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H1B Transfer Process – Requirements, Documents, Timelines, Cost, FAQs

It is a one of the most common questions for H1B workers that “Can I transfer my H1B visa to another company?”. This question can arrive after working for a company for several years, or just after landing in US, or even before flying to US. As part of this article, we will look at various scenarios, look at overall process, documents required, understand the cost, timelines, and common FAQs.

What is H1B Visa Transfer ?

First of all, there is no official term that is called as “H1B transfer”. It is a term coined for our convenience. The official option that corresponds to the H1B transfer is is called “Change of Employer”. It is selected on I-129 Form, which is filed with USCIS when you file a H1B transfer petition. See below Screenshot.

H1B Visa Transfer - Option to Select in I-129 Form

H1B transfer process is nothing but filing a new H1B visa petition with USCIS that is done using the above “Change Employer” option, but that does not have through go through the H1B Registration process or H1B Visa lottery, because the applicant has already been counted in the H1B visa quota cap. There is nothing really transferred from your old employer to new employer or even your visa related stuff. You are only using the previous employer’s approval notice to file it as cap exempt petition.

H1B Visa Transfer Eligibility Scenarios

Depending on where the H1B applicant is during the time of H1B transfer process, USCIS would look at various requirements related to the applicant, including the visa status of the individual. Below are the various common scenarios :

  • H1B Transfer Applicant Outside of US, never visited US.
  • H1B Transfer after entering US in short time
  • H1B Transfer after working in US, applicant in US
  • H1B Transfer after working in US, applicant outside of US
  • H1B Transfer with I-140 Approved

USCIS looks at the H1B transfer applicant’s status and verifies, if the applicant has maintained proper status in US, in order to approve the petition. Now, let us look at the above listed four scenarios in context of applicant’s ‘status’ in US.  It is important to understand this because, applicants have to provide relevant documents like Pay Stubs, Tax Documents, etc for H1B transfer to prove that they were in status at the time of filing. You may read article US Visa vs Status to understand the difference.

H1B Transfer Applicant Outside of US, never visited US

Usually, this situation arrives, when you are living outside of US and a Company applies for your H1B Petition and gets it approved. For some reason your old employer is not able to get you to US, you want to transfer to other company. In some situations, you may even have H1B visa stamped in passport using old employer.

USCIS usually looks at two aspects, one is applicant’s current status and second is cap exempt situation.

  • Applicant Status : The concept of status is not relevant as the applicant is outside of US and will not have status, so you as applicant do not have to prove status. So, there is no need to submit I-94 Arrival Departure Card or any relevant documentation to say that you were in status.
  • Cap Exempt Qualification : The second part is cap exempt situation….This is the tricky part, in the past USCIS used to consider a petition as cap exempt, if you had H1B approved from employer. But, in the recent years, it has become more grey area. USCIS at times questions, if the applicant had H1B status at any point of time. Usually, you would get H1B status, if you work on H1B Visa or you got H1B stamped. So, if you had H1B stamped, you technically had H1B status and you maybe eligible for cap exempt transfer…but, if you did not get stamping, then you never had status, so you do not qualify for cap exempt. This is slightly grey area and some users also shared that they were able to get H1B transfer done, without having stamping…So, you may try, if you have an employer willing to take chance…But, usually, if you have H1B stamping done, then you have better approval chances.

H1B Transfer after entering US in short time

Usually, this situation arises when the H1B holder after arriving in US, realizes that the employer is not the right fit or they have a better offer from another employer and they want to transfer immediately. Usually, if someone want to transfer within 15 days or less. Similar to above, USCIS would look at applicant’s current status and cap exempt situation.

  • Applicant Status : As the H1B transfer applicant has arrived in US, they have a status, which is H1B given to them at port of entry in a Stamp and I-94 reflects the status as well. The applicant has to prove status, but there is no additional information, except I-94 and copy of Stamp on passport that they need to submit to prove status. They do not have to submit pay stubs or other tax documents to prove that they maintained status. This is because the duration is less than 15 days and most employers do not run payroll before 15 days.
  • Cap Exempt Qualification : The applicant is cap exempt as they have both H1B stamping and entered inside US on H1B visa status.

In the above situation, as the applicant meets both of these, they can do H1B transfer to a new employer, if someone is willing to file a new H1B petition on their behalf. They do not have to exit the country, they can do H1B transfer within US.

H1B Transfer after working in US, applicant in US

This is the most common scenarios of the three as many are in US on H1B Visa working for a company and they get a better offer outside and they plan to move. Similar to above situation, USCIS looks at Status and Cap exempt situation for transfer.

  • Applicant Status : As the H1B transfer applicant is working in US for sometime, they need to submit additional documents like pay stubs, Tax returns from previous employers, including approval notice to prove that they maintained proper status all along. If an applicant does not submit most recent pay stubs or tax documents, ( if over year), USCIS may question the transfer and they may not approve the H1B Transfer with I-94. In such cases, employee has to leave US and get stamping done at consulate, re-enter US to work for the new employer.
  • Cap Exempt Qualification : The applicant is cap exempt as they worked on H1B before. So, this is implicit and applicant need to put in approval notice of previous employer.

H1B Transfer after working in US, applicant outside of US

This situation arises, when someone left US after few years of working on H1B, for whatever reason, and plan to come back to US as they haven not used all 6 years. In general, you can Recapture un-used H1B Time. Now, even in this situation, USCIS typically looks at Status and Cap exempt situation for transfer.

  • Applicant Status : As the H1B transfer applicant is not in US, the concept of status is not relevant, so applicant does not have to prove status.
  • Cap Exempt Qualification : The applicant is considered cap exempt as they worked in US on H1B before and had H1B status at least once. Usually, applicant need to put in copy of approval notice of previous employer. Optionally, applicant may even submit payslips from his previous H1B employer, Bank statements, W2 tax forms,  in order to prove that legal status was maintained while the applicant was in US. No proof is required for the period for the time spent in India. You can even submit your I-94 Travel History

So, applicant can transfer as long as they worked in the past and not used up all 6 years.

H1B Transfer with I-140 Approved

One more common situation is when someone has I-140 Approved. Usually I-140 is applied as part of Green Card process steps, where you wait for the priority date to become current. In context of H1B transfers, you can continue to work in US after 6 years on H1B, if you have I-140 approved and it also applies for H1B Transfers too. If you have I-140 approved for over 180 days and not withdrawn, you can use it to apply for H1B transfer as long as you want without any time limit of 6 years. To avail this option, USCIS looks at the below

  • Applicant Status : If the applicant is isn US, they need to submit the status related documents like I-94, Current Pay stubs, tax documents, etc.. If the applicant is not in US, then it is not relevant.
  • Cap Exempt Qualification: As the applicant of H1B transfer has used all 6 years, they need to prove that they have green card process going on and I-140 is approved. So, you need to submit a copy of the I-140 along with the H1B transfer. If your employer has not shared, you can get it using FOIA request with USCIS.

Now that we know the eligibility for H1B transfer, let’s look at the process involved.

What is H1B Visa Transfer Process ?

H1B Visa Transfer process is exactly same as filing a fresh H1B petition with a new employer. The fundamental difference is that with H1B transfer, the applicant does not have to go through H1B Registration Lottery to be counted for cap. The reason is that H1B applicant was already counted towards cap and has not used up all 6 years or either cap exempt using I-140 approval. Also, with H1B transfer, you do not have to wait until march or April of next year, when H1B season starts, to file H1B petition.  Below are the typical process steps on a high level for H1B transfer. We will look at additional details for each of these after these steps.

