H1B Transfer without traveling to US in India, No Approval Notice – Experience

In US Visa Stamping Experiences by KumarUpdated : 148 Comments

One of our readers, Amit, was in a very interesting situation, where an employer filed H1B visa  for him 3 years ago, got it approved, but never gave the approval notice ( I-797) to him.  Amit’s new company applied for a H1B Visa transfer after 3 years, which was cap exempt, and got it approved. He never traveled to USA at least once before this visa transfer on H1B visa. Many of our readers have asked similar questions on the blog.  This is a real experience shared by Amit, which helps you all clarify the situation. Congrats to Amit as he is in US now! Thanks to him for taking time to write the article for us and helping many of our readers. We really appreciate his time. You can share your experience with our readers as well here or email to [email protected]

Background Info :

My first employer applied for H1B Visa about 3 years ago and got it was approved. I never traveled to USA on H1B Visa with that first H1B Visa approval. The first employer never gave me the H1B approval Notice, which is I-797 form.  I only knew my H1B Application Case number that was shared by my employer 3 years ago, I only had used that number to check my case status online at USCIS website.  I had to trust in good faith that the case number was mine and my previous employer did not cheat me.   I never traveled to US to work for that first employer before on H1B Visa and always stayed in India.

What is the H1B Visa Transfer Process from India with only Petition Number ?

All of the below process was done by my new employer’s attorney. You would have to work with attorney for this.

  • A new H1B Cap-Exempt petition needs to be filed by the prospective employer for the same person, requesting USCIS to approve this Cap Exempt petition.
  • A Letter to be directed to USCIS with below details.
    • Proper explanation of why we don’t have the old petition’s copy and approval notice (I-797 copy).
      • We mentioned the reason that previous employer did not provide these documents even after numerous follow-ups with them.
    • Requesting USCIS to use the receipt number to validate the date in their database.
  • One can provide the affidavit mentioning whatever information provided is the best to the knowledge of the person for which petition was filed.

(Affidavit is very important as you are trying to file the petition with the best knowledge you have in good faith and not trying to cheat )

What are the Documents required for H1B Visa Transfer from India ?

  • Copy of the H1B visa approval status of the old petition from USCIS website.
  • Affidavit with the details mentioned in Process section.
  • Copy of any documents with the previous employer that has any relevance with the H1B petition.
    • I had provided the first employer’s offer letter that had the mention of H1B visa.
    • Any additional documents, emails from the official email ID of the employer would be of good supporting documentation.

What are the Risks involved with H1B Transfer without Approval Notice copy ?

As receipt number of the old petition is the most critical information in the whole process, and as far as I know there is no way (known to me) to validate the receipt number relevance to any person. Hence, one needs to be pretty sure about the receipt number (provided by the ex- employer) of the old petition that it belongs to the same person, so that USCIS should get an impression of any wrongdoing in this processing.

How did I file  : Regular or Premium ? How many days ?

  •  I went to the USCIS Case Status Online portal and used the original receipt number of approved H1B petition, which was filed by my first employer on behalf of me and downloaded the approved petition result as PDF. It was attached as part of my new H1B Transfer application.
  • It was a premium processing for my case, and USCIS approved the petition within a week or so without any RFE or other communication. It was very straightforward.
  •  All this happened when I was in India.

What Happened at H1B Visa Stamping ? US Port of Entry (PoE) ?

  • No special questions during H1B Visa stamping. Person asked me about the salary and work location.
  • No questions at US Port of entry (PoE).
  • I successfully entered USA on new H1B visa approval notice filed by my new employer

Were you in similar situation ?  What was your experience ?

Share your thoughts ? Any other advice that I missed ?

   

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Comments ( 148 )

  1. Bhushan

    Hi,

    I have valid petition zerox copy I-797 with me from previous employer, and valid till sept-17. I checked status on US site using petition number and it is showing me it was revoked.

    Can my new employer still able to transfer it?

    1. Prathima

      Hi Saurabh,

      Help me out with this situation.. I have H1b visa stamped in Dec2016, Visa and Petition valid till Oct2017. As my employer is not providing any onsite projects, I’m unable to travel to USA and still in India. I have only still 3more months of Visa expiry. Please suggest which of the below options is better to proceed.

      1) As my husband is on F1,can I go on F2 to USA and then apply there for H1 transfer through other employer.

      2)File H1 transfer from india itself through other employer and then travel USA once new petition is approved.

      Thanks
      Divya

      1. Ram

        Either way it can be done. If you are in India, once you initiate transfer then you can travel only after transfer is approved and get stamping(if required).
        In case you are in US on F2, then you will have to do transfer and CoS.
        Both the cases timelines of approval is going to be 6-8 months as Premium processing is suspended.
        As you have validity for only for 3 more months, you may need to apply extension too along with transfer. So please choose which ever works for you. In both the case, the wait period is going to be the same approximately.

