This document outlines the H1B transfer process for employees to get their H1B visa transfer from one employer to another. Once you have a job offer, your H1B can be transferred through the new company. Your new company files an application to the USCIS for your H1 transfer.
At this point you will need to supply the following documents:
- One or two latest pay stubs
- Copy of your existing H1 approval
- Copies of your Passport
- Copies of I-94 records
- Copy of SSN
- Latest resume
- Copy of existing valid visa
- Copy of all your Diplomas/Degrees
- Other documents
Once the application for H1B visa transfer is submitted to the USCIS, it normally takes 3 to 8 weeks for the transfer to take place. The process can be expedited by applying for premium processing. In some cases the time may vary, especially when you have to supply more information. Following is a list of common questions that arise during the transfer process of the H1B visa.
1. I am currently on the H1B through Company A. I am considering another offer from company B. Do I need a new H1B? When can I start working for company B?
No, you do not need a new H1B, Your existing visa will be transferred. According to recent new H1B bill you may join company B, upon the receipt of you H1B transfer case.
2. Upon approval of H1 transfer, is there any time limit to join the new company?
Once your H1 transfer is approved, there is no joining time limit. It is entirely up to you. Your employer and you may decide a mutually agreeable joining date. Many times people take a break in between jobs. It is your call on when you want to report to work for the new company.
3. Does H1 Cap affect H1 transfer process?
No, the H1 Cap does not affect H1 transfer process. The H1 transfer is an entirely different process, and it has nothing to do with H1 cap. It is a transfer of your existing H1 approval to some other company. It does not imply looking for a new H1B visa.
4. I just got my approval notice for my H1B transfer. It doesn't have a new I-94. What should I do?
I-94 is issued when you enter US, which contains a specific expiry date. It can only be issued if the existing I-94 has expired. In case of H1 transfer, it is possible that your I-94 is still valid. Hence, you won't be issued another I-94. Please check the validity of your I-94 at this point of time.
5. Should I inform my present employer about the Visa Transfer? Is there any way that my current employer can come to know about my H1b transfer?
No. It is not mandatory to inform your current employer and he will not know about the transfer as well.
6. Is there any limit for number of H1 transfers?
There is no such limit. You can apply for the H1 transfer as many times as you like.
7. Can a person apply for H1 transfer through more than one company at the same time?
8. What if a person holding a H1 for Company A, applies for H1 transfer through Company B, and once the transfer is approved, he changes his mind and doesn't join this company B? Can he continue to work for his previous company A?
Yes. A person can have multiple H1 visas but is eligible to work for only one company at a time.
9. I am currently on the H1B through Company A. I am considering a H1B transfer. Do I need to submit a copy of my I-94?
Yes. You need to submit a copy of your most recent I-94 card, all previous H1B visas and approval notices.
10. Do I need to send my original passport?
No. You do not have to send your passport. You do have to submit a copy of your biographical page from the passport.
11. What other documents do I have to send for my H1B transfer?
You have to send
- copy of educational documents, including degrees (with English translation if not the documents are not printed in English)
- copy of degree evaluation if you ever had your degree evaluated by an educational evaluation service.
- copy of all existing immigration paperwork, including H1B petitions, (including forms, support letter, etc.)
- PERM application
- I-485 petition and I-140 petition (if applicable)
- copies of your three most recent pay slips
- If you have any family members applying with you, please give copies of their immigration documents. This applies for dependent spouses/children.
The key to a successful H1 Visa transfer is that you follow all the instructions, provide all the documents, and do not delay the process at your end. It is better to compile a full immigration file to make sure that there are no "surprises and delays. Processing takes time and is rather unpredictable. Please make sure you do not resign from your current position yet. Following the instructions above and talking to your lawyer will certainly help you through a smooth H1 Transfer.