  • Step 1 : Find Job at H1B Sponsoring Employer : You need to get a job at a H1B sponsoring employer. Once you have the job offer, you need to work with their attorney and indicate that you already went through the H1B cap process and eligible for cap exempt petition filing as H1B transfer.
  • Step 2 : Submit all H1B transfer Documents :  You need to provide all the required H1B transfer documents to your new employer to start the H1B transfer process. The complete list of documents is listed below in separate section.
  • Step 3 :  H1B Sponsoring Employer / Attorney Files LCA with DOL : Once you send all documents, your new employer or their designated attorney will file Labor Condition Application(LCA) with US Department of Labor (DOL).  LCA has the job offered, salary offered, prevailing wage and other info. For more info, read What is H1B LCA, why file it, info in it. 
  • Step 4 : File H1B Transfer Petition with USCIS : After the LCA is approved by US DOL, your new employer will file H1B transfer petition with USCIS. Basically, they will file form I-129 with USCIS with all the relevant fee, supporting documents regarding the offered job, etc.
  • Step 5 : USCIS gives Receipt Notice and Adjudicates : Once the H1B transfer Petition is received by USCIS, they will issue receipt notice to employer/ attorney indicating that they have received the H1B petition and for tracking purposes. Depending on the load of the Service Center and filing type either regular or premium processing, the H1B transfer petition is adjudicated by USCIS in few days to few months.
  • Step 6 : USCIS Approval, RFE   : USCIS either gives approval decision or requests for additional information as RFE, depending on the case and makes a decision of either approval or denial based on the overall petition. 
  • Step 7 : Employee or Applicant Decision : Once the H1B transfer approval is through, now it is up to the employee or applicant to make the decision to join the company. Unless, it is a Change of Status petition, the applicant has choice to either join or continue with previous employer…

Let’s look at the documents check list now.

H1B Transfer Documents, Checklist

The H1B transfer documents are pretty much same as regular H1B petition, but additional details like current status in US and previous H1B details has to be submitted. Below is the complete list. Some of these are optional or may not be relevant for the applicant, if they are in their home country and have never traveled to US.

  • Copy of Job offer letter from New employer, with details of the Job title, Salary offered and signed by both applicant and employer.
  • Resume of applicant.
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of I-94 ( if already in US)
  • Copy of H1B Stamp on passport ( if already in US or have done stamping)
  • Copy of Previous approved H1B petition ( I-797 approval notice)
  • Copy of SSN ( if already in US and worked before)
  • Copy of 3 or more most recent Pay stubs/ pay slips ( if already in US )
  • Copy of W2 Tax forms from employer ( if already in US and filed taxes)
  • Copy of Bachelors/ Masters Degrees or any higher education.
  • Education related University Transcripts in sealed cover.
  • I-140 Approval copy ( if applicable)
  • Academic Evaluation (depending on country, degree and university awarded it, there may be need for education evaluation and submit that as well, check with your attorney )
  • Copies of experience letters, if any from your previous employers
  • Any other letters of recommendation ( if any – optional)

H1B Visa Transfer Fees, Cost

The H1B transfer cost for employer includes application fees that are paid to USCIS and other fee such as attorney fee. Depending on the size of the company, the H1B filing fee can vary anywhere from $1,700 USD to $7,900 USD + the attorney fee( if any).

H1B Transfer Fee ComponentFee in USDAdditional Details
 Base filing fee for I-129$460 Standard fee for every H1B petition
(American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998)



 $750 – for employers with 1 to 25 full time employees )


$1500 – for employers with 26 or    more full time equivalent employee )

Fraud prevent & detection fee$500Needed as there is change of employers
Fee based on Public Law 114-113$4000Applicable, if 50 or more employees and more than 50% of employees are on H1B or L1 Visa status, required for new H1B filing and change of employers.
Read H1B fee increase $4000 rule to check if it applies to your case
Premium processing fee (Optional)$1,440 Applicable only if H1B Transfer petition is filed under premium processing.
Immigration Attorney FeeVaries from $500 to $3000 Varies by attorney and can be anywhere from $500 to $3000. If the employer has in-house immigration team, this may not be an expense

H1B Visa Transfer Process Time

H1B transfer includes many steps from filing LCA, to working with attorney and processing by USCIS. Each of these have their own processing time, so you need to factor in time for all of these below.

  • LCA Processing time : As part of the H1B transfer, employer has to get a New Labor Condition Application (LCA) for the job role at the location of employment. Getting LCA with US Dept of Labor can take anywhere from few days to 7 business days, it is online and is quite fast.
  • Attorney or Employe Processing time to Submit Petition :Depending on the complexity of the petition, both employer and applicant require time to gather documents needed for H1B transfer petition. It can vary from few days to couple of weeks or more depending on speed to get documents like transcripts, education evaluation, etc. You need to factor in at least couple of weeks or more for this step.
  • USCIS Processing time for H1B petition : After the petition is ready and submitted to USCIS, the processing time with USCIS for H1B transfer petition can range from few weeks to few months or sometimes many months. There is no required SLA for H1B transfer petitions filed under regular processing and USCIS can take their own time based on load. It is recommended to file it under Premium processing, if you plan to work soon for new employer after H1B transfer. If you file in premium processing, you will get response in 15 calendar days. Check USCIS Premium Processing

Overall, you can expect anywhere from few weeks to few months, depending on if you choose premium or regular processing.

H1B Transfer FAQs

When can you start working for New Employer with H1B Transfer ?

You can work for New H1B Employer after USCIS receives the H1B transfer petition and issues Receipt Notice ( I797C Notice of Receipt). This working provision with USCIS receipt notice is as per AC21 regulation.  Unless really needed, it is recommended that you get H1B approval notice, before you start working to avoid any issues with transfer.

Do you need permission from current Employer for H1B Transfer ?

No, you do not need permission of your current employer to file H1B transfer by a new employer.  Any H1B Sponsor can file H1B transfer petition, which is basically a new H1B petition based on your current approval notice, on your behalf without any permission from your current employer.

Do I need to inform my current employer on my H1B transfer process ?

No, you do not have to inform your current employer that you have applied for H1B transfer. Having said that you are still governed by your employer contracts for the notice period and other obligations that you need to fulfil, when you leave the employer. So, plan the start date at new employer and other things factoring in these things.

Can I do H1B Transfer from Cap Exempt Employer to Cap Subject Employer ?

No, you cannot do H1B transfer from Cap exempt employer like University or non-profit research institution to a cap subject employer like general MNC companies. You will need go through standard H1B registration and lottery process, if you wish to do so.

Any limits on number of H1B Transfer Petitions that can be applied ?

No, there are no limits. You can have multiple employers apply for H1B transfer on behalf of you at the same time. In general, many work full time for one H1B employer. But, you may work for multiple employers simultaneously, if working part time. This is called concurrent H1B and you need to apply for the same to work for more than on employer.

Any limit on number of times to apply for H1B transfer in a Year or Month ?

No, there are no such limits, you can apply for H1B transfer as many times as you want in a month or year.

H1B Visa stamp on passport is expiring, can I do H1B Transfer ?

Your H1B visa stamp dates are not fully relevant for H1B transfer. You are eligible for H1B transfer, if you were counted in cap once and have not used up all 6 years of time. Also, you are eligible for transfer, if you have an approved I-140 petition.

What has been your experience with H1B Transfer ? Share your thoughts in comments.


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  1. Hi,
    I have recently applied for H1B transfer through premium processing. I got my H1 in 2008 and it is going to expire in spet 2011. The new company that is tranfering my H1 has provided me the receipt. I am currently waiting for the approval notice. Company that is Transfering my H1 would like me to resign from my Current Company at india as I have 2 months notices period with it . On doing so I would be have 3+ week left while entring US in Spet.

    Is it fine to travell at this short notice with Old visa stamp and new 1797 ( waiting to for approval)
    Will there be any kind of questioning at PoE?
    Do you know about a link where I can track the approval status of my Transfer?

    • You can track your transfer on USCIS website by entering your receipt number (USCIS sends that number to your employer once they receive transfer notice).

      There is a possibility that your petition doesn’t get approve by your travel date. If that happens, you may try to enter US based on transfer notice and AC21 portability rule. Check w/ your employer or his attorney to discuss that option.

    • Hi
      I received email about my H1 B Transfer approval and currently waiting to get the I797 doc. Could you please let me know in how many days the document would be sent if the Transfer was processed in premium mode.
      Also ,
      This is the first time I am entring US on h1 B .Earlier I happen to go on B1 . Can I travel to US with old Visa H1B that is going to expire in sept. 2011 with New I797 pertition that has been approved for three years. I am planning to travel in first week of sept. Will there be any questioning at POE.

      • It may take 1-2 weeks for the employer to receive the hard copy. I am saying this because there can be postal delays.