    2. Ram

      Bhushan, if USCIS has revoked your petition due to some violation, then you may not be able to use it again. But if it was withdrawn by your previous employer, you will be able to transfer. Please check with the new company who is initiating the transfer. They will help you reg this for sure.

  2. Bineeta Haldar

    Hello – First of all thank you for hosting this open forum where people are free to share their experience and queries.

    My question is once the visa is transferred to a new company/client do we really need to travel after stamping? Is there an option to make it inactive if I know I wont be able to travel next 2-3 years but still want to keep my visa alive?

    Thanks!

  3. Raj

    Hi Saurabh,

    Is this case about employee doesn’t even have receipt notice copy – I797C (which has name DOB and receipt number) but has only case number given by employer?

  4. Nishant

    Hi Saurabh,

    Appreciate your work and knowledge here.

    I am in US with h1b extension filed 2 weeks back.
    My wife is in india with company A having h1b stamped till Sep 2018. There is no opportunities though.
    1. Can i look for an employer here who can file h1b transfer. If yes what are the timelines?
    2. Can i apply her visitor and once she is here, then go for Visa transfer?
    Please suggest sir.
    Nishant

    1. Ss

      Hello Nishant,
      You can do the following.
      1. Can i look for an employer here who can file h1b transfer. If yes what are the timelines? Yes, you can do that. Check h1b transfer rules.
      2. Can i apply her visitor and once she is here, then go for Visa transfer? You can apply for her H4 visa and then she can come here and look for new employers. The only problem is when she goes for her H4 stamping , her H1 visa can get cancelled but that doesn’t impact the petition.

  5. Sunanda De

    Hi,

    Currently I am working with TCS but I do have a H1B visa petition valid upto Aug,2018 which I have applied through a consultancy. So now I have to go for new petition file through Cap Exempt to transfer employer to TCS.

    1. My query is how long it takes to change employer through premium or normal process?

    2. If I have a stamped visa for my previous employer and TCS applies the Cap Exempt employer change for me, will I be able to fly to US with the receipt notice and the previously stamped visa?

    PS – I have the hard copy of the petition from previous employer and I never flied to US before.

    1. Ram

      1. You can file transfer of application under cap exempt. Currently(09/19/2017) premium processing has been suspended.For normal processing it takes 4-6 months for approval.
      2. If the old stamping is valid at the time of travel, you can travel with the old stamping. There is no need to get the stamping again. But unfortunately its better to travel after approval.
      Good luck!

  6. shankar

    Hi,
    I got H1B stamping in US consulate chennai in OCT-15 and hold valid I-797. I didn’t get chance to travel to US till now. what is the process to get the petition transferred. How much time does it take to get the petition transferred and the cost associated with it.

  7. mandeep kumar

    Hi ,

    My H1B stamping was done a week back on passport. Due to some circumstances i need to go to different client instead of my current client (My petitioner will remain same).
    Do i need to file amendment from india before fly or after going to US ( which is legal and best)?
    My visa approved till May 2019, will they re-evaluate visa validity date during amendment process or it will remain same?

    Mandeep

  8. Diya

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am in a very tricky situation. Please help me understand. Thanks in advance!

    I got my approved petition in Sep which is valid from 01-Oct-2016 till 31-Mar-2016 (Based on what my previous client requested in the invite letter). No Stamping done. My project changed and I now work with a new client. I have a a short term opportunity to travel for this new Client around 2 to 3 months and client has given an invite for 6 months from 01-Jan-2017 till 01-Jul-2017. The requirement can extend but as of now it is just 2 to 3 months. Amendment process has internally started but because the client invite is only for 6 months, my employer will be filing the new petition also for the same dates i.e. till 01-Jul-2017.

    1) So, really my original validity which was earlier till Mar-2018 will get shortened till only 01-Aug-2017. Is this right?
    2) Will USCIS only give approve new petition and stamping for only 6 months or there are chances of getting it for 1 year?
    3) In most probability I have only 2 to 3 months while I am in US to find a new project/client or another employer – so that I can file a new petition. But in case I am not able to do so, and I return back to India – Is it true that I will have to wait for full one year before a new petition can be filed for me?
    4) If the answer to the above question is yes, doesn’t that make sense that I should wait for a long term opportunity for travel rather than going on such short term ? didn’t want to do this really because in this case I at least have 2-3 months to try but who knows what the future holds if I deny this chance.

    Thanks. Kindly respond.

  9. Suresh

    Hi Saurav,

    My H1b transfer approved on May 31st 2016 and joined new employer on June 1st 2016. Previous employer revoked H1B on Aug 2016. My visa stamping is done with previous employer. Now while travelling do I need to go for stamping again with new employer if old stamping is not expired yet?

  10. Ankit

    Hi Experts,

    The above mentioned Q&A is very informative.

    I got my H1b approved in lottery in 2014. I was in Australia at that time and could not get it stamped. I filed resignation from Australia itself for MBA. Now I am in new job with another employer post MBA. When i checked my status, it says “Revocation notice was sent”. Now, I want to get it transferred through my current employer.

