H1B Transfer

H1B Visa Transfers
When the H1b visa holder changes an employer, a new H1b visa petition is required. Because of new provisions with S.2045, H-1B nonimmigrants and employers will not experience delays in INS’ change of employer petition processing. It allows the beneficiary to change jobs immediately when the new employer files a new petition. Because the provision is effective for petitions filed before, on or after October 17, 2000, it could result in reinstatement for some individuals whom the INS had previously denied H-1B status for a new employer based on working too soon for the new employer.

Duration of Visa
An H-1B is approved by INS for an initial period of up to three years with a total of six years.
Section 106 contains special provisions requiring the INS to grant extensions, in one-year increments, past the six-year maximum, in cases of lengthy adjudications. This section only applies to (1) H-1B workers, (2) who are the beneficiaries of EB visa petitions or who have submitted applications for adjustment of status, and only if (3) 365 days or more have elapsed since (a) the filing of an application for a labor certification on their behalf or (b) the filing of an EB visa petition on their behalf. Notice that an H-1B worker whose application in still in the labor certification stage is NOT eligible for an extension under this section.

Status of Spouse and Minor Children
An H-4 visa is not employer-specific. Accordingly, when the H-1B visa holder changes employers, no action is required to amend the status of his or her H-4 dependents, so long as the principal alien remains in valid H-1B status. However, the I-94s of dependents should be extended at the same time any extension is sought for the principal alien as the result of a new or amended petition being filed.

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