We regularly addresses common misunderstandings about immigration law, one of which is “transferring" the H1B. Even some immigration attorneys use this term. Yet, from the legal perspective, there is no such thing.
What is transferred when new employer files H1B?
When an individual in H1B status changes to a new employer, what the new employer files is actually a new H1B petition, generally with a request to extend the H1B status. Nothing is transferred from the old employer to the new one.
Is H1B "transfer" easier than initial one?
There is also no guarantee that the new petition will be approved. All requirements for a new H1B must be met. It is myth that transfer filing is approved more easily than an initial H1B filing.
What if you never work for the employer who sponsors the initial H1B?
What if the employee has never worked for the old employer thus has never been paid? In this case, the new petition may not have a base for approval because it cannot establish that the individual has been maintaining H1b status.
Last but not least, H1B stamping issues.
This, however, does not prevent one from obtaining an H1B petition approval through a new employer and regaining valid legal H1B status by traveling abroad and reentering on a new I-94 card. (It is recommended that one discuss this matter with a knowledgeable lawyer, as it is sometimes possible to overcome this problem.) The new I-94 card would be issued at the port of entry (POE). A new H1B visa stamp would need to be acquired for the passport, if the prior H1B visa stamp is expired.
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