    1. Is it true that my current employer can still file for H1b transfer under cap-exempt?
    2. Do I need I-797 copy from my previous employer to go ahead with visa transfer or can be done with my lottery receipt number only as I only have receipt number?
    3. What are the difficulties one can face while/after initiating transfer?

    Please help.
    PS: I have never travelled to US.

    Regards
    Ankit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ankit,

      1. Yes
      2. You can submit receipt number. However, the new employer should be confident that the number really belongs to you. USCIS can look-up more details using the receipt number.
      3. Usual issues related to any petition processing.

  11. Deepak

    Here is my case, Saurabh :

    1. I got through 2013 H1 lottery, stamped and was working there in the US for almost 1.5 years for employer A.
    2. Around Oct 2015, I jumped to a different employer B.
    3. I came back to India this January and still working for employer B.
    4. My old visa I had gotten on my passport through employer A expired by the end of Jan 2015.
    5. So employer B, while filing for my H1 extension recently, also had to setup a stamping appointment at the consulate. And I have got my H1B visa stamped.
    6. With this H1B stamp, can I approach my old employer A to file a H1 petition for me again and fly back to the US with the approval notice of employer A and stamp I had gotten through employer B , recently ?

    Some people say I need to have travelled atleast once on B’s stamp before filing a transfer or else I’d have to go for stamping again through employer A. Some forums read it is not required. Kindly clarify.

    Thanks,
    Deepak

  12. Nani

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have my h1b visa which is valid till next month (nov), Never traveled to US on h1b.
    1) what will be process post Nov if need to travel from same employer
    2) If opt for transfer to new employer post nov and my parent employer withdraw the petition will it have any impact?
    3) How long can it take and what are the documents required.
    4) What are the risks involved in this process post expiring of my visa
    a)getting and extension from parent company .
    b) Or by opting for a transfer to a new employer.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nani,

      1. Employer needs to file a cap-exempt petition for you, and then reappear for stamping.
      2. No impact
      3. Processing time is few months (4-6). Documents are similar to what was needed for initial petition. Only additional document is copy of current approval notice.
      4, 5. No additional risks

  13. Arvind

    Hi,

    I have H1B Visa and I have done stamping as well.

    Is it possible to transfer the Visa from one employer to another ?

    What is the requirement for it ?

    Is it necessary that I should have at-least once to US for the transfer to be done ?

    Kindly help on this query.

    Thanks
    Arvind

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Arvind,

      Yes, another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you. The only requirement is that you should have a previously approved H-1 petition, which you already have. Keep a copy of the original approval notice as it will be required during transfer process.

  14. Josline Francis

    Hi Saurabh,
    First of all- Kudos for being so responsive!

    I have a valid H1B with which I traveled to the US in 2015 for 6 months with employer A. I am now back in India and I have currently resigned from Employer A , therefore I am unemployed . I would like to travel to the USA using my H1B once a new employer hires me. My question is-
    1) Is it possible for employers to hire me and file for a transfer while I am in India ?
    2) Will my H1B be revoked by employer A as i have resigned?
    2)If I travel to the US on my B1 Visa and get employed while I am there ( on my B1 visa), would I need to travel back to India and re-enter using my H1B?

    Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Josline Francis,

      1. Yes
      2. They can withdraw their approved petition at their will; however that doesn’t disqualify you from getting cap-exempt H-1 from other employers
      3. If you enter on B-1 and find an employer willing to hire you on H-1, the new employer will have to file H-1 w/ COS. Once approved, you can start working on H-1 soon after. If COS is not approved or filed, then you will have to leave US and return on stamped H-1 visa and this new petition. No new stamping is required until the current visa stamp has expired.

  15. Srini

    Hi Saurabh,

    I got selected in 2015 H1B lottery and got visa stamped upto September 30,2016.Employer A sent me to US from April 2016 to June 2016.During the stay at US,i applied for extension and petition got approved upto June 2017(But its not stamped yet in Passport). Now i am in India. Questions are :

    1. Now if i transfer H1B from Employer A to Employer B will i face any problem?

    2. H1B transfer should be done by Employer B before resigning from Employer A?

    3. If i join employer B after some gap (4 months) resigning from Employer A,Will there be any issue?

    Please help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Srini,

      1. No out of the blue kind of issues. The petition would still be subject to regular validation and processing.
      2. Doesn’t matter. it can be done anytime even after you have left A
      3. No

      Make sure you have A’s approval notice and recent payslips for the time you were inside US on H-1

  16. Krishna

    Hi All.

    I am krishna having approved h1b for 2015 quota..I went for stamping june 15 case went to admin processing and VO gave me slip,My employer didnt submit the documents till date..I have resigned from their..Request you to help me with below queries
    If my employer didnt submit documents shall i appear for visa stamping again from the same employer?
    what is the possible way for me now.

