I came to USA in Oct 2015 on my H1 visa with Company A. This was valid till Sep 2016. In Sep 2016 before my i94 expired, I applied H1 transfer to Company B and the transfer is still pending approval with Company B. I hold the transfer receipt of company B for the transfer awaiting approval. My concern is how long can I stay legally in this country once I'm laid off by my present Company B and they send notice to USCIS that I am no longer their employee? Can a different company C apply for the transfer of my H1B Visa again by taking just the Company B transfer receipt notice? Within how many days can I get my visa transferred to another company C with a project offer? Please suggest.
The H1B transfer bill approved in the senate and House (bill S.2045) now has rules that enable valid H1B visa holders to change jobs upon the filing of a new petition by the new employer as long as the individual is in lawful status at the time of filing and has not engaged in any unauthorized employment since his or her last lawful admission. Under the H1B portability rules of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21), an H1B visa holder may transfer to start work (a new H1B job) with a new employer, provided that the new US employer follows the procedures to file an H1B transfer visa application on behalf of the worker. Transfers allow individuals who have filed for adjustment of status and whose cases have been pending for 180 days or more to change jobs or employers without affecting the validity of the I-140 or underlying labor certification, as long as the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification to the job in the original H1B visa petition and labor certification.
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If a bona fide H-1B petition is filed for you, then most likely the company hired an attorney to assist with the process. Ideally you should reach out to this counsel as they have all the relevant information to guide you. Online attorneys have general information on cases and it is not ideal to rely on guidance based on limited knowledge.
This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to seek independent and private counseling for a complete review of your case.
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