        You can travel on old visa stamp and new petition. Carry employment documents related to new employer including contact information, wage information, client/project information. If asked about the delay and new employer, you can let them know that the market was bad, old employer didn’t have projects etc. If the new employer has an attorney, you can consult them as well regarding the comprehensive list of documents.

        Good luck!

  2. Hi Saurabh,

    I have couple of questions on H1B and H4
    I have valid H1b and petition till 2013 from X Employer. If i change the employer to Y, they will be filling new petition (transfer). and it takes 15 days in PP.
    Q1: do i need to re-stamp the visa being in US?
    Q2: do i need to re-stamp the visa, if i travel back to India for 1 month for marriage?
    Q3: Will it affect for getting H4 for my wife?
    Please suggest, what would be the best time/situation to change the employer ? before marriage or after marriage ?

    • 1. Stamping is not required until you travel outside US. Even then stamping is required if old visa stamp has expired.
      2. Only if your existing visa stamp has expired.
      3. She can get her H-4 visa stamped by submitting your current petition and other documents.
      4. I don’t think it wold matter. As long as you are maintaining status, you should be fine.

  3. Hi Saurabh,
    I have got my H1B Visa and currently working in US as per the H1B Petition my role is functional tester but now i am working as developer in my present company.If i am going to change my employer by h1b transfer can my role be changed to developer or still i need to work as functional tester as per my original petition for my new employer.

    • The new employer will have to file a LCA for H-1 transfer, and then need to specify the correct role and salary in that LCA.

      If you are working as developer currently even when your LCA says functional tester, then that’s illegal, as you may be getting underpaid (generally salary for developer is more than a tester).

  4. Hi, what are the steps to be followed given the scenario – candidate quits employer A after initiating H1 transfer to employer B. B has provided the H1 transfer receipt and now candidate is ready to join employer C, however have yet to receive the first pay-stub from employer B.
    Which documents employer C need to file H1 transfer – is it B’s H1 transfer receipt (pay-stub cannot be provided since candidate does not have first pay yet from B) + previous pay-stubs from employer A
    OR previous petition from employer A and previous pay-stubs from A.

    • To transfer H-1 to C, you need to submit latest payslips. If it has been less than 1 pay cycle since you joined B, then just submit payslips from A. If it has been more than 1 pay cycle, then you will have to submit payslips from both A and B.

      As for petition, you should submit petition from A and transfer notice from B.

  5. Saurabh, I am currently on H1B from a consulting company [A]. I have a job offer from another Company [B]. My questions are these –

    1. Usually everyone starts working for B once they have the receipt for Transfer. I was thinking about waiting till the approval comes through and then resign. Is that fine?
    2. If the continue to work for A, I might end up working for few days with A even after the petition is approved for B. Is this a problem?
    2. If the transfer is denied, can I continue to work for A without any impact to the status, or informing them?
    3. Is it a problem if there is even one day gap between last day on A and first day on B?

    Thanks so much for your time and help.

    • 1. Yes that is fine, especially if you have doubts if the transfer would go through.
      2. No, you can continue to work for A even after B’s approval start date and decide to move to B at a later stage. At any point of time, you need to be working for one of the employers satisfying the LCA requirements.
      3. That is correct
      4. One day should be fine. I think even if there is a gap of 1 week, an attorney might be able to handle that in future (one might be relocating, taking a vacation etc), but there is no written rule from USCIS on this relaxation.

  6. Hi Saurabh,
    If person have valid H-1B petition but not stamping done nd applied through US Consultant then in that case is it possible to transfer the visa?

    • From your question it seems the person is currently not in US. If so, then yes H-1 can still be transferred.

      See H-1 transfer is nothing but another new petition filed by an employer on your behalf, w/ the only difference that its not counted in the quota. To do that, employer needs to show that you have been counted in the quota in the past and submit your old petition as proof. USCIS would also like to make certain that you have been maintaining legal status in US, and for that one needs to submit past payslips. If a person has never been to US, then there is no question of maintaining status (it comes into picture only when someone has been in US), and so no payslip submission is required.

  7. I have a candidate my companty wants to transfer his H1b visa but he is Having valid H1b ( i-797) form but his visa got cancelled in chennai consulate.Note: He is having valid B1 visa and SSN number.
    In this case can his H1b transfer is possible or we want to apply fresh for his visa.

    • Do you know the reason why it was canceled – was it cancellation initiated by the employer or by the consulate? Typically when the consulate cancels the visa, they send the information back to USCIS to revoke the petition. Use the petition number to see what the online status is. It may not state clearly whether it has been canceled, but you can make a guess from the LUD.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        He told us his visa got cancelled as there was no project with the last employer.So his visa gets cancelled.In this case will the transfer is possible or our company needs to file fresh for his H1b.

        • It looks like the cancelation was requested by the company and not the consulate. It should be possible to do H-1 transfer, and once approved the candidate would have to go for H-1 stamping (as his old visa has been canceled). If the candidate has ever been in US on H-1, then you would have to submit payslips/W-2s for that period to show that he maintained legal status in US.

          The only benefit of H-1 transfer over fresh H-1 is that candidate would be able to start working on H-1 prior to 1st Oct.

  8. Hi Saurabh,

    I got H1B stamped with company A and company B is ready to hire me.
    I have never been to the USA.
    Can company B transfer my H1B while I am in India?


  9. Hi Saurabh,

    I have one more query with regard to H1 transfer.
    My present company is filing for my H1 Transfer. Do they have to post a LCA advertisement at the client site for atleast 10 days before proceeding with my H1 Transfer procedure?


    • Any H-1 transfer includes filing of a new H-1 petition by the H-1 employer. And any new H-1 petition requires 10 day advertisement period prior to LCA filing.

  10. Hi!
    I have a question that , my H1B approval is expired in 2010 without stamping in India.
    Now If H1B is re-applied then it will be go under 2012 quota or it will be considered in earlier year when my first H1B was filed ?

    Thanks in advance.

    • If the new employer submits your old petition as proof that you have already been counted in the quota in the past, then it will not be subject to new quota cap. If the reference to old petition is not submitted then it will be considered as a new petition against 2012 quota.

      As the current quota is open, my suggestion would be to file it as a new petition unless you have urgent need to travel prior to 1st Oct 2011.

      • Hello Saurabh,
        Thanks for inforamtion.

        I need one more information ; that if a consulting firm in US files my H1B petition then should this consulting firm MUST have a letter from client that I will be engaged with him.


        • Yes, it’s a must. USCIS needs to see whether the employer has resources and funds to pay you. In consulting business the company pays it’s employees only when the employee is a billable asset. That is why they focus so much on client letter. Filing through a company that doesn’t have direct clients carries a huge risk of rejection.

      • From company’s perspective, extension may be cheaper than a new filing, as there are certain fees that’s applicable to new petitions but not to extensions.

        From your perspective, both are same unless you have already spent enough time in US on H-1 or L-1 visas. In that scenario you can go for a new petition and reset your H-1 clock (assuming you have spent more than 1 year outside US).

  11. Hi

    I am currently employed with company X and have a valid H1B visa. I was onsite with this visa for 1 year from feb2010 to feb2011. Then I came back to India in feb 2011. since feb2011 till now (may) I am in India.
    Now I have an interview offer from a US company, for which I am suppose to have face to face interview.
    My question is.
    1) Can I travel to US on comapny X H1B visa to appear for interview?
    2) If I am offered the positon, can the H1B transfer happen while I am in Inida?
    3) Will the paystubs of feb2010 still hold good for the transfer process?

    • 1. No. H-1 is supposed to be used for employment purpose only. Any other use is a misuse and illegal.
      2. Yes, H-1 transfer can happen while you are outside of US.
      3. You were working in US until Feb 2011. Salary slips from Jan, Feb 2011 and W2 for 2010 are a must for a successful transfer.

  12. My friend is currently working in US for TCS in L1 Visa
    He has got H1 thru a consultant company and looking for some job.

    My question here is…
    1) what wud be the problems for him if he ditches TCS and joins someother job without giving any notice…..anyone who has idea or experience or know information about ditching a company in US or ditching TCS in US … please advise….

    2) also since he transfers to H1 like this in US without going to India… when is it advisable for him to go for stamping in India?

    3) can he get stamped in Mexico? which one is better to get stamping without any problem

    4) also is there possiblity of rejection becos of his previous L1 and shifting from L1 to H1 without leaving company properly….