    Thank you,
    Krishna

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Krishna,

      Your best course of action is to find another employer and ask them to file cap-exempt petition for you. Then appear for stamping through the new employer.

      If you go w/ same employer, you may end-up in similar situation.

  17. RK

    Hi ….

    This is RK, I have H1B approved (yet to travel to USA) with company A, now company A is acquired by company B. Both A and B are in India.

    1. what are steps involves in transfer?.
    2. how days/months will take to complete transfer from A to B?.
    3. any rejection is possible?.

  18. Sandeep V J

    Hi Experts,

    I am also in a similar situation like mentioned in the initial post.

    I would like to know what was the status of your H1B petition when you checked in the USCIS website after three years.

    For me it’s showing as Revocation notice sent.

    My H1B visa was initiated by my previous employer in 2014,

    My petition was picked up in the lottery and was approved.

    Before going for visa interview/stamping, I switched that employer and they revoked the H1B on July 2014.

    I am in India and never traveled to US.

    could you please let me know the possibilities that are in front of me in getting an H1b.

    I have only the Petition number in hand.

    Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Sandeep.

    1. sandy

      Hi Expert

      I have approved H1 from my current employer and i got my visa stamping done, approved for a year. I am still in India did not travel to US after stamping .Now can i transfer my H1 to new employer who is willing to do so and if i go for stamping with new employer and i get rejected is it true that i can still travel to US with my current employers visa?(old visa).Please advie

      1. administrator
        Saurabh

        Sandy,

        Yes, another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you. If denied, you can still travel using current petition and visa stamp.

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep V J,

      It should still be possible to get H-1 cap-exempt (aka H-1 transfer) applied in your case. Find a new employer and discuss the case w/ their attorney.

  19. Rajat

    Its Heart Breaking to know that H1 Transfer from India,though possible,is damn difficult.Local Indian Money sharks won’t allow you to do so even if an US Company is willing to hire you.The US organizations could not connect directly with Indian H1B holders and so comes in pictures these mediators.They will ask you somewhere 4000-5000 USD just to connect you to US Company Hiring manager.I am in to Big Data Technologies having 10+ Years experience working for Tech Giant in India but no one willing to transfer my H1 for my skills;trying since 8 months now.Its like Pay us and we will file this week itself:(

  20. Sandeep

    Hi Saurabh,

    Im in India from past 1 year. My H1b valid and stamped till July 2017 and Approved I-140 from Company A. I have accepted an offer from Company B (Big Firm) and they are willing to transfer my H1b.
    Now Company B says they will transfer H1b immediately as soon as I enter USA with new I-94.

    At POE, If I enter USA with old H1b and visa stamp and provide offer letter from Company B, will it be problem?

    What would be best acceptable way for my scenario?

    Thank you for your precious time.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep,

      To enter US, you need visa stamp and petition. You can use A’s visa stamp irrespective of which employer you plan to work for. However, you should not use A’s petition to enter US unless A wants you to work for them in US. In other words, don’t use A’s petition to enter US if it is B and not A calling you to work for them.

      I am surprised that a big employer like B would suggest this route.

      1. Sandeep

        I’m surprised too. The immigration attorney from the Company B says she wants to minimise risk and also wants new I-94 to send the petition for transfer. I guess she meant she wants not to spend money on H1b and risk of losing it if not approved.

        I’ll check with her if I pay for the H1b petition in PP and later they can reimburse me.

  21. Bala

    Hi,

    My H1B petition filed from my current employer, approval is pending.

    In this scenario, if I moved to another employer, will it be transferred to new employer? What is the process?

    Thanks in advance

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bala,

      It cannot be transferred to another employer while it is pending. Once the petition is approved, another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you.

      1. Bala

        Hi,

        I have H1B VISA with validity until Dec 2017, But i didn’t travel yet. If i will get a chance to travel before expiry, is there any chance to extend the VISA in premium mode? could you please help me to get the process if I travel before Dec 31st 2017? or there any time limit?

        1. Ram

          Currently(as of 09/19/2017) Premium processing has been suspended. Extension can be filed only in normal processing. It takes 4-6 months for approval. If you travel or don’t travel the process of extension is the same. Your employer has to do it.

  22. Purva

    I have my H1b approved from employer A in 2014. It is valid until 2017. I quit the employer and have moved to another employer, but I want to try the consultancy route to get my fresh cap exempt h1b filed

    I filed FOIA and got I129 approved with stamp though did not receive an actual i797 copy as part of FOIA response, and uscis mentioned that they were not able to locate. Is it possible to get my h1b filed under cap exempt by new employer or should i still try to get copy of I797 using I824 from USCIS and then try to get hold of some consultant? Please help getting me answer to the same!

  23. Sandeep

    Thank Ron and Saurabh.

    I am really thankful both of you for genuine advise. You saved me. -:)

    I have some more questions for you.

    If any company or consultancy is ready to initiate transfer while I am in India then when I can start to work with that employer.

