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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,
    My H1b got approved last month. but my employer don’t have a job to offer me until July and he is refusing to pay until then. Meantime am getting lot of job offers. Can i change my employer without any payslips? Please help.

    I’m already i n USA .(H4 to H1b)

  2. Hi Saurabh,

    I did my h1b stamping with consultancy A and still in India and not travelled yet to USA. My consultancy A is not having any project and now I am planning to transfer my H1b and got one employer.According to new employer it will not be any problem to transfer h1b.

    I have the following questions.

    1)I have not travelled yet to USA and not having any pay stubs . So will it be any problem to transfer without having paystubs and not working even a single day with current h1b petitioner.



    • Hello Priya,

      My friend from Nasik has the same query.

      He got H1B but his employer is not willing to take him on board.

      Please tell us what you did in your case.


  3. Hi Experts,

    I have my H1B approved this year (in Oct 2016) and my current company is unable to Stamp by visa because of funding issues.
    Could you please let me know if I can transfer my approved petition to some other company and go for a stamping or my Visa will be cancelled If I change my current company ?

    If my petition can transferred , please let me know the process to follow and the risks in doing so ?


    • Hi there, have you figured out what to do?

      I’m facing exactly the same situation like yourself.

      Please help!

  4. Hi Surabh,

    I am in different situations recording H1B.

    First, I am working from company A and working for a client B @ NJ while applying for H1B. Now that project was closed and also H1B petition approved.

    Now, I am working for that same client B but different US location project from same company A.

    And also my passport is going to expire on Aug 17.

    1. For stamping for with old passport or apply for new and go for stamping?

    2. In next month my employer applying for H1B transfer. How much time it will take to complete process?

    Please let me know your input to solve my mind blowing confusion.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi,

    Please advise…!
    I came to US on H1B from company-A, I worked here for almost 2 years. Recently I have transferred to Company-B{2 Months}, my H1 transfer with Company-B is still pending{regular processing}. Now I have a better opportunity with Company-C and they will be initiating my H1 transfer via premium processing. I have an emergency plan to visit to India, Can I travel while my H1 transfer with Company-C is being initiated and pending?

    Note: None of the companies A or B have requested to withdraw my application from uscis.

    Also, I will be still working with Company-B for atleast a week after my trip from India{I am planning for 2 weeks vacation}. Company-B have provided me with h1 transfer receipt copy, experience letter, company documents and vacation letter, just in case if needed. I have approved H1 copy from company-A

    Also, my visa stamp in passport and I-94 are still valid until next year.

    Also, while I am in India, If Company-C H1 transfer is approved, then they will provide me the receipt or approval copy as it progresses.

    Please let me know will there be any issues expected while my return in port of entry or any advice would be really appreciated.


  6. hi
    I had H1b from previous employer (A) and i stayed in USA for 9 months. i resigned in USA and travelled back to India. I joined another company (B) after few months and working in india for 3 months. They applied for a new H1B visa under the same petition (Transfer in raw terms). It got RFE and it requires some time to be approved and then i need to go for stamping as well. This entire process will take around 1 month time. But i need to be at USA within 2-3 weeks. Hence , they planned for a Business visa for me . Is there any complication on this as my H1B is under process as we have already applied and then we are also applying for B1. Also is there any complication on the petition of my H1B in future.

  7. Hi Saurabh,
    I came from offshore through employer A. My project is ending and my current employer does not have any more assignments so they are sending me back to offshore. They want me to travel back in 10 days from today.

    I have found a new employer B who is ready to transfer my Visa. As per B once the LCA is approved then they can file my H1B Ext. I hear that LCA Approval takes 7 working days. Filing the H1B transfer and receiving my reciept notice will take another 3 days.

    My situation here is if I resign from Employer a day before I am supposed to travel, i will still be out of status for few days, until LCA approval and H1B transfer. How many days can I be in US without Employer? Your valuable insight and suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

  8. Hi Saurabh,

    I filed my H1B visa through company A and it’s picked up in lottery.Got the receipt number from them.Now,the status is showing as RFE on USCIS site.

    Please suggest if H1B visa can be transferred to company B if the status is in RFE from company A.

    I am in USA on H4 visa and wants to change my status from H4 to H1.

  9. Hi Saurabh,
    My H1b was approved thru company X and never went for stamping, later i have transfered H1b to other company Y and went for stamping and got stamped with company Y.
    so i came USA with Y company and working from last 1 year.
    Now i am thinking to work with company X and my H1b with them was still valid for one more year.
    If company X doesnt revoke my petetion yet and still they have my valid H1 can i directly join and start work with company X without transfer the petetion to x again?
    or i need go thru the H1b transfer process again with company X?

    can you please explain the possibilities?

  10. Hi Saurabh,

    I applied H1 through a consultancy and went into RFE. Currently am in L2 visa and working for company A. Can I do H1 transfer to company A while H1 is in RFE with the consultancy?

    Thanks in advance

  11. Hi Saurabh,

    My H1B petition has been filed through a consultancy and it got approved recently and I have been working for client A through the same consultancy . Now client A wants to hire me full time, however I do not have any pay stubs from my employer as he deposits my salary and refused to provide pay stubs. I do not want to lose out the full time opportunity . I can get the client letter indicating that I am working actively indicating the employment dates. Will this & copy of my h1b approval suffice for H1B transfer?

    Thank you,

  12. Hi,

    I am on bench from 15th Sep
    My employer is running my salary but he is not depositing the salary in my account.

    He gave me the salary slip(Thru ADP) on 14th Oct (15th Sep to 30 Sep) but the salary slip shows that it is check payment and not direct deposit.