    5) If so what precautioons or measures he has to take…

    He is totally confused about this procedures and needs help…

    Any help appreciated


    • 1) Legally, the person should be fine in US as long as he doesn’t breach non-compete non-solicitation agreement (if any). However, I am not sure if the company would like to pursue legal course in India (or US). He needs to know actual TCS policy for that.

      2) The H-1 employer will most likely file COS for L-1 to H-1. If COS is approved, then he will be on H-1 immediately and doesn’t need to go for H-1 stamping. However, he would need to get H-1 stamped when he goes out of country next and wants to re-enter on H-1.

      3) It’s always recommended to go to home country for first visa stamping in any category.

      4) I don’t think that would play a part. While adjudicating, USCIS would look into whether he maintained legal status in US (i.e. have salary slips and W2s) and if the H-1 employer has resources/projects to pay him on H-1.

      5) Make sure your friend has maintained legal status and that the new employer has project to place your friend.

  13. Hi,

    I got Visa stamped on November 2008 for X company.But X company couldn’t market me & send me USA for Job.Currently I am in India & my visa is going to expire on September 2011.Now, Y company is asking me to to do H1 transfer & they are telling that H1 transfer is possible from India with premium processing & I can fly with I-797 of Y company.
    Is H1 transfer possible in this case as i never travel to USA for my previous employer & dont have pay stubs for them.
    Please guide me

    • It is possible. Payslips are only required if one has spent time in US on a work visa. As you have never been to US, you don’t require payslips.

  14. Kiran,

    Currently i am working for company A which a small desi consulting company which holds my H1B and recently i have been offered a position by a huge outsourcing/offshoring consulting company B and i have accepted that offer and they have immeadiately started my H1B transfer process(they made it premium) and right now its in intiial review .Folllwing are my questions

    1.the current client where i am working is now willing to take care of my H1B transfer and also do the green card stuff so do you think i can ignore the transfer process filed by Company B and take the offer from the current client and proceed with the another H1B transfer.Will there be any issues with that as i have given the starting date to company B as well but the offer what my current client is making is pretty interesting.Please help me with as soon as you get a chance as my h1b transfer is already in process so i need to take some decisiopn soon.


    • The client can also initiate H-1 transfer for you. Legally that is possible.

      However, you need to keep in mind:
      – Does your employer A have any non-compete, non-solicitation agreement w/ the client. If they do that means client cannot hire anyone working for A
      – Can employer B come after you demanding for expenses. Not sure what they incurred, but they can sue you for the expenses (not saying that the court would award them all expenses, but it’s a headache).

  15. Hi saurabh
    i am holding H1b visa and it is valid till Sep11,2011.can i transfer my visa to new company after expiring the current petition or first i need to renewal my petition from current employer before transfer it new employer.

  16. Hi Saurabh,

    I have few queries regarding H1 transfer.
    1) How much time H1 transfer petition filing and approval takes under premium processing mode altogether?
    2) How much cost will be involved for the employer in premium processing mode?

    Your response will be very much appreciated.

    Thanks and Regards,

    • 1. Filing process can happen as quickly as 2 weeks, while approval would take another 15 calendar days. However, there can be delays due to USPS, RFE, employer’s admin work etc.
      2. I don’t remember the exact number of the top of my head, but I think the cost would be around 2000 USD + 2000 (if >50 employees and >50% employees on H-1 or L-1 visas) + 1250 for PP + attorney fees

  17. Hi,

    my case fall under scenario 1

    Scenario 1: Applicant has never been to US

    My is having approved H1 visa petition since 2010 from a consultency ABC, but have not gone for the stamping and it got expired on 24-Mar-2011.
    Here i have some questions regarding this….

    1) Is it possible to renewal/expand H1 approval limit?
    2) If not, if we go for new H1 application, will there be any effects from previous approval notice?

    Please help me …


    • 1. The company can file for extension, but USCIS would question them why they want to extend it when you didn’t go to US during initial period.
      2. That sounds better as the quota is still open.

      Are you planning to file it through same employer or different?

  18. Hi Saurabh,
    I am working for company A in India which filed by H1B and that got stamped on March 2011 and the Visa is valid till Dec 2012. No my question is :
    I want to switch to some other company (company B) within India.
    1> Now how can I approach for H1 Transfer meaning the process ?
    Also Company A will ask me to return the I-797 and probably they will mark my Visa with “Prejudice….” stamp.
    2> How Can I transfer my Visa without that “Prejudice..” stamp as I will be travelling to US from Company B after joining them.

    • 1. What A can do is send information to USCIS to cancel the petition. They cannot ask you to return your approved petition or have your visa stamp canceled. Even after USCIS cancels the petition, you can still use it for transfer to B.
      2. The visa stamp will not be canceled. That’s done only by the visa officer when one goes for a visa stamp in another category, but the employer doesn’t have the authority to do so.

      • Thanks for the reply Saurabh, let me furnish some more info here for you to help me:
        My current employer A have told me that they will send my passport to USCIS for to cancel my Visa (visa is stamped in my passport) and then they will give me clearence which is one of the clearence form for my resignation from company A.
        Now if Company B applies for my H1 Transfer based on my current H1 Visa , which takes usually 6-8 weeks and my notice periord in compant A is alos 8 weeks, so my question is 1>USCIS is getting my Passport to cancel my visa through company A..
        2> USCIS has got a petition from company B for my H1 Transfer ..

        I am totally confused….please tell me the way to handle this in better way….my point is I want to resign Company A and want to join Company B…..from B I will be travelling to US and that too as early as possible.
        P.S. Company A is tagged with some BEP with USCIS, so they do cancel visas is person resigns them.

        • If your current employer sends your passport for visa cancellation, it would go to the consulate and not USCIS. Even after your visa gets canceled, you can still do H-1 transfer based on your approval notice. H-1 transfer is applicable when the petitioner is able to prove that the beneficiary has been counted in the quota in past years (which will be proved by your approval notice).

          So your steps would be:
          – resign from company A
          – join company B and have them file H-1 petition for you
          – once petition is approved, go for H-1 stamping
          – travel to US

          Note that because the quota is still open, company B can either go for H-1 transfer (you can travel anytime after your visa stamping) or new H-1 petition (you will have to wait until 1st Oct to travel in this case).

          • How about the below steps if I follow :
            – Ask Company B to go fo my H1 Transfer (I have valid H1 visa with me stamped from Company B, vaild upto Dec 2012)
            – My H1 Transfer gets approved and also gets the new H1 Visa with Compant B name along with that in hand
            – Resigns Company A and join Company B
            – Travel from Company B

            Note: Company B is aware of the fact that : If I resigns first from Company A, they will send my passport to Consulate for Visa cancellation.

            Now the important part : Company A is a vendor (IT Co.) and Company B is the subsidiary division of the Company A’s client in India (Captive Center). Though Company A operates with the Client directly (which is in US), not with the Comapny B.
            So is it possible to travel from company B rsigning company A ? Any Idea

          • In the 2nd step you mentioned above, you will not have visa stamp from B as the stamp from A would be still active at that time. Consulate would not stamp another H-1 visa in your passport as the old visa is still active. So it might be:
            – B files H-1 transfer
            – You receive approved 797 from B
            – Resign from A. A sends visa stamp for cancelation
            – Go for stamping w/ B’s documents
            – Travel to US

            You need to check if A has any agreement w/ the client and if so does that agreement includes it’s subsidiaries as well. At times, they sign non-poaching agreement to stop movement of workers from vendor to the client.

          • Thanks a lot for the information’s Saurabh. Its really appreciated.
            You have indeed made our life easier with the valuable info like this.

  19. I am working on a valid L1B visa for a company xyz for past 7 months.I entered US on Oct ’10 . I am looking for an H1 sponsor for me to initiate a new visa and change my status to H1.

    I was wondering if you can help me on some doubts I have ,

    1) If a new H1 is approved before Oct’11 for the 2011 . Can I go ahead and work for the new employer before Oc’11 .
    2)If the H1 is in process and can I still work for the new employer as they have filed my H1.
    3)Once my H1 is approved , can my earlier company with whom I was on L1 stop me from working with the new company.
    4)If I had to go to INDIA after COS to H1 , how are the H1 stamping chances ? If I get rejected what are my options.