    I read some bloughs if the person is in US then he can immediately start to work once you get RECEPIET NUMBER.Is that true?

    Can I fly to US on this new receipt number or Do I need to wait till my new petition gets approved.

    New revised fees for H1B petition and H1B transfer petition are same or any difference?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sandeep,

      Once you travel to US through that new employer, you can work for them. This would require petition to be approved and having a valid visa stamp (through old or new employer).

      You can work for new employer on basis of receipt only if you are inside US when the new petition is applied. In your case, you will be outside US and hence have to wait for approval notice. You have the option to go for PP to get quicker result.

      Transfer petition is still a new petition for the new employer (their first petition for you). So subject to similar fees.

  24. capempt

    i am working with A in india , i want transfer my h1b through cap-empt
    during the process with A get any notication about the change ?

      1. capempt

        Thanks Saurabh!!!

        Redbus2US is more helpfull ppl like us
        one of my friend told me that if there any RFE in cap-empt process ,A-attory would be notified is it true ?
        there is zero chances to get notified to A about the changes rit

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          capempt,

          In my experience of 6 years, I am yet to see a case where old employer was notified about the new cap-exempt petition. Does your friend know of any experiences to support that theory?

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            capempt,

            There is no such statistics available as it varies from case to case.

            BTW, it is cap-eXempt and not cap-empt.

  25. capempt

    If i initiate the transfer from A to B through cap-empt
    will A get any notification about transfer.
    currently i am working with A in india , they dont have any opening in US at present

  26. SHR

    Hi,

    I am working for a company who applied my H1B visa.
    My application for H1B was approved in October 2015.
    Due to slowdown, employer is not able to send me to US and my visa is still not stamped.
    I only have receipt number(WAC#) and employer is not providing I797.
    A validity date is written in I-797(10/01/2015 to 09/30/2016).

    Queries:
    1) Will I be able to transfer H1B with another employer with just receipt number?
    2) Does my H1B application expires on 09/30/2016 as written in I-797. Will I be able to transfer after this date?If yes, what is the expiry?
    3) Do I need any supporting document from current employer?

    1. Rajat Mathur

      You are in the same boat as I am bro-Exactly same Dates and Case only thing mine was approved on 30th June 2015.Employer raised hands for not having projects and I am also not stamped so far.Trying for transfer ever since but did not get any genuine sponsor so far.Everyone interested is asking for self sponsorship of fee and In the range of 4000-4500 USD which I don’t want to pay since its against laws.My good friends in US told job market is very bad here and those in US they are finding it difficult to get jobs than no wonder if no one showing interest in transferring my visa and employ me. I could only suggest to keep applying through Dice.com and also attach a cover letter mentioning your exact case and tha you are looking for H1 transfer [cap-exempt sponsorship] and that you were selected in 2015 lottery and still in India.I797 expire won’t have any significant impact,If the next sponsor is interested,they can very well renew/invoke it and file cap-exempt H1 for you.Ask other experts as well,I just told you what I believe is correct and what currently I am myself doing:).Don’t get in to a trap of paying for your visa there are many fake desi consultancies who will offer to sponsor you for money.

      1. Rajat Mathur

        Also if you have receipt number,your next sponsor can retrieve all your H1 docs along with I797B approval notice by filling RFOI with USCIS which then sends soft copies of all your docs as a CD.

        1. SHISHIR MATHUR

          Hi Rajat,

          Yes, even I am facing the same issue. Clients in US are skeptical in hiring resources due to slowdown.

          I will also try to get an insight to dice.com. It might turn up to be useful.

          However, I am just worried about validity date in I979. Will my current employer cancel the petition? If yes, will I be able to get it transferred to another employer?

          Looking forward for your response.

          1. Rajat Mathur

            Shishir;
            Current employer wont get anything out of Revoking your petition.Though some sponsor do it when consultant is delay in joining them thinking you might be trying for a Transfer.I797 is a very important document and even If its gets revoked or expired it matters least when it comes to H1 Transfer[cap-exempt filling to be precise].So don’t worry about it being revoked or expire.
            All the best.
            I wish someday we will be in US on H1 for its real purpose i.e. skilled non-immigrant workers under specialty occupation:)

      2. Anil

        Hi Rajat,

        You said job market in US is not good currently. My consultant insists that there are openings in market. I hold stamped visa but hesitant t fly to US without job offer in hand and looking for visa transfer to a proper company instead of some consultant. What do you suggest me bro ?

        1. Rajat

          Anil;
          I am surprised as well about slowing job market.I see so many matching jobs over Dice and Techfetch and I keep applying but no one responds.Also my known guys in US keeps telling me that even in US,there are around 70-8-% recruiters from India who has started creating same mess as in India,means posting fake jobs,collecting resumes and enriching their databases to use when market is up.They are also applying to jobs but never even get a call from recruiter.Ideal time to enter US,I would say is Oct-January,this is the time when the Hiring Budget is about to expire for the year and companies try to fill as many approved positions as possible to avoid expiration of budget.Also during this time things moves faster,you will be interviewed in a weeks time and that too just over skype and not even F2F and will also receive offer in 15 days.In short within 15 days you will be onboard.So plan your travel in Oct 2016 I would suggest.Rest here we have other experts to add to my points.

