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H1B Transfer FAQs
April 27, 2022
12 mins
A close-up and detailed view of the American H1-M visa with the red approval stamp

This article explores the commonly asked questions regarding

  • H1B transfer and other details related to the same

H1B Transfer: What is it?

The H1B transfer is a process that allows H1B holders to change their employers while their H1B visa is still valid. The H1B is a non-immigrant visa granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to foreign workers hired by US-based employers. The H1B visa is valid for three years and can be extended to an additional three years. During these six years, H1B holders can work for any number of H1B-sponsoring employers as long as their H1B visa is valid. Let's now explore some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the H1B visa Transfer. But before that, have a look at H1B Transfer: The Requirements & Documents Needed for the better knowledge.

H1B Transfer: FAQs Explored

1. How should I apply for an H1B Transfer?

To apply for an H1B Transfer, you should find an employer who will sponsor your H1B visa and accept their job offer while your original H1B is still valid. The USCIS must approve the Form I-129 filed by your new employer so that you can commence your job with the new company. Your new employer is responsible for filing the following with the USCIS:

  • Non-immigrant worker's petition or Form I-129.
  • Employment Eligibility Verification or Form I-9
  • LCA or Labor Condition Application

2. What are the documents required to file an H1B Transfer?

To file an H1B Transfer, you will need the following documents:

  • Copies of college degrees and other educational certifications with English translations for certifications in foreign languages.
  • Copy of degree evaluation
  • I-140 and I-485 petitions, if applicable
  • Copies of all existing immigration paperwork, including H1B petitions, forms, and support letters.
  • Copy of current valid H1B visa your social security card
  • PERM application
  • Copies of the most recent 2 to 3 pay stubs
  • Copies of immigration documents for parents, spouse, and children, if applicable.

3. What is the processing time for an H1B Transfer?

The processing time for H1B Transfer generally takes between three to eight weeks. Sometimes, your employer may apply for Premium Processing to expedite the process, which will take upto 15 days. Whatever the processing time, it is entirely up to the USCIS to approve or deny your H1B Transfer.

4. Is it mandatory to inform my current employer and colleagues about my applying for an H1B Transfer with a new employer?

It is not mandatory to inform your colleagues or your current employer about the H1B Transfer.

5. What is the time limit to join the new company once the H1B Transfer is approved?

Once the USCIS approves your Transfer petition, you and your employer will receive Form I-797. After that, there is no time limit to commence your new job. However, you must ensure your H1B is valid and apply for an extension if necessary.

6. What is the maximum number of times I can apply for an H1B Transfer?

There is no limitation on the number of times you can apply for an H1B transfer. In fact, portability is one of the many benefits of having an H1B visa. The only contingency is that your original visa must be valid, or you must apply for an extension before the validity expires.

7. Can I simultaneously apply for H1B Transfer with multiple employers?

Yes, you can simultaneously apply for multiple employers, and if multiple petitions are approved, you can choose which employer to work for. This rule is applicable even if you hold a part-time job.

8. When applying for an H-1B transfer and it's approved, what happens if I choose to continue working with my current employer?

It is not mandatory to start working for your new employer. You can continue to work for your current employer even if USCIS approves your H-1B transfer.

9. Does a new H1B visa give me more time in the US?

Acquiring a new H1B visa does not reset your H1B total time to zero. Rather the time you spend working for any employer counts against the total time given for this visa class. However, it is possible to extend your time by applying for an H1B transfer and extension at the same time.

10. Can I apply for an H1B Transfer even if I have a valid H1B visa but do not have any paychecks for the last couple of months?

The USCIS has approved such Transfer petitions in the past, provided the petitions are filed within the first few weeks of entering the US. However, the USCIS has tightened its regulations, and there is no guarantee that it will approve your petition without the necessary H1B transfer requirements. Hence, it is always better to have your paychecks if you want them to go on smoothly.

11. What happens if I receive a second offer after my first employer has already transferred my H-1B status to their company?

With H1B visas, you have the freedom of looking for the perfect job, even after you have accepted an existing job offer. Hence, you can accept a job with a new employer, even while another employer has filed an H1B petition on your behalf.

12. What happens if I lose my job while on an H1B visa?

Do not panic if you lose your job. With a valid H1B visa, you are entitled to an authorized stay period of sixty days to find a new job or apply for a new change of status. If your H1B validity expires, you will not be authorized to stay in the US. You can also bridge or port your visa as if you are still working. However, if your H1B expires sooner than 60 days, you should leave the country within the date given on your I-94 or apply for an H1B extension.

13. Is it possible to apply for an H1B Transfer if I am outside the US?

Yes, as long as you have a valid H1B visa, you can apply for an H1B Transfer even if you are outside the country. You may also be able to apply for an H1B Transfer even if you are not in the USA if you have proof of previous approval, such as a copy of the I-797.

14. Can I apply for an H1B transfer if I have an unused approved H1B petition valid?

According to the USCIS regulations, the H1B visa is valid for the first three years, after which you can apply for an H1B extension for another three years. If you haven't used up these six years, you can apply for an extension or a transfer that is not subjected to the H1B Lottery to make use of the six years.

15. Is it okay to travel after applying for my H1B transfer?

It is wiser to remain in the US until the USCIS approves your H1B transfer because you will need a valid H1B approval notice and a valid visa to reenter the US. If your previous employer has withdrawn their H1B petition, you cannot use your previous H1B approval. You may use a valid H-1B approval from your previous employer and the receipt notice and H1B petition.

Also Read: H1B Transfer Status & How it Affects your H1B Transfer

16. What should I do if my H1B Transfer is approved but doesn't have a new I-94?

All I-94s issued upon entering the USA come with an expiry date. If your I-94 issued upon entry into the US is still valid, you will not be issued a new one.

17. What could be the reasons for the USCIS to deny my H1B Transfer?

The USCIS can deny your transfer for the following reasons:

  • Lack of adequate documents
  • Incorrect payment of fees
  • Non-rectification of previous transfer denials
  • Lack of legal permission to work in that area
  • Lack of adequate employment authorization
  • Condition for the employment
  • Complicated issues between employer and the employee

18. If my H1B transfer is denied, can I continue with my current employer?

If your H1B Transfer is denied, your H1B validity expires, and you can no longer work for any employer in the USA.

19. What is the H1B Denial Grace Period?

According to the USCIS regulations, you will have a 60-day grace period to find a new job or change your visa status if you lose your job while your H1B is still valid. You may also choose to leave the country during this time. However, if you have applied for a transfer and it is denied, you have until the departure date mentioned on your I-94 card.

20. Can I resign before the USCIS approves my H1B Transfer?

No, it is highly recommended that you DO NOT resign until the USCIS approves your transfer petition. The processing time will take at least 4-8 weeks and is also influenced by the location where you are employed and the center handling your petition.

Get H1B Facts at TechFetch H1B

Understanding the intricacies and complexities of the H1B visa processing can be quite overwhelming.This is where you require an all in one platform like TechFetch H1B that provides you with a wealth of information regarding H1B visa.

**Disclaimer: All H1B visa processes are subject to change. Kindly refer to the USCIS official website for the latest information.

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