    • 1. No, you cannot work for H-1 employer until 1st Oct or actual date mentioned in approval notice (assuming COS is also approved).

      2. No, you cannot.

      3. Legally, they cannot. However, if you have signed any contract w/ them (non-solicitation etc), then you need to look into that.

      4. Success of visa stamp depends upon your profile, your employer credentials and proposed job offer. If they are strong enough to VO’s satisfaction then it will be approved.

  20. I applying for H1 transfer second time with in a month. The new company is one of the biggest in retail. Are there any chances of deny? Is there any information on USCIS site about criteria of H1 transfer approval/deny?

    • Approval/denial depends upon
      – whether the person maintained valid legal status
      – employer credentials
      – employee profile
      – job requirements

      If the new company is a big retail company and assuming you have maintained legal status all this while, I see little reasons for concern. Most of the RFEs/denials these days are related to company’s credentials and client/project information.

        • You are more than welcome to chip-in.

          It’s basically Kumar’s blog. You can contact him at redbus2us at gmail dot com and discuss on how you can contribute.


  21. Hi Saurabh,
    You have a really good blog going on here. Thanks for everything.
    Does change of job title matter when transferring H1B from one company to another company?
    For example, I am working as a systems administrator now and may want to switch to “programmer” or ” software engineer”. ?

    • When you apply for H-1 transfer, the new employer will have to file a new LCA. The LCA will have a job title, which in your case should describe what your proposed duties are.

      Does that answer your question?

        • STEM comes into picture for OPT. USCIS will look at the title and pay, and compare it will existing wages in the state. If they find the pay to be more than the minimal wages, they would continue w/ rest of the processing.

          Switch of title will not have major impact as both of these titles have a bit of overlap.

  22. Hi,

    I am currently on my Student OPT extension working for a client ABC and my employer is XYZ. My OPT period will end on JULY 15, My employer will be applying for H1(Under Master’s quota) on Apr 2011.
    1) Once my H1 gets approved can i work on H1 from the day of my approval it self or do I need to wait till Oct 1’st to work on H1?
    2) I am concerned about the above question because dont know weather i can work after july 15’th or not? I got some information saying OPT Students gets 90days grace period, dont know in that period wether i can work or not?
    3) Clinet is willing to take me as a full time employee, but can do only H1 trasfer. how soon can i transfer my H1 from my employer to client?
    Do i need to wait till October 1’st for H1-B transfer as well.

    Please let me know your inputs on this. Thank You.


    • There is a provision called “cap gap”. If your H-1 is filed timely along w/ COS and start date mentioned as 1st Oct 2011, then you will be eligible for that.
      1. You can work on OPT until 1st Oct, and on H-1 thereafter. You cannot work on H-1 prior to that.
      2. You can work after your OPT expires based on “cap gap” provision. Just ensure your petition is timely filed to make you eligible.
      3. Once your H-1 is approved, the client can initiate H-1 transfer (doesn’t need to wait for 1st Oct). However, the start date for the new H-1 still cannot be prior to 1st Oct.

  23. Hi,

    I have one question regarding blocking a particular H1B aspirant to US by company approved petition. Scenario is while I was with company X, I had filed H1B from one consultancy in India. My H1B petition got approved however due to recession I postponed plans to go to US. I did not go for stamping. Meanwhile company X had come up with onsite project in US and had filed my L1. Initially, I did not inform them of my H1B status but later on they indirectly got a wind of my H1B status. Unfortunately, the project got de-scoped and company X fired me immediately. They were so enraged that they even challenged me of getting a job in US. Because of recession at that time, I did not approach the consultant and instead waited for the US market to improve. When the US market showed signs of improvement, I approached my consultant but for some reasons, they became non-responsive and I suspect that my H1B had probably been revoked by the consultant. I also suspect that company X could be behind this. I would like to know what possible things company X can do to block my entry to US?

    • As long as you have proof that you have maintained valid legal status during your last US stay, you should be fine. X cannot stop you from entering US legally and working for your employer. You may want to find another employer to do the H-1 transfer and then come to US to work for the new employer.

  24. Hi Saurabh

    I have my H1B visa valid till Sep11 ,2011.I am traveling to US in May2011.Three months is sufficient to apply for H1b extension and is there is problem at port of entry
    since i am eligible to stay in US only four and half months.will they question anything that why i came to us since my visa is going to expire in next four months.

    • You may be asked at PoE about the duration of the visit and why such a short visit. To avoid further questioning, it would best to have a contract that states how long your services are required at the client site. You should also carry a recent employment offer letter from your employer.

      3 months is enough time to file for extension. The above contract will also help you in getting the extension.

      BTW, does your employer have a project ready for you on arrival?

  25. Hi,

    I came India for vacation. my husband applied for his H1 transfer three weeks back on normal process.
    Can i travel back to US without any documents(797c and pay stubs).my husband not sending me any documents.After I came here something happened there.actually he married me against his parents will. my in-laws( they are also in US) and husband are in no way responding back to me. I do not have any single copy of my documents only I am having old H4 stamp valid till nov’12 from my husbands previous employer.I am in very miserable situation,Its very urgent i need to go back to US immediatly .
    My questions are:

    1) Can I travel back to US without travel documents but with a valid stamping on the passport?

    2) Can anybody, please advise, what are the rights for me as a dependent legally in terms of protection?

    3) Will the US Embassy be of any help in this regard?

    I would really appreciate any immediate help. Please, please do reply.very urgent,Thank you.

    • Bani,

      I want to ask you a different question: Given that your husband is not responding to you, even if you are able to enter US, what do you plan to do? A person on H-4 is dependent on the H-1 beneficiary, and there are not many legal laws for their rights and protection. I don’t know how it will play out in family courts in US.

      1. I would strongly recommend you to enter US only when you have reached an amicable decision w/ your husband, and have a copy of 797 and paychecks. These documents are not necessarily required, but when you are travelling alone on H-4, it’s safer to have them. Also, PoE officer may want to contact your husband to confirm your identity etc, and your husband should be ready to do that.

      2. Not much in H-1 laws. I don’t know about family laws.

      3. Don’t rely too much on it.

      In the event, things go south in your marriage, it’s better and safer to be in your own country, where you have the support of near-dear ones, that to be in an alien country. That’s my final 2 cents.

  26. Hi,

    I am on H1 and I am changing my employer. My passport is expiring in 7 months and i have not yet applied for extension. Will that be any problem in getting my h1b transferred to the new employer? Is H1 b given depending on the time you have is passport?

    Thanksin advance,
    C Kumar

  27. Hi,

    I was working for an MNC for the past one year on h1b. Now after a layoff, i have switched to a desi consultant. He has applied for my h1b transfer 4 months back. Status in USCIS website shows initial review still. The contract period for my new site that i am working is going to end in a couple of days. Now i am worried what will happen if i am in bench period during this h1b transfer. Or even if i get a job immediately, my desi consultant should apply for an LCA update for my new location. please let me know what will happen in these situations. What does USCIS do

    • If USCIS asks for your payslips, then you will be required to submit latest payslips. If that happens after your project has ended, you may not have those payslips. However, if USCIS doesn’t raise that question then you should be fine.

      However, remember that as an H1 employee it’s your right to get paid all the time irrespective of whether you are billable at that moment or not.

      As for the LCA, new one needs to be filed if the work location changes.

  28. Hi Saurabh,

    I was working with company A in india, Got L1B and worked for 2 years in USA. In mean time I applied for H1B with COS (company XX) and I got my H1b eff from 1st oct, Then I wanted to continue with Company A so i came back to india and after 15 days I when to USA on L1 status ans stayed for 4 months.

    Back to India worked in Company A for 8 months and I shifted to company B, Now there is a requirement for H1B So

    1. Am I eligible for H1B Transfer?.
    2. Am I eligibility for H-1B Not Subject to Cap?
    3. I did not worked for the H1B applied company (XX). So I do not have any pay stubs. (Is it mandatory)?.
    4. My visa is valid till Sept 2011 So after h1b Trasfer approval do i need to go for Visa interview?.


