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H1B Transfer Status & How it Affects your H1B Transfer
April 20, 2022
5 mins
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Our blog explains the following topics under H1B Transfer:

  • H1B Transfer and basic requirements
  • H1B Transfer Status check
  • Reasons for H1B Transfer Denial
  • H1B Denial Versus H1B Rejection

Basic Requirements Needed for an H1B Transfer

If you are an H1B holder, you ought to know about the H1B Transfer, which allows you to change your employer while your H1B status is still valid. And there's more. There are no mandatory rules that you have to inform your current employer about an H1B visa transfer. All you have to do is find a new employer in the US who is willing to sponsor your H1B visa. If your new employer is willing to make a job offer, they should file your H1B Transfer petition with the USCIS on your behalf.

The H1B Transfer process is very similar to obtaining your original H1B visa, but with a few exceptions. Generally, the H1B visa has a Cap- a process that allows about 85,000 applicants to be eligible for visa processing. Likewise, because your H1B transfer application does not come under the H1B cap, it is not included in the H1B Lottery, which randomly selects the 85,000 applicants.

The USCIS expects all H1B visa holders to fulfill the following requirements to be eligible for an H1B Transfer. To work for a new H1B employer, H1B holders should be:

  • Employed only under the authorization of the USCIS, even if they have worked only for one day.
  • Holding a previously issued H1B status
  • Lawfully admitted into the United States.

If you fulfill the above-mentioned criteria, you can go ahead with the H1B Transfer process by following these steps:

Step 1: You Find a new job offer with an H1B employer.
Step 2: Your employer obtains a Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor (DOL).
Step 3: Your employer files Form I-129 with the USCIS on your behalf.
Step 4: Your employer pays the relevant fees for H1B Transfer.
Step 5: Your employer submits the H1B Transfer petition and the required documents to the USCIS.

Kindly note that all the above-mentioned steps should be taken by your employer well before your current H1B status expires. Once your H1B status expires, you will be considered "out of status," which disqualifies you from applying for an H1B Transfer.
So, what happens after your H1B Transfer petition is sent to USCIS? Let's explore further.

Before you read about how H1B Transfer Status affects H1B transfer, read about the The H1B Visa Transfer Process and Duration.

H1B Transfer Status Check

Upon receiving your H1B Transfer petition, the USCIS sends an email comprising the receipt number and a copy of the receipt notice. You can start working for your new employer as soon as you receive this receipt. However, it is better to commence working after receiving your Transfer approval to be safe.

Upon processing your H1B Transfer petition, the USCIS issues any one of the following statuses:

  • Approval Notice
  • Denial Notice
  • Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
  • Request for Evidence (RFE)
  • Investigate for misrepresentation and fraud

If your petition is approved, there is nothing to stop you from commencing your job with your new employer. However, your petition may be denied, or the USCIS may send you a Request for Evidence (RFE). If the USCIS issues an RFE, it does not mean your H1B visa transfer is denied. It may just mean that the USCIS might require more documents to decide your H1B transfer status. However, first things first- let's understand why the USCIS denies your transfer petition.

Reasons for H1B Transfer Denial

The following are some of the reasons why the "H1B transfer denied" status happens:

1. Petitioner's Requirements

The petitioner must show that the company is:

  • An established enterprise with active operations in the US
  • Able to hire, pay, and provide for its employees
  • Able to provide a specialty occupation for you to work as an employee

Your petition will be denied if it does not carry sufficient evidence for the above-mentioned aspects.

2. Failure of fee payment

If you or your new H1B employer does not make sufficient payment, the USCIS will deny the Transfer. Please note that the H1B Transfer fee is subject to change. Hence, please refer to the USCIS official website for the latest updates.

3. Improper package delivery

The USCIS expects your petition and the required documents to be sent to the right USCIS service center through bonded delivery agents like USPS, FedEx, and UPS. Sending your package through an un-bonded delivery service to the wrong USCIS center can also result in a H1B Transfer denial.

4. Violation of Immigration Laws

Prior violation of immigration laws could mean any one of the following situations:

  • Being out of status
  • Lack of requisite H1B qualifications for your current H1B visa
  • Committing a crime in the US while holding a valid H1B status

Also Read: Documents Needed for H1B Transfer & the Application Process

Request for Evidence

The USCIS may request additional evidence for the following aspects:

  • Educational qualifications

Additional diplomas and certificates to prove the academic qualifications.

  • Specialty occupation

Certificates of advanced educational degrees and extensive training prove that you are capable of special education.

  • Proof of employee/employer relationship

Valid evidence proves that the job is genuine and that both parties have a genuine working relationship.

  • Financial documents

Your employer must prove that they can hire H1B employers and pay them correspondingly.

Many H1B holders are unaware that H1B Denial and H1B Rejection mean two different things. They are often haunted by questions like: "What if my status is H1B Transfer Denied? Can I continue with my current employer?" " What if my status is H1B Transfer Denied? Can I go back to the previous employer?" The following explanation will help you understand the difference between both.

H1B Rejection:

A USCIS officer reviews all H1B Transfer applications to ensure that everything is in order. The officer will check for all the required information, relevant content, and documents. Your application is rejected if any of these are missing.

H1B Denial:

The USCIS officer evaluates your documents and relevant paperwork to check if you and your employer meet the H1B Transfer requirements. If you do not meet the requirements, your application is denied. Fortunately, a rejection can be easily rectified by providing the required papers and documents. Once done, you can refile your application.

What Will you do if The USCIS Denies your Transfer Application?

What you do after you have your H1B transfer is denied depends on why your case was denied. In some cases, you may be able to file an I-129 again or fix any mistakes in your previous application or include any missing documents.
Sometimes, your denial letter may include a statement that may hamper your chances of appeal. However, you may file a legal motion to reopen your case and have it reconsidered.

H1B Transfer Denied Grace Period

The USCIS also grants a "grace period" to seek alternative employment or another visa that allows you to legally remain in the US until the departure date mentioned in your I-94 arrival or departure card. The USCIS also gives a 60-day grace period if you lose your job before your H1B validity expires. Here again, you may seek new employment or change your visa status.

To Summarize

Do not panic if your H1B Transfer is denied. It is not the end of the road. However, to ensure your H1B Transfer is smooth, it is best to follow all the instructions and submit your paperwork and documentation without any discrepancies. Also, it is wise to hold on to your current job until the USCIS approves your Transfer.

If you have any doubts or queries regarding the H1B Transfer, do checkout TechFetch H1B.

**Disclaimer: All H1B visa processes are subject to change. Please visit the USCIS official website for updated information regarding the same.

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