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The All-inclusive Guide to Concurrent H1B
A vector mockup illustration of the H1B visa documents for the United States

In this article you will read about:

  • Benefits of Concurrent H1B visa
  • Provisions and requirements for concurrent H1B
  • Steps to follow to apply for concurrent H1B

Concurrent H1B is a visa category available to qualified US H1B holders who wish to be engaged in one or more H1B jobs besides their original H1B employment. If the H1B holder can prove that they maintained their status consistently, they can have an H1B employer petition for a concurrent H1B on their behalf. With concurrent H1B, the H1B beneficiary can work for multiple employers at the same time. A few points to note here are:

  • The H1B beneficiary is not obligated to disclose any information about concurrent employment to the primary employer.
  • The I-129 will have to be duly updated with concurrent status information, and details of the primary employer will have to be disclosed here.

Before reading the benefits of H1B Concurrent Employment, checkout how to Apply for Concurrent H1B.

Benefits of H1B Concurrent Employment

The H1B visa is popular among the various non-immigrant visas because of the number of advantages to the employer and the employee. Here's a close look at the benefits of holding a concurrent H1B visa:

  • Mandatory wages: H1B employees are guaranteed a wage that reflects the prevailing wage of the area they are employed in. They can also hold jobs with more than one H1B employer through the concurrent H1B option.
  • Choice of employer: The H1B worker is not legally bound to work for the primary employer who successfully petitioned for their H1B. With the portability rule of the AC21 act, H1B holders who have maintained their status can work for a different employer under a new H1B, even beyond the six-year maximum period.
  • Number of Hours: Technically, an H1B worker can hold two full-time jobs with concurrent H1B. But, with typical full-time jobs clocking forty-hour schedules and never less than thirty-five hours per week, the USCIS may deem it impossible for the H1B worker to work at two such jobs. So, the best step is to have the H1B multiple employers apply for concurrent H1B for part-time employment. Since there are no restrictions on the number of hours clocked in part-time employment, the H1B holder can hold multiple such jobs.
  • Employee rights: The H1B employer has the right to seek rights violation protection if their employer has abused their rights. Labor laws created by the Department of Labor restrict the "benching" of H1B employers. "Benching" is when the employee is advised to take a mandatory leave without pay because of slow business. So if an employer feels the business is slowing down, they are obligated to keep paying the worker or terminate them. Simply put, an H1B employer can only stop paying their H1B employee by initiating termination.
  • Off-time: H1B employees are entitled to extended days off work for recovery from illness, vacations, or other such reasons. They will not lose their status for extended leave from work, but they are not entitled to payment during these days.

Also Read: Concurrent H1B

Concurrent H1B: Provisions and Requirements

  • Concurrent employment needs to qualify as a specialty occupation and meet all other H1B requirements. This will include concrete job descriptions, client information, and a well-established employer-employee relationship.
  • The H1B holder is not obligated to inform the primary employer about concurrent employers. However, the secondary employer will need information about the primary H1B employer to fill out the concurrent H1B application.
  • There is no statutory limit on the number of concurrent H1Bs you can hold simultaneously. It is legally possible to hold two full-time H1B jobs as long as you can convince the USCIS that you can work an eighty-hour week successfully. But chances of getting approval on such a petition are usually low.
  • H1B workers can legally work in two part-time positions with an approved concurrent H1B. Part-time positions involve work that takes up less than thirty-five hours per week. Remote work opportunities are also an option for H1B workers as long as an H1B petition with certified LCA is filed with the remote work location.
  • Jobs under multiple employers are possible, even if they are in completely different fields. But all these jobs will have to satisfy specialty occupation requirements. The applicant will also have to show qualifications to the same degree as the primary occupation.
  • Concurrent H1B visa petitions cannot be filed during the H1B lottery period. The applicant needs to be in a valid H1B status after the initial H1b petition with the primary company has been approved, usually not before the first day of October.
  • The H1B employee can start concurrent employment before getting approval on their concurrent H1B. They are cleared to start working as soon as the USCIS receipt is generated.
  • Filing fees for the concurrent H1B are similar to standard H1B. The premium processing option is also available.
  • Concurrent H1B does not require a separate passport stamp. Primary H1B job details can be given in the DS-160 form, and the related visa stamp in your passport will be sufficient. You can re-enter the US after a trip abroad with this stamp and the following documents:1.  USCIS I-797 Approval Notice for the second concurrent H1B
    2. Three recent H1B pay stubs for each job you hold
    3. Letters from each of your employers verifying your employment
  • Getting a Concurrent H1B is different from holding two H1B approvals received separately, as in the case of getting an extension approved along with a transition. Since you cannot have two different visas in the US, it is not possible to work for employers under different visas like an L1 and an H1 simultaneously.
  • An H1B holder can work under an H1B cap-exempt employer and a cap-subject employer at the same time with concurrent H1B. They have the freedom to stop working for the cap-exempt employer. But they will need to be working for a primary cap-exempt employer to extend their concurrent employment.

Steps Involved in Applying for Concurrent H1B

  • If you hold a valid H1B status while working for your primary H1B employer, you can approach a concurrent employer to initiate the application for concurrent H1B.
  • The concurrent employer will need to file for an LCA certification from the Department of Labor and petition for a separate H1B from the USCIS.
  • The secondary employer must check the "New concurrent employment" field in the I-129 Form.

In conclusion

Concurrent H1B employees enjoy many benefits with hours of work and the ability to choose employers when they get their concurrent H1B. Obtaining a concurrent H1B may look like a straightforward process, but there are many nuances involved that need to be carefully handled. Applicants must engage in thorough preparation and diligent attention to detail to maximize their chances of getting the concurrent H1B.

For more details and information on US non-immigrant visas, follow/visit TechFetch H1B.

**Disclaimer: Immigration laws and regulations are subject to periodic change. For the latest information, please refer to the official USCIS website.

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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