Switching Employers? Workers Can Transfer H-1B Visas

You may have heard how difficult it can be to switch employers under an H-1B visa. While it is true that the process can be problematic, the reason is that employers may be unwilling to let an employee go after it has sponsored the beneficiary for work in the U.S.

Fortunately, immigration law allows individuals working in the U.S. to transfer their H-1B visas to a new employer without risking their residency. Any H-1B visa holder who remains in lawful status at the time of filing and has not engaged in any unauthorized employment may apply to transfer his or her H-1B visa.

Here are the biggest benefits of transferring an H-1B visa:

  • No caps – Unlike H-1B visas, there are no limits on the number of H-1B transfers that may be granted to a worker. These transfers can be filed at any point in the year and are not counted toward the annual H-1B cap.
  • No waiting – As long as your original H-1B visa remains valid, you may start working for your new employer as soon as your sponsor has submitted the transfer petition to USCIS. You do not have to wait until the transfer has been processed.
  • No penalties – You are not likely to see any penalties for changing employers as long as you have filed for adjustment of status, your new position does not violate the terms of your I-140 or current labor certification, and your new job is in the same or similar occupational field as the job that brought you to the U.S.
Vaughan de Kirby
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San Francisco California EB-5 Investment Immigration Attorney
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