A Comprehensive Guide to H-1B Visa Transfers: What You Need to Know H1B transfer

A Comprehensive Guide to H-1B Visa Transfers
What You Need to Know H1-B transfer

The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa in the U.S. that allows American companies to hire foreign professionals in specific fields with a shortage of skilled workers. This visa aims to enable companies to bring in talent worldwide.

This visa is for foreign workers, often international students in the U.S., who have advanced degrees or extensive training. It’s a popular way for them to work in the United States temporarily.

Unlike some other visas, employers, not the employees, start the process of getting an H-1B visa. As the person wanting the visa, you must find a job offer and a U.S. company willing to sponsor you.

Now, once you’re in the U.S. working for one employer, you might be curious about changing jobs if you find a better opportunity. That’s where the H1B transfer process comes into play.

Key points about the H-1B visa

Specialized Jobs: They are for people in specialized fields like science, engineering, computer programming, medicine, or finance. The job must require at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Employer Support: To get an H-1B visa, a U.S. employer must sponsor a foreign professional. The employer must show why the person’s skills are needed and comply with wage requirements.

Limited Number: There’s an annual limit on how many H-1B visas are given out. Most are given through a regular cap, with a smaller number for those with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions. A lottery system may be used when there are more applications than visas.

Time Limit: Initially, H-1B visas are granted for up to three years, with the option to extend for another three years. Extensions beyond six years are possible in certain situations, especially if the person is in the process of getting a green card.

Family Accompaniment: H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and unmarried children under 21 on an H-4 visa. They can stay in the U.S. and, under certain conditions, may be allowed to work.

What happens if you’re laid off while on your H-1B visa?

If you lose your job while on an H-1B visa, there’s no need to panic and immediately make plans to leave. You have a 60-day window to either secure new employment or apply for a change of status, ensuring compliance with your visa terms.

If your I-94 expiration date is within the next 60 days, you must either depart by that date or obtain an extension.

Even if you’ve been laid off, you still have the option to attempt bridging or porting your H-1B visa, similar to the process you would follow if you were still employed.

Quick tips for changing jobs on an H-1B visa

  • No Legal Obligation to Inform Current Sponsor: You are not required by law to inform your current sponsor if you’ve found new employment or are considering changing jobs.
  • New Application Required: Despite the term “H-1B visa transfer,” there is no actual transfer process. Your new employer must submit a new H-1B application on your behalf.
  • Pay Attention to Timing: Be mindful of the timing. You may need to leave the country if your current H-1B visa expires before the new one is issued. Keep track of the expiration dates to avoid any disruptions.

Why do people opt for H1-B Transfer? 

People often decide to transfer their H-1B visa to a new employer for various reasons. Here are some common situations.

1. Job Change: An employee might want to switch to a different employer for better career opportunities, a higher salary, improved working conditions, or to explore new possibilities. Transferring the H-1B visa lets them continue working in the U.S. 

2. Company Changes: If a company goes through a merger, acquisition, or restructuring, they may need to transfer the H-1B visas of their foreign employees to the new entity. The new employer must take on the existing H-1B visa sponsorship responsibilities.

3. Relocation: When an H-1B visa holder needs to move to a different work location within the U.S., like a different office or client site, an H-1B visa transfer may be necessary. The new location must meet the criteria for a specialty occupation.

4. Promotion or Role Change: If an H-1B visa holder gets promoted or significant changes in job responsibilities within the same company, they might need an H-1B visa transfer. This ensures that the visa stays valid for the new role.

5. Visa Expiry or Extension: If an H-1B visa is about to expire, both the employee and employer may decide to transfer it to a new employer during the extension process. This allows for continuous employment and allows the individual to explore new career paths while staying legally in the U.S.

6. Dissatisfaction or Termination: Sometimes, dissatisfaction with a current employer or facing termination prompts an H-1B visa holder to seek a transfer. This way, they can maintain lawful immigration status and keep working in the U.S.

Ensuring that any H-1B transfer follows USCIS regulations, including proper documentation filing and meeting eligibility criteria, is crucial. For a smooth and compliant transfer process, employers and employees can contact Octovion. Contact us at +1 (908) 617-0009 or email us at info@octovion.com. Also, the following are some essential documents that may be needed. 

The following are some essential documents that are needed for proper H1-B Transfer.

  •  Copy of Form I-797
  •  Copy of Form I-94
  •  Copy of Your Visa
  •  Copy of Degree / Certification
  •  Academic Valuation, if required
  •  Copy of Offer Letter
  •  3 Recent Pay Slips/
  •  Your Latest Resume Copy

Key Features that Octovion gives if you are Looking for H1 Transfers

Octovion offers key features for individuals seeking H1-B transfers for a secure and reliable process.

Confidentiality: Your name and current employer’s names will be kept confidential throughout the process. Octovion prioritizes the privacy of your information and does not share real names with external parties.

Genuine Employers: Octovion collaborates only with genuine employers, verified through thorough cross-checking against various parameters. This ensures that the companies involved are legitimate and committed to the H1 transfer process.

Expert Placement: H1 transfers facilitated by Octovion are directed toward companies that specialize in placing candidates with profiles similar to yours. This expertise ensures a better match between your skills and the job requirements, enhancing the chances of a successful and fulfilling placement.  

Need assistance? Don’t hesitate to call us at +1 (908) 617-0009 or email us at info@octovion.com. We’re here to help!