customs and Border Protection officers upon admission into the United States.  To help avoid unnecessary issues when traveling internationally, petitioners and beneficiaries should identify the affected H-1B approval notices and take steps to notify USCIS of the error as soon as possible.

If you have questions on how to request a corrected H-1B approval notice with USCIS, or concerns about impacted H-1B visa holders traveling internationally with an incorrect H-1B approval notice, contact your Greenberg Traurig attorney.