One of the greatest advantages of H1B visa status is that you can transfer your visa as many times as you want without being subject to the H1B cap. What does this mean? It means you won’t be stuck in the same job for the duration of your H1B stay. You can get a new job without getting a new visa. You can make this transfer so long as your new job meets H1B standards – meaning it is a specialty occupation requiring a US bachelor’s degree or its equivalent or higher – and your new employer is willing and able to sponsor your visa. Your job can change without your immigration status changing.
You don’t have to notify your current employer about your transfer, and once your transfer is approved you can choose to stay with your current employer anyway if you change your mind. Also, there is no limit on the amount of time you can take between job A and job B once your transfer is approved. You can start working right away, or take advantage of the opportunity to take some time off.
H1B transfers are NOT subject to the annual H1B cap because you are not actually applying for a new visa. You’re still under the terms of your existing visa, the only difference is you’ve obtained a new job.
You will have to petition the USCIS for an H1B transfer, a process that takes 4-8 weeks and possibly more. You will need to submit copies of your immigration paperwork, your last three paystubs, and copies of your educational documents along with various other documents requested. If your degree is from outside of the US, you need to be sure to get your credentials translated into English and evaluated for US equivalence.
You don’t want to waste time on your H1B transfer, especially if you’re changing jobs for financial reasons or if there is a problem in your current work situation. At CCI, we offer rush services on our credential evaluations and are ALWAYS available to talk, email, or text with you 24 hours a day.
This article was written by Rebecca Little