    • 1. Yes you are.
      2. Yes
      3.If I am not wrong, then your H1 never kicked in. You left US just after your COS was supposed to start, and then you returned to work on L1. If so, then you need to submit your most recent L1 payslips from US, and that should be sufficient.
      4. If your H1 visa stamp expires before your US trip on H1, then you will have to get H1 stamped.

      • Thanks Saurabh for your help and quick response.

        3. I was not aware of COS concept So I returned to USA on 22nd Sept on L1 after my annual vacations, From Oct 1st my H1b got actived. I got to know from one of the lawyer that I was out of status for 4 months. he suggested to go back to india and get in with L1 status. So I re entered in to USA on L1B. will this impact any point of time?. in My H1b Transfer or my H1B extention?.

        One more question:
        4. Once I get H1B Transferred (approved) to new company (india) bases, can my h1b sponser company cancel my H1b anytime?.

        Thanks and have a nice day.

        • 3. It is generally assumed that once a person re-enters US, s/he automatically corrects his/her legal status in US. So in your case, you should be fine. I am not saying that questions cannot be asked about this in future (for H1 or Green card), but your attorney can try to handle the situation by claiming you did the right thing (of leaving and re-entering US)

          4. Yes, they can do that.

  29. Hi,

    Helpful information on H1 transfer.
    I have couple of queries if you can answer.
    1. I have a approved H1 petition from Company A, however I am in US on L1 from Company B. If I return to India after some time, then can I have another company transfer my H1 while I’ll be in India?
    2. Are the expenses same for a H1 transfer compared to a new H1 filing?


    • 1. Yes, you can do that. Just make sure you have all the payslips and W2 from the L1 employer.

      2. It’s almost the same as the fees for a new H1. There might be some variations depending upon whether the employer has more than 25 employees or not. Legally, the employer is supposed to pay this fees.

      • Thanks Saurabh.

        There are lot of US employers who avoid filing fresh H1Bs but are ready to get the H1B transferred if somebody already has one. So my questions is, if the expenses are similar then is there any other factor which makes such employers not to go for new H1B ratrher transfer existing H1Bs?


        • I can think of two reasons:
          – one doesn’t need to worry about the quota once one has an approved H1
          – company feels little more secured about your application process once you have an approved H1, as USCIS would have verified your profile and found you eligible

          • Thanks Saurabh.
            One more question.

            If I dont join the company which did my H1B and continue with my present employer on L1, can the former company cancel or revoke my H1B?

            If they can then would any other company be able to transfer this H1B(cancelled or revoked) to them in future if I plan to switch or they have to file for a new H1B(with new petition number) altogether?

            If the company, who did my H1b, refuses to give me my I-797 petition, then can any company initiate H1B transfer with just the petition number? Is a copy of petition absolutely necessary for transfer?

            Your response will be really helpful.


          • Yes, they can have the H1 cancelled.

            You can still go for H1 transfer in future based on receipt number, and a copy of information you get on USCIS website against that receipt number. For a successful H1 transfer, one needs to demonstrate they have been counted in the quota. Typically this is proved by copy of 797, but an attorney can build a case and should be able to submit receipt number as a valid proof.

          • Hi,

            If H1B transfer can be achieved inspite of the employer cancelling it, then what is the significance of H1 cancellation? What does it mean in legal terms?
            What does the employer gain and what does the H1B holder loses when it gets cancelled?


          • H1 transfer is basically a new H1 petition that is cap-exempt. And it is cap-exempt because the beneficiary has already been counted in the quota in the past 6 years. Because of this, cancelation of old petition doesn’t put one out of the numerical quota count of last 6 years, and the alien can still be eligible for H1 transfer.

            Once H1 is canceled, the beneficiary can no longer work for the petitioner. S/he needs to find another employment (i.e. another company needs to file cap-exempt H1 petition on his/her behalf). Legally, employers are supposed to pay their employees all the time, while they are in US (no benching). If an employer feels he is no longer able to pay the employee, they can cancel the H1 and relieve themselves from this legal obligation.

            Does that answer your question?

  30. Hi,

    my case fall under scenario 1

    Scenario 1: Applicant has never been to US

    I have a approved H1 visa petition since 2010 from a consultency ABC, but have not gone for the stamping.
    Here i have some questions regarding transfer….

    1) is it possible for me to tansfer my approved H1 visa petition from ABC to a other company being in india.

    2) if so, should i inform the cunsultency ABC, about my h1 transfer?

    4) if so, What all documents that i need to have for this process?

    Please help me …


    • 1. Yes
      2. No, you don’t need to involve ABC
      3. Copy of your 797, documents from the new employer (information, client/project details, wage reports), passport, degrees/marksheets, resume etc.

      • Thanks a lot for your valuable information Saurabh.

        Can you please let me know how much time will H1 transfer takes place and fee details for the same.

        • Transfer may take 2-4 months (actual time will depend upon processing center and processing times at that center).

          I don’t remember the exact amount, but it’s something in the range of 2000 USD. There would be separate fees of 2000 USD if the employer has more than 50 employees and more than 50% of them are on H-1 and L-1.

  31. Hi
    I have recently placed in the US on H1 and worked there for 20 days. The project got de-scoped and I moved back to my parent company in India. I have only one pay stub.
    Can I transfer my H1 to employer B staying in India?

    • Yes you can, as you have payslips for the entire period you spent in US. Do not forget to file taxes for 2010, and collect your W2 from the employer. This would help in the long run.

  32. Hi
    My H1B visa will expire in Sep2011.I was in US for 8 months and returned to India.My first question is to go for Visa extension do i need to present in US or can i go for extension from India also.Next question is can i apply for H1b transfer to new employer.In this case do i need to for stamping again.Please help me int this.

    • I am assuming both petition and visa stamp are expiring in Sep 2011. The employer can file for extension even while you are outside of US. You will have to check w/ your employer if they are willing to file the extension for you. Once the petition is approved, you can go for visa stamping.

      You can also apply for H1 transfer to a new employer. The new employer will receive a new petition w/ new expiry date. If your petition is approved after your visa stamp has expired, then you need to go for visa stamping. If the stamp doesn’t get expired by the time your petition is approved, then you don’t need to go for stamping.

  33. Hi,

    I am in India for vacation. my husband applied for his H1 transfer one week back on normal process.
    Can i go back to US without I-797. I am having old H4 stamp valid till Sept’11 from my husbands previous employer.Its very urgent i need to go US immediatly .no time for pp.

    My question is, does i need an approved I-797 from my husbands new employer which is still in pending status ? Or will i able to travel on my old visa ?

    Please advise. Thank you. very urgent.


    • You can still enter US based on the old visa stamp (provided it has not expired yet). Remember to carry his latest salary slips.

      If your husband is still working for the old employer, then you should also carry a copy of that 797. If he has started working for the new employer then it would be nice to carry copy of old 797 and also a copy of the transfer notice (797 C).

  34. Hi saurabh,

    my case fall under scenario 1

    Scenario 1: Applicant has never been to US

    i have my h1 stamped, my current company has filed my h1….and i see no onsite opportunities coming my way…..here i have some questions regarding transfer….

    1) is it possible for me to tansfer my h1 to a other company being in india (by getting offer thru consultancy)
    2) if so, should i inform my current company about my h1 transfer?
    3) is there any possibility that they can revoke my h1 if they come to know about my transfer?
    4) where can i find the consultancies which will help me in this process to buy my h1?

    Please help me …


    • 1. Yes it is. Difficult but not impossible.

      2. No, you don’t need to inform your current H1 employer about the transfer.

      3. Yes, they can, but they won’t know about it from USCIS. The only way they can know is if you tell them directly or indirectly.

      4. Really difficult to find reliable companies that file H1. The best place is to get in touch with your network and ask them about companies they are working for in US on H1 (if any).

      Good luck!

      • Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for all your replies in this forum.

        Can you please explain how/why the transfer is difficult for the Scenario 1

        • I said difficult because USCIS has made it really difficult for small consulting companies to get their H1s approved w/o information like client, project duration etc. Lot of consulting companies operating from India do not have this information at the time of H1 filing. Their plan is to have H1 approved, send the candidate to US and then search for projects. That may be a difficult thing in current conditions.

          Besides, not many companies are willing to file H1 transfer while you are in India. So that may be another hard sell.

          That is why I mentioned, it’s difficult but not impossible.

