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My company is filing for H1B visa for me this April 2014(on OPT). When can I change my job? Is it after H1B approval or Oct 2014

Charlotte, NC |

My OPT ends in July 2014. If I assume that I will get H1B approval, till what time do I have to wait to change jobs? Can I change my job as soon as Visa is approved(if it is approved at all). Do I have to wait till H1B gets initiated?(Oct 2014). Do I have to wait till I get H1B stamping?

I heard that you need to have 3 paychecks post the H1B approval to change jobs. HELP

Attorney Answers 3


There is normally an extension of the opt to cover this period of time commonly referred to as the "CAP GAP". Speak with your DSO and employer's attorney.

Attorney Robert Brown's (former INS Director, 1972-99) reply to your question is general in nature, and does not constitute legal advice as all facts are known to him. For specific advice or representation you should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law. Mr. Brown's reply on AVVO does not create an attorney/client relationship not constitute legal advice.

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As the new employer in its H1B petition will probably seek to provide evidence that the beneficiary is maintaining status when requesting extension of status, it is recommended that you be employed for at least a couple of months with Employer A before Employer B files its H1B petition requesting extension of status. Discuss with your current immigration attorney.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter, nor should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.

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Ajay Kumar Arora

Ajay Kumar Arora


In case my response was not clear, you will not be in H1B status through Employer A until at least October 01, depending on when its H1B petition is approved and assuming it is subject to the visa cap.


Until you are in H1b status, you cannot change employers. However a new employer can file for you before October 1st, and you can start with them once it is filed. It is correct that you must show that you are working with the first employer in order to take advantage of H1b portability. Since you already know you do not intend to work for the first employer and it is not yet April 1st, you may wish to ask the new employer to file for you on April 1st and avoid the risks.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.

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