    I got an fulltime offer and filed a h1 transfer (normal ) with latest salary slips on 25th OCT.
    so out of 6 salary slips 5 (old once) show salary deposited and 6th Latest one shows the check payment.

    Would this create a problem/rfe during the approval process? Since latest salary slip shows check and all other show direct depost


  13. Hi,

    I have valid H-1B visa. I have not traveled to US.
    I want to change my employer but current employer is not giving receipt number.

    How can i transfer my H-1B ?


  14. Hi There,

    I got H1 B approval letter on 01-Oct-2016 from my company which they filed in Mar-16. but I had decided to leave the company . Now Can I use that H1 in future with some other company or in the same company later rejoining. My company person said they will cancel the H1B.

  15. Saurabh,

    I have got H1B visa from company A in 2015 and this visa was expires on last month. still now I didn’t get opportunities from company A so now i am trying for opportunities from other sources from home country. I have few queries on this.

    1. If suppose get a job from company B and ready for transfer my H1B. will get know any thing on my h1b transfer to company A? if yes what problems will be there?.

    2. In b/w transfer process to B company or transferred to B company, suppose if i got an opportunity from Company A that time possible to travel US with amendment petition with new visa stamp? .


  16. Hi,

    I have valid H1 from company A, worked in US for 4 months and came back to India as there is no proect, now trying to move out to company B, but company B has no onsite,

    is it good move out of Company A without transfer my H1, what will happen if i leave now? in future can i transfer to any other company i join? my H1 valid till 2018 mid

  17. Hi ,

    I have been working with consulting company at client location from past 18months on OPT and Current employer applied for H1B this year and approved effective 10-01-2016. I have paystubs with my current employer from past 18 months.

    Now I have full-time opportunity who are willing to apply for H1B transfer in Mid of this month in premium processing. But my October pay period pay stub is not generated until November 30.

    Will this transfer works. How can prove USCIS that I have active H1B saying that I am currently working for my current employer on H1B.

  18. Hi Saurabh,

    I am in a fix. I live in USA. I got H4 to H1 transfer and approval this year active Oct 1 2016, from a consultancy A.
    They want me to find Corp to corp contracts now which I have been trying since few months, but still not able to find one in my location.
    All the job opportunities I get are for Full time.

    1. Can I get my H1B transfer done now to a Full time position with company B, w/o any paystubs from consultancy A as I still haven’t got have any project on their C2C payroll.
    2. Do I legally need to be paid from Oct 1 by company A, even though I dont have any project in hand?

    Eagerly waiting for your reply

    • PS,

      1. Yes, another employer can file H-1 transfer for you. As it has been just a week since you moved to H-1, payslips may not be mandatory. However, if the transfer is applied towards later half of Oct, then payslips may be asked for.
      2. Yes, legally A is required to pay you from oct 1 irrespective of whether you are on a project or not.

  19. Hi Saurabh,

    Need you help in an urgent case. Would be great if you can help.

    H1B with employer A came up in 2014 lottery.. Travelled to US in 2015 and returned back to India after 6 months. Visa expires in August 2017. Serving notice period with employer A.. Had a discussion with employer B about this but nothing concrete. What should I do in this case?

    Thanks and Regards

    • Nikhil,

      B can file a cap-exempt petition for you. You can then use this new petition and old visa stamp (provided it has neither expired nor been marked as canceled) to travel to US and work for B.

  20. Hi Saurabh,

    Need your help on this critical situation !!!
    Scene 1 – My H1B is with Company A. But without informing to comp A went to US based on company A papers and landed in US and joined some consultancy to find the job.But my bad luck is that I did not get the job, so I came back to India and started working with comp A. First drawback is I dont have paystubs and W2.
    Now I attended few vendor /client calls from India and got selected to one of the good client of some consultancy/vendor(“abc” consulting).
    So please tell me what should be my next step.

    • Manish,

      First you should know that you broke H-1 rules by entering US on H-1 w/o A’s consent. You not only put your immigration status in jeopardy (you didn’t get paid etc), you made A a violator. In view of USCIS, A didn’t pay you while you were on H-1. If A is ever scrutinized about this, I don’t think they will hesitate in throwing you under the bus.

      I don’t know who gave you the suggesting to enter US like you did. The correct way (which you should do for next employer) is have them file a cap-exempt petition for you. Once approved, you can enter US on A’s visa stamp (or get stamping through new employer) and new employer’s petition. If USCIS does ask for payslip, then it is up to you to figure out a way out or accept the consequences of breaking the law.

    • Dear Saurabh,
      I have a valid H1B stamp with company A and it’s valid for 2 years. I have not been to US as I am not getting any US opportu
      nities from A. Now if I change my employer to B and in the meantime A revokes my petition, will my new H1B with B be cap exempted and how long it will be valid?

      • Amit,

        Yes, B can still file a cap-exempt petition for you even after A withdraws their petition. B can file for cap-exempt petition within 6 years of original approval date. In some recent cases, this 6 year limit was not even honored.

  21. How sourabh,
    How can we go with the following scenario.
    Employee comes to USA on company A and he is been in USA for around 15 days.
    Now he wants to try for H1B transfer with company B, but he has only one payslip. How should he be going with this scenario. Will that be possible ?

    • SR,

      Yes, the employee can go ahead with the transfer. As the employee cannot have more than 1 payslip due to the limited time he was in US, this should be fine.

  22. Hi Saurabh,

    Employer A filed an H1B visa for me and I came to the US in March 2016. I was on bench for two months and didn’t get paid during that time. Post May, I started a client project and