  35. Dear Saurabh,

    Thanks for your accurate answers for this forum which is helping to many people.
    i came to USA 5 months back(july) on h1b through employer A. In the second month, i got an offer from Employer B with one client, and he applied H1 Transfer. The date of application is Aug 16 2010. Still the status shows as initial review. I have not joined with employer B. Please let me know if the employer revoked my H1 petition(as he is not replying to my mail) or still it is in progress.


    • Are you referring to the H1 revocation by old employer (A) or the new employer (B)? The only way to find out if it has been revoked or not is to ask the employer. Another crude way is to check the Last Update Date (LUD) on the petition on USCIS website. It may provide you an indication that some activity happened on the petition (not necessarily revocation though).

  36. Hello,

    My case is Category 3: I am with employer A now and going to India for a vacation. I have to go through Visa Stamping and i am worried as i work in layers to the end-client. The main vendor is ready to hire me but since i have my I-140 approved with A, i am reluctant to join. Now if something bad happens during Visa Stamping, can i ask my main vendor to initiate H1 xfer? They are ready to hire me anytime.

    I know i am thinking negative but trying to be practical and know of things before hand. Appreciate your response.


    • If your visa stamping is denied, you can still go for H1 transfer and once approved, you can reschedule stamping appointment. As long as there wasn’t any fact misinterpretation at your end (during your interview), you should be fine.

      • Hey Saurabh, I have one more question. How long is the process for H1- transfer on a premium. Can i travel when H1 xfer is in progress? My main vendor wants to initiate xfer soon as i have to fly middle of Dec. Can you please suggest? Should i represent my employer or vendor at stamping if my H1 xfer is approved?

          • Thank you Rajesh. I will represent my employer only as all my pay-stubs are from them. I will get all my documents arranged properly and hope my interview will go smooth. Honestly speaking, reading all these forums make you tense :p


        • If your transfer is approved, you need to present yourself as the employee of the company whose petition your are carrying to the consulate. If you are carrying old employer’s petition, then you will get H1 stamp from old employer. If you are carrying new employer’s (i.e. vendor) petition, then you will get H1 stamp from new employer.

          Make your decision on the basis of who has better chances of approval. Visa officer may ask for additional documents (like client letter, project details etc) for verification. Try to pick the petition for which corresponding employer can provide you w/ the documents.

          It is ok to travel while H1 transfer is in progress.

          • Thanks again Saurabh. I discussed with my vendor and he also thinks making an H1 transfer now is not a good idea. I will carry all the docs from my employer along with project specific details. If my client gives his business card instead of a client letter, will that work? I will try my best to get letter from my client/vendor.

            We will think about H1-transfer only if something goes wrong. I really appreciate your help, Saurabh. Can you pass on your contact details to my email? I’ll contact you or ask my employer to contact you.



          • Client letter is much more preferred over business card, as the former details the actual job responsibilities, tenure, work location, terms etc.

            If you want to get in touch w/ me, you can respond back on this forum, and I will reply back. I am pretty regular here (at least for now).

            Please note that I am not an attorney, so I am not providing any legal advice here. You and/or your employer needs to contact an attorney for that.

            Good luck!

          • Hi Saurabh,

            Was just reading these threads and I have one question. My H1B transfer was initiated on Aug 5,2010 with USCIS. It still shows Initial review till date. I am having plans to travel to India in Jan 3rd week.Worst case,Can I travel outside of the country if the H1B transfer petetion is still in Initial review?. It is very urgent for me to travel at that time. I don’t think I have enough time to apply for premium also

            Please let me know


          • Yes, one can travel outside of US, while the transfer is pending. As long as you have an unexpired H1 visa stamp that you can use to enter US, you should be fine.

            If you have already started working for the new employer, remember to carry employment letter, recent payslips and copy of transfer petition to show that you have been maintaining legal status in US.

          • Thanks a lot for your reply Saurabh,

            Yes I have all the documents and do have valid I797 of my previous employer too. He has not revoked my orevious H1 and is ready to keep it active..


    • Nancy, Be careful with recommendations from websites and blogs…ideally, you must know someone in the company or consultancy before you join them…

  37. Hi All,
    we are start-up company have registered office in Seattle, now our client has requirement of Contract Developers.
    We are planning to hire H1 holders and place them. do USCIS ask for minimum bank balance and cashflow statement. since we have fewmonths track record we are really confuesed to go ahead with applying H1 transfer for candidates we selected.

    please let me know your valid inputs.


    • They primarily vet the company for cash flow and revenue. For example, if you are hiring a person on H1 w/ salary 60K USD, then you either need to have enough cash reserve or regular income to pay monthly salary.

  38. Hello Friends,

    Please advise.

    I am facing a weird situation in my H1B transfer case. I applied for H1B transfer through a new company in India in the month of May 2010. Its been four and half months now, but still there is no response about my case from USCIS. There have been no RFEs’ in my case. I have submitted all the required documents.

    Have any of you guys heard or read about something similar to my case? Does the transfer (from outside USA) always take so much time?

    What are the options?

    • Hi Deepak, can you please email me any details of the company through which you applied for your H1 transfer while in India. I am currently and h1 and looking for transfer and I would be going to India and stay there for few months.can you please let me know at rc48326 at gmail.

      Thanks much in advance.

  39. Hello friends,

    Please help me.

    Actually I have a H1B VISA from Company A. But resigned that company(A) 1.5 yrs ago. Currently I am working with Company B.
    Now company C wants to send me to US by transfering the H1 from Company A.

    Is this feasible??

    Note: Company B has not transferd the H1 B. Company C needs to be transfer it from company A.

    • Surya, In fact, there is nothing called transfer of visa. A new H1B application is applied, but your old receipt number is used to avoid the cap limitation. So, you must be fine.

      • Thanks Kumar..

        So you mean to say, I must have a i797 from company A. And if it is not transfered by company B also, Company C can file a new H1B with out cap right??

        • To add more.. Currently I am working in Malaysia (Company B) and till now did not use my H1B, which is valid until next year Oct, to go US.

        • Yes, that is correct. C can use the petition from A to show that you have already been counted in the cap.

          As the quota is still open at the moment, C can file a H1 petition for you w/o mentioning A’s petition.

          • Saurabh,
            So quota is open until when?
            And also how much time it takes to get the new H1B from Company C??

          • Current prediction is that it will be filled by Mar next year, although that may change in coming months.

            797 approval is taking 2-3 months at the moment.

  40. Hello Saurabh,
    I’m currently on F1-OPT. My employer has filed for H1 with Oct 1st start date. It hasn’t been approved yet.
    I have an offer from another Company B. Can Company B initiate the transfer of an yet to be approved H1 ?
    If not, could you please guide me through other options. My OPT ends in Dec 2010.

    • B cannot initiate the transfer unless A’s petition is approved. However, you can have B file a H1 for you w/ or w/o Premium Processing.

  41. Hi,

    Here’s my scenario regarding H1b transfer. Please provide your inputs/thoughts on this:
    I worked in US from Feb 2008 to Dec 2008 on H1b visa from a consulting company who sponsored my visa, went out of USA for a vacation to India for a month. Returned to US in mid Jan 2009. Searched for a project till March end but couldn’t find a suitable project. I had to return to India in 1st week of April.
    Now, I am in India and transferring my visa from another company. The new company applied for visa transfer and got the receipt in May 2010. I am still waiting to hear from USCIS about my case. I have submitted all my payslips and W2 for the year 2008. My visa will expire on 30th Sep 2010.
    Here are my questions/doubts:
    1. What are the chances/possibilities of getting my visa transfer approved. Haven’t received any RFE yet.
    2. Can I now initiate the premium processing for my case (having known that my visa transfer is already in process for a long time now)

    Please provide your inputs/suggestions on what are my possible options. Should I just keep waiting until I get a response from USCIS?

    • Well, as long as you have all the paperwork right and company is genuine, you should be fine…every case is different…it is not just your pay stubs…
      Yes, you can upgrade to premium processing. I do not see any point for upgrade unless you have a job waiting in US for you right now.

      • Hi Kumar,

        Thanks for your inputs. Is it that the visa transfer always takes so long (in my case its been more than 3months)? As per what I see/read in online posts, the normal processing time would be 45-60 days.
        Any thoughts?

