What's H-1B Transfer?

 

H1B transfer is basically filing a new H1B visa petition, which is not counted in the H1B visa quota cap or H1B Visa lottery, because the applicant has already been counted in the quota once in the past 6 years. This term is typically used, when one plans to change current employer and join another employer.


H-1B Visa Transfer Documents

 

There are transfer documents required from both you, the H-1B holder, and your employer sponsor.

  • Documents from H-1B Visa Holder

    • ​U.S. visa, I-797, and I-94

    • Resume

    • Paystubs, letter from employer, or leave of absence letter

    • University Degree

    • University Transcript

    • Academic Evaluation

    • Letter of Recommendation

  •  Documents from U.S. Employer

    • ​Letter of position containing the job title and salary. It must be signed by the employer and H-1B visa holder.

    • An in-depth description of position responsibilities and duties.

    • Marketing material from company.

    • Financial statements, annual reports, or business plans.

H-1B Transfer Processing Time

The H-1B visa requirements also entail the employer to submit an I-129 form to the USCIS Although it may vary from case to case, processing for an H-1B transfer typically takes 4-8 weeks after the application has been submitted to USCIS. Other factors that affect the H-1B transfer process length is the location of employment and which USCIS processing center is responsible for the application.


H1B Transfer FAQs

 

  • Prior to applying for an H-1B transfer with a new employer do I need to tell my current employer?
    You are not required to tell your current employer about an H-1B transfer. It is up to your what information you decide to reveal to colleagues and employers.

  • Is there a maximum number of times I may apply for a transfer?
    There are no limits imposed on the number of times you may apply for a transfer. Portability is one of the many benefits to having an H-1B visa over other work visas such as the L-1 visa.

  • Am I allowed to apply for an H1B transfer with more than one employer at a time?
    Yes, there is nothing preventing you from applying to work for multiple employers. Because the H-1B visa allows you to work part-time, you may also work for multiple employers simultaneously.

  • Can I start working for my employer if I only have an H-1B transfer receipt and the petition has not been approved yet?
    Yes. As long as certain requirements are met, you may begin working at your new H-1B job before receiving approval as long as you have gotten a receipt that the USCIS has received your petition. The requirements to be met are these: (1) You must not have ever been employed in a manner outside of your authorization; (2) You must already have a valid H-1B status, meaning that your H-1B status must not have expired; (3) You were lawfully admitted to the U.S.

    If you can check all of these boxes, then your H-1B transfer petition will likely be approved and you can start working for your new employer. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need to get an official receipt from the USCIS—a receipt from your mail carrier will work. However, if the USCIS denies your transfer petition, you will need to cease working immediately and make plans to leave the U.S. or find a new H-1B job before your 60-day grace period expires. Therefore, you must consider the risk that comes with working for the new employer before official approval notice.

  • If I have an H-1B visa stamp from my previous employer but now have received a new approval (new employer) will I need to get another H-1 visa stamped in my passport?
    Being on H-1B status and having an H-1B visa stamp are in fact different things. The visa stamp is used as a way to enter the United States while H-1B status is required in order to work for your petitioning employer.

    Say you received approval for your new H-1B employer; that means you can only legally work for that employer. However, if you travel outside the country and your H-1B stamp is still valid then you can use that in conjunction with your new petition to travel back into the country.

  • What happens if your H-1B visa stamp has expired?
    Then you need to get your passport stamped again before traveling back into the U.S. An H-1B transfer attorney can better direct you regarding this type of situation.

  • Is there an abbreviated H-1B visa transfer process or a quicker way to file?
    We often get this question since so many individuals assume that an H-1B visa transfer is a quick and easy deal. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. All filings must be complete and fully establish an applicant’s eligibility in that category. If you do not meet the necessary compliance requirements or are missing information in the documents, you risk being denied. For that reason, it’s strongly advised to seek help from an experienced H-1B transfer lawyer.

  • What if apply for an H-1b transfer with another employer and it’s approved but later decide to continue working with my current employer?
    You can stay with you current employer even if your H-1B transfer is approved.

  • Typically, how many pay stubs should I submit from a previous employer?
    The last two or three pay stubs should suffice, though you should consult your immigration attorney to be sure.

  • If I have an H1B that was previously approved but not used can it be transferred from outside the U.S.?
    An H-1B transfer is essentially a new application that is not cap-subject. If you are able to show proof of a previous approval (i.e., receipt number, copy of I-797) then the new employer can transfer the H-1B even if you have yet to enter the country.

  • Are H-1B transfers subject to the cap?
    No, they are not subject to the H-1B cap. You have already been counted against the cap and so you are able to have an H-1B transfer petition filed at any time and without fear of not being selected.

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