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      SHR,

      1. Possible just with receipt number. New employer can enclose a letter stating that USCIS can get all details about the case from receipt number. After all, USCIS owns the system where receipt numbers are kept.
      2. Typically, you can do it within 6 years, but some have had success even after that period.
      3. No other docs needed from current employer.

      If the employer hasn’t shared 797, then how do you know the validity dates?

      1. SHISHIR MATHUR

        Thanks alot for response.

        In continuation to above, I know dates in I797 as I received auto generated mail from my company stating these validity dates and also our company does almost same to other employees as well. So it is kind of generic.

        What is the significance of these validity dates?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          SHISHIR MATHUR,

          There is no significance. I was just curious as to how you know the dates when employer didn’t share the 797 w/ you.

      2. SHISHIR MATHUR

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks alot for response.

        In continuation to above, I know dates in I797 as I received auto generated mail from my company stating these validity dates and also our company does almost same to other employees as well. So it is kind of generic.

        What is the significance of these validity dates?

  27. h1btransferfromindia

    My H1b is approved in 2015, i have only receipt number with me
    i am in india right now
    can i transfer H1B with receipt number?
    what are the docs required for transfer ?
    only receipt number is sufficient ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      h1btransferfromindia,

      Yes, this is possible. Find an employer and give them the receipt number and print out of online status for your receipt showing that it is approved. Rest of the documents are similar to what your initial H-1 filing would have required.

      Your attorney can submit a letter that although you don’t have the receipt notice but receipt number does belong to you. USCIS can look-up the receipt details in their system using the receipt number.

  28. Karthik

    Hi Amit,

    how did you download your Receipt Status as PDF?
    I have a similar situation and do not have petition copy and trying to follow the same path.

  29. H1aspirant

    I was selected in H1B Lottery in FY 2015 and the petition was approved.Went for stamping to Delhi consulate in Sept 2015 and was given 221g-White for end client letter.The sponsor clearly told end client will not provide any letter.After 3 months sponsor asked me to withdraw case from Delhi and appear again at Hyderabad consulate since many of his consultants got stamped there.I told him this is not the proper way but he did not listen.I went to Hyd in Jan 2016 and got stamped.I was happy but was not sure how did this happen.Over the period consulate Database got synced with each other and Hyd consulate asked me to come again for few questions.They asked me why did I appear again at Hyderabad while the admin processing was on in Delhi.I told them that I could not submit the end client letters and Delhi gave me 3 months time which was overdue.For this reason I withdrew my case from Delhi and appeared at Hyderabad.On this the consulate cancelled my Visa.Th esponsor not helping me in any way and now I gt to know they are small time consultants and has not project or client and has no experience in dealing with H1’s.What are the options available to me now?.Spoke to several consultancies but all are demanding huge money for Transfer and I dont want to pay anything since its illegal.Stuck in middle and no idea what to do:(

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H1aspirant,

      Even though it is hard, you are doing the right thing. You need to find another employer who is willing to file cap-exempt petition for you. It is tough to find a good employer. Maybe get in touch w/ your network of friends and colleagues who are in US and can vouch for an employer.

      1. H1aspirant

        Thanks a lot Saurabh for reading my case and replying to it.Yes I just sending anonymous mails to recruiters over Dice.com and other US job sites for over 2 months now but nothing seems to work out.I will keep trying though.

  30. Ram

    Hi,

    I have H1B approved Visa with Stamping done in India Valid from Sept’13 to Sept’16. Due to some personal issue i could not travel till now. Now i am looking for H1B transfer through another employer.

    I heard that there are some rules changed regarding H1B transfer recently.
    My queries :
    1) How long H1B transfer and Extension will take ?
    2) Do i need to wait for H1B extension before travelling to US ?

    Thanks,
    Ram

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ram,

      1. Typical processing time is 2-6 months
      2. You need new approval notice in hand before traveling to US as you intend to work for the new employer.

  31. Infoscian

    I have a valid H1b stamped from Company A. Since there is no project, I am not sure when I will travel. Can I transfer the H1b to Company B. I have the valid I797 copy and I797 amendment copy with valid stamping in my passport.

    Will my employer cancel the stamping in my passport if I leave ?

    What are the implication’s.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Infoscian,

      Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you. The current employer can withdraw the petition but it won’t impact the transfer.

      They can also cancel the visa stamp, but need to send your physical passport to consulate for this, which often doesn’t happen. In case it happens, you will have to appear for stamping again once new petition is approved.

    2. InfoscianH1

      Hi Infoscian,

      Just wondering if you managed to transfer your H1 with the new employer successfully. Because I am also an Infoscian, holding a valid H1, waiting for a project, for almost like 6 months now.

