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Major Differences Between I797A vs I797B vs I797C, I-797D, I797E vs I-797F

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Visa Renewal Pilot Program

USCIS mainly uses form I-797 to announce results and decisions for a petition submitted for processing. It can be H1B or I-40, etc. Let’s see H-1B Visa as an example in this article.

An H-1B visa approval notice form is called an I-797. It has four different types.

What is the Difference Between H-1B Visa Approval Notices – I-797, I-797A, I-797B, and I-797C?

In fact, there are few more types issued by USCIS i.e.: I-797D, I797E vs I-797F

I797A vs -797B

  1. An I-797A is an original approval notice with the I-94 attached.
  2. An I-1797B is an original approval notice with no I-94 attached.

If you have received an I-797B form, this means that the petition is approved, but the COS/Extension of Stay is not approved. You would have to go back to your home country to get your visa stamped, and then re-enter the US. Or in case if you applied for H1B from outside the U.S.A, then USCIS would issue I-797B.

Also, you can stay in the country until the date written on your most recent I-94. The date on the I-94 is what determines the expiration of your stay in the US.

I797A vs I797B vs I797C

Form I-797A: Is issued ONLY to people who are currently in the United State (U.S.) and those who are undergoing a change of status (F-1-H-1, H-1-H-1, l-1-H-1, etc.).

The “A” is for change of status approved, which means that the applicant can continue to remain in the U.S. and work. Hence, I-797A will have an I-94 attached to it to endorse the status approved.

Form I-797B: This form is issued to those who had never been to the U.S. or to those whose change of status cannot be approved.

This means that you are qualified for the job but your change of status cannot be approved. So you cannot stay and work in the U.S. for two reasons:

You are NOT currently in the U.S.A.

You may have committed an immigration violation; the documents submitted during filing did not provide enough evidence that you were legally employed at all times; you had never been out of status as a student, etc.
Hence, such applicants, if they are still staying in the USA must leave and apply for a visa at an American consulate.

The officer will determine if you are eligible for re-entry based on the evidence that you will provide during the interview.

Form I-797C

This form is a copy of the approved petition and this is usually given to employers for their reference file. Hence, Forms I-797A or I-797B are given to applicants, while I-797C is given to employers.

For instance, if you did not receive the approval notice, then a copy of the original will be provided.

Here’s an additional reason why I-797c is issued:

Additionally, I-797c is issued to communicate receipt of payments, rejection of applications, transfer of files, fingerprint biometric, interview and re-scheduled appointments, and re-open cases.

What About I-797D, E, and F?

  • I-797D Accompanies benefit cards.
  • I-797E, Notice of Action Issued to request evidence.
  • I-797F, Transportation Letter Issued overseas to allow applicants to travel.

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