What you need to know about transferring your H1B visa:

Transferring your H1B visa: 3 minutes read

The application, selection, and approval process for H1B applicants can be downright daunting. It’s no wonder that once a candidate receives the visa, they are overwhelmingly relieved. However, sometimes company plans change, and employees can be notified that their role is being terminated or the position is being eliminated entirely.

In this instance, many candidates worry, and rightfully so, as they cannot remain in the United States without an employer as a sponsor.

In fact, upon the termination of a role or notice of elimination, H1B holders have 60 days to find a new job to sponsor them before they are legally required to leave the country.

Of course, this is a stressful scenario to imagine, but it happens. It is important to know your options and what it means for you as you seek new employment.

Do I have to enter the H1B lottery again?

Not quite.

There is some work to be done. A new employer would have to apply to transfer the status of your visa to their company from your existing employer.

If the new employer agrees, it can sponsor you and help with the approval of your application.

Does my visa keep the same expiration date as my initial approved job?

No.

The initial H1B visa approval is for three years, with many recipients seeing a renewal for a second three-year term. An approved transfer could get you the time remaining, and leave the door open for renewing an additional 3 years.

How are family and dependent visas affected by this process?

They are dependent on the main applicant/visa recipient. The same rules and deadlines apply to family members with attached visas.

Do companies actually hire people who already have status? Or do they prefer to start fresh with foreign talent and bring them over?

While each company is different, there is a strategic benefit for a company to hire someone who is transferring status, rather than beginning the H1B process from scratch.

For one, the talent is already here in the United States, making it easier to organize communications in a close time zone, and move to another city if need be without international complications.

Many companies are also used to this process and have transferred talent over the years.

Be diligent about your job search but also know that it is not unheard of for H1B talent to transition roles or leave their initial sponsored position.
Transferring your H1B visa

The United States immigration system is a complex world to navigate.

Are you looking to transfer your status? or, Are you an interested employer in transferring talent to your company?

Contact our experienced H1B lawyers to find out your options.

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