      Thanks.

  32. se

    Thank you so much for this information. It is very helpful and cleared many doubts. I had this query for long time and many people gave different and incorrect information on this situation. Thanks again!!!

  33. Jaya Krishna

    Hi,

    My case is similar to this one. I got petition approved in September-2015 but i didn’t get any approved documents from my company. May i know how to download copy of Approved document from USCIS.

    Regards,
    JK

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Jaya Krishna,

      Only employer can provide you w/ the 797 approval copy. You cannot download it from USCIS site. If you want, you can try FOIA route but I haven’t heard many success stories.

  34. krishna

    Hi

    I have got petition approved on june 2009 and got stamped visa valid from Oct/1/2009 to Sep/15/2012.I have not travelled to US with H1b. I got visa from Employer A and now working with Employer B. If Employer B applies for H1B visa,I am eligible for cap exempt.

    Kindly clarify.

    Thanks
    Krishna

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      krishna,

      IMO, you were cap-exempt until Jun 2015 (6 years from Jun 2009). Still, you can check w/ B’s attorney if they are willing to file cap-exempt petition for you.

  35. Amit

    Hi,

    Through Company A I have approved H1B visa valid from Oct15 till Jul18 (i have i-797). Further amended and approved through Company A; now with new Receipt no (i don’t have the i-797)
    I haven’t traveled to US even once.

    In this situation can i change job from Company A to Company B?

    Is the same answers above applicable? like – Yes i can change! Company A can revoke, but Company B can sponsor! New dates will be filed from Company B! ?

    Thank you,
    Amit

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,

      Yes you can change the job. Even if A revokes the petition, B can file a cap-exempt petition for you and get new validity dates.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Amit,

          Cap-exempt petition will take 2-6 months to process. PP option is also available. New visa stamping is not required if the previous visa stamp is still valid and has not been marked as canceled in the passport.

          1. Rocky

            Hi Saurabh,

            I have similar doubt. Do you know of any real cases that have traveled to USA for the first time with Company B’s I797 and Company A’s stamp?

            Some blogs are suggesting that if we change employer outside of US and have never been to US, then we should go for fresh stamping before landing in US

            Thanks,
            Rocky

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Rocky,

            I remember people mentioning in posts that they have done transfers outside US and then entered w/o new visa stamping. However, if you are getting conflicting advice, then you should ask your new employer’s attorney and go w/ their official advice.

  36. Ram

    I am working for Company A and they Filed H1B for me in 2015. Its was approved and will exp in Sep 2016. Till I have never travelled to US on H1B.
    If I want to join new company B:
    Questions –
    1. Can my H1B petition be transferred to company B while in india?
    2. Any possibility of revoking my H1B visa from employer A.
    3. If so, transfer is possible to company B?
    4. How much time will it take for H1B transfer?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ram,
      1. Yes
      2. A can withdraw their petition
      3. Yes, still possible
      4. Same time as original petition processing 2-6 months in regular processing, 15 calendar days in PP (not including RFE time).

      1. Sandeep

        I Saurabh,

        I am also in similar situation. I have approved stamped VISA on my passport and valid till August 2018. I want to transfer visa to new employer, but they say come to US on your existing VISA . Once you come to US they will align interview with client and file transfer accordingly. To go to US , I have to leave my present employer in India.
        How is it safe to travel to US on the petition which file by my present employer?
        What if they cancel my petition while I am on notice period?

        1. Ron

          Don’t do it. Check this post for details.

          @Suarabh,

          Any chance you could list that answer as a separate post? Too many people have the same query.

          1. Sandeep

            Thank Ron and Saurabh.

            I am really thankful both of you for genuine advise. You saved me. -:)

            I have one more question for you.

            If some company or consultancy is read to initiate transfer while I am in India then when I can start to work with that employer.

            I read some block if the person is in US then he can immediately start to work once you get RECEPIET NUMBER.Is that true?

            Can I fly to US on this new receipt number or Do I need to wait till my new petition gets approved.

            Thanks for your help.

  37. Sindhu

    Hi Suarabh,
    I need some info. I got H1B Petition and Stamping approved through Company A, but never traveled to US, as I had better opportunity in some other place (Singapore).
    Both petition and Visa Expires in Aug 2016, Now I got a job in Company B in US, they applied for Petition Cap Exempt. Attorney has told me to not to go for Stamping if I decide to travel before Aug2016 and just told me to carry new approved I797. Is that fine ? Please share any experience on this regard.

    Regards,
    Sin

  38. Ankit

    Hi,

    Please help me to clear my doubts:
    I am working for Company A and they Filed H1B for me. Its was approved and stamping was done. Till now I have never traveled to US on H1B.

    Now, I want to join another company B who are ready to transfer my Visa.

    Questions –
    1. Can my H1B petition be transferred to company B while in India as I never traveled to US from company A?
    2. Will USCIS attorney approve this transfer?