    • USCIS may ask for the payslips/W2 for 2009 as that is the latest period spent in US on H1.

      Is the new company aware that you spent that time in US on H1 w/o salary? You can talk to the new company’s lawyer to discuss possible solutions if USCIS raises RFE for that period. If they don’t raise the question, consider yourself lucky; but it’s better to be prepared.

      Do you plan to fly to US prior to Sep 30th? If not, then in any case you will have to go for visa stamping in order to fly on a later date.

      • Thanks for your inputs Saurabh.
        Yes, the new company is aware that I was w/o salary for about 2.5 months, coz I submitted all the paystubs that I worked for in 2008 and none for 2009. But they say that they haven’t got any RFE for my case in these 3+ months. I am not able to predict anything about my case now.

        What is the a risk if I plan to fly b4 Sep 30th with a new I797 and when my old visa is about to expire in like 10-15 days? Are there any chances that I would be stopped or denied entry at the port of entry (POE)?

        • I believe you would still be able to enter US. A visa is required just to enter US, and CBP ensures that your visa is still valid when you enter US. It doesn’t say anything about validity of the visa.

          Usually, CBP officials give I-94 until 797 expiry date, which in your case will not be same as visa expiry date.

  42. Hi,

    i came to usa on h1b visa 20 days back . i got good offer now with MNC company. they are willing to transfer my visa, what are the possibilities of getting transfered.


    • The new employer can initiate the visa transfer. Because you have already stayed in US for 20 days, USCIS may want to see the payslip for the first fortnight (remember USCIS expects you to work from day 1). If asked, new employer’s attorney can build an answer stating that you were waiting for SSN etc. It may work, but depends upon the officer adjudicating your petition.

      If you feel certain that transfer would go through, then you can start working for the new employer on the basis of H1 transfer petition received by USCIS. If transfer gets approved, you are all set to go. However, if you have doubts that transfer would go through then it’s better to stay with the old employer until petition is actually approved.

      Let me know if you have additional questions.

  43. If H1b Visa revoked by US company and that Company asking for H1b tax which is 20 % of salary and company is not giving job and salary. then what should I do?.

    • I am little confused about your question. If the company has already revoked H1, they are no longer eligible to provide you job and salary.

      However they need to provide salary to you for the entire period you were in US on H1. They cannot demand any tax from you. That’s company’s responsibility. If the company is not paying you for the period you were in US on H1, then you can complain to DOL using WH-4 form (provided these irregularities happened in last 1 year).

  44. I have a question here. I am a new H1 applied candidate. I am expected to get the H1B visa soon. lets say I have not travelled to US on the current Visa and I left the curent company A with ou traveling, Now if I want to transfer the existing Visa on the nae of new Company B, then can the transfer be possible??or will it go as a separate new application?..Appreciate your quick reply.

    • You can apply for the transfer. It would still be a new petition, but won’t be counted against the quota. This comes in handy when the quota has exhausted.
      Yours would be scenario 1 described above.

  45. Need help

    I am currently an F2 visa holder in need of a job, can someone tell me of companies they might know here in Atlanta that have interest of sponsoring for H1 workers permits. i do have an MBA obtained here in the USA. Can some one kindly assist me.

  46. Hi Kumar,

    I am on a L1 and now in the US. My project getting completed by July 31, 2010. My L1 is valid for another 3 years and so is my I94. I have found a H1B sponsor who promises to do a premium processing if I find a client. My question here is, can my current employer have me deported after July 31st (even if I have a H1 approval by then) ? Would I be able to stay in the country for 2 more months (August & Sept with a H1 approval) and start working with my H1 from Oct 2010. Is this possible only if my current employer doesnot report me to immigration ? Please clarify.

    • Ram,

      Yes, your current employer can ask you to go back to India at the end of the project. Your in-flight H1 approval doesn’t allow you to stay in US. So unless your employer allows you to stay until Oct 2010, you will have to leave US and then re-enter w/ H1 stamp (i.e. if you want to work on H1).

      • Hi,

        Thanks for your reply. Please let me know if the below is a possibility.

        I heard recently that one can convert L1 into a F1 (student VISA) by enroling in a simple English course and also parallely file H1B. So the F1 would serve as a valid VISA for the 2 months August and September and once H1B is approved my status changes by October 1st, so that I can start working. I need a opinion about this approach from you and the possible difficulties that may arraise out of this.

        Eagerly waiting to hear from you guys. An early reply would reply be of great help; I can go ahead filling my F1 soon.

        • What you are talking about is Change of Status from L1 to F1.
          To move to F1, you need to have an I-20 from a college. So you will have to find a college that would give you an I-20. You will have to show funds to complete the course. The other complication that may arise is when you apply for H1, what will be your current status – F1 or L1?
          Another thing you can do is to apply for COS to B1 (tourist visa). You don’t need any I-20 for that.
          But all these options involve reasonable amount of risk (USCIS may consider intermediate visa status as an abuse of visa i.e. you used it to stay in US).

  47. Hi,

    If a person fall in scenario under 1 and have H1B for last 20 monts, is it the case that when he lands in US, so much cross verification is done? What all documents should be provided to convince the Immigration Officer in US, to explain why he has not travelled for last 20 months?


    • First time arrivals seldom have to go through tough questions at PoE. In the current market conditions, an easy (but convincing) answer would be job market. One can let the PoE officer know that s/he didn’t enter US because the job market was down, but now they have a project. Documents like recent offer/employment letter, client/project details always help in strengthening one’s case.

  48. Hi Saurabh,

    Appreciate you quick reply and detailed answer.

    It would be really much more helpful if you could give your views on the below question, which is relevant to this subject.

    May I know the conditions for Scenario:4.

    Example case: A person worked in US for 3.5 years, and the legal status was maintained during his stay in US. He returned to India in 2009 and working here in India for 18 months with an India InfoTech. They considered him for their US on-site requirement, since he has valid H1b visa.

    Background Information: His last Visa/Petition was not cancelled by his last US Employer, which expires on its own by July 2010.

    Question 1: Should he apply for any transfer before the last Visa/petition expiration or Can he go for visa transfer even after the expiration of the last Visa/Petition.

    Question 2: The new petition will be valid for how many years ?
    a) 3 Years ( Since he/she is applying for new petition after 1 year gap ), but old Quota count.
    b) 2.5 Years ( which is remaining on 6 years ).

    Can you please give your views on this. Thank you.

    • If USCIS approves his transfer case , then the new petition may be valid for how many years ?
      a) 3 Years ( Since he/she is applying for new petition after 1 year gap ), but old Quota count.
      b) 2.5 Years ( which is remaining on 6 years ).

      • Answer 1: It is better to start the transfer before the expiry of old petition (all the more necessary when the alien is in US). In this case, because the alien is outside of US, it should be okay to apply for transfer even after the petition has expired.

        Answer 2: This will depend upon the LCA filed by the new company. If they file the LCA for 1 year, then the petition will be approved for 1 year. The maximum they can apply for is 2.5 years as the alien has already spent 3.5 years in US. Note that if the alien went out of US during those 3.5 years, then that period is not added to the 6 year clock. For example, if the alien went out of US for 3 months in those 3.5 years, then the company should be able to file for LCA for 2.5 + .25 years. The employer/attorney will have to prove that 3 months were spent outside of US (you can use passport arrival/departure scans to prove the same).

        However, I must add that if the new petition is filed w/o any reference to old petition, the alien might be able to get 3 years of visa. I am not sure if USCIS will map the passport number to see if the alien has spent sometime in US or not, but because there was a gap of more than 1 year, this may be relaxed. Will have to check with an immigration lawyer.

        Do let me know if you have any additional/follow-up questions.

  49. Hi,

    I have a question for the Scenario 4. Can a person file transfer of petition even after 18 months stay in India, if his/her old H1b is valid ?

    Please give your views on this. Thank you.


    • Once you have been counted in quota once, you are good for next 6 years. So even after staying in India for 18 months, one can go for option 4. The success of the same will depend upon the 2 criteria I mentioned in the article.

      The biggest challenge with options 1 and 4 is to find the new employer. Many big/good companies may not be willing to hire you unless they have interviewed you face to face (which is not possible as long as you are in India).


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