    Regards

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ankit,

      1. Yes, it can be done
      2. They will review the case and approve it on its merit. BTW, there is no USCIS attorney. Attorneys are hired by your employer.

  39. np1

    HI, I got H1 from a prospective employer A and went into RFE and issued a form 221(g) blue color asking for project details. But my current employer B is asking me to file a new H1 since he is not aware of my previous H1 rejection.

    I can see two options in this case:

    1. Tell current employer about previous H1 and ask for a solution
    2. Dont tell about rejected H1, simply go for a new one.

    Can some one from this group discuss about pros and cons of above options and suggest any alternative

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      np1,

      Telling employer about previous H-1:
      Pros:
      – you are truthful
      – they can file cap-exempt petition for you and not worry about lottery result

      Cons:
      – they may react adversely knowing that you filed H-1 through another company while employed through them

  40. kumar

    My visa got stamped on Nov 2014 sponsored by employer A, It will expire on Aug 2016. I have never travelled to USA. Now I have a US opportunity with Employer B, they will initiate visa transfer next week.

    Will my visa validity remains same (Aug 2016) ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kumar,

      The new employer will request new validity dates and their approved petition will reflect that. However, your current visa stamp and current petition will expire on the mentioned dates. Once the visa stamp has expired, you can get another visa stamp through the employer you plan to work for.

  41. Dhanashri

    Please help me to clear my doubts:
    I am working for Company A and they Filed H1B for me. Its was approved and got stampped. Till I have never travelled to US on H1B.
    If I want to join any consultancy in US and change my job to company B:
    Questions –
    1. Can my H1B petition be transferred to company B while in india?
    2. Any possibility of revoking my H1B visa from employer A.
    3. If so, transfer is possible to company B?
    4. How much time will it take for H1B transfer?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Dhanashri,
      1. That’s what the article was about. The short answer is Yes
      2. A can withdraw the petition, but you can still go the cap-exempt route w/ B
      3. See (1) and (2)
      4. Typical processing time is 2-6 months depending upon the load at the center

  42. CHSK

    Hi Guys,
    I have applied for H1B and my petition got approved without RFE. But while stamping 221G issueed with Administrative processing. This is the first time I am applying for H1B.
    Now can I transfer my H1B with some other employer? If yes, Previous 221G will effect my H1B transfer? Can some one please help.

  43. H1B stamped not travelled

    I got my H1B Visa stamped in 2007 and not travel US till now. Visa got expired. Now i am planning to go for renewal.

    Can you please let me know am I eligible for CAP Exemption?

    Thanks in advance

  44. Venkat

    Hi BlessedOne!
    Did u get the update on u r H1? Iam also in a similar situation and got RFE…did u get any RFE r was it a straight approval?

    1. TheBlessedOne!

      I got it straight forward (the transfer one), but my earlier application had gone for RFE which was finally approved.

      Just submit all the documents, and I think it should work, if you had previous application approved.

      1. Venkat

        Hi
        Thank you for the quick reply. Mine has gone in to RFE for the transfer one. The previous one also went to RFE and got approved. But now this time the RFE came on 5th Aug but i was told that still the RFE has not come in fax to attorney…this is premium processing. Also please tell me, if the old h1 is petition approved and never stamped, does that mean i have H1 status grant and i come under the cap exempt…right?

        1. TheBlessedOne!

          Yes! Stamping is not necessary, my earlier H-1 was also not stamped.

          You have the H-1 approved status, that’s why you transfer process was accepted, just ask Immigration team to submit all the asked documents and you should be fine.

          1. Venkat

            Thank you very much for the reply. Still waiting for the RFE details..until now i did not receive from the attorney…they told me that they did not receive yet via the fax…so iam keeping my fingers crossed.

          2. Bondhu

            Hi TheBlessedOne,
            I am also in similar situation where I just have receipt number of my approved petition. has your transfer petition application already approved and stamped. Usually how much time takes in this scenario?

            Thanks.

  45. Venkat

    Hi
    When you say approved H1B visa did you mean you got the stamping done at US consulate or you referring to the H1B Petition that got approved but stamping was not done with your previous employer?

  46. Ranjoon

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing info. I have a situation that I got selected in lottery in apr 2015 and got receipt no. Now, I would like to do the h1b transfer to the other company. Is it possible?

  47. TheBlessedOne!

    This is definitely good to hear!

    I am also in similar situation, although I got the Petition Number from my employer after trying and requesting them for about 3 months.

    Now, my new employer has filed a new petition under Cap-Exempt through regular processing.

    I will know the status in another 2-3 months, till then fingers crossed.

  48. jerri

    Thank you for share. I’m wondering why you can stay India for your initial H1b visa without working in US. If you haven’t gotten regular payroll from your first employer, how you can keep you H1B valid and later do transfer. Thank you for answering my questions.

  49. kk

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this info. Just one more query the with H1b approved receipt you can transfer for next 6 years if you have never traveled to USA.
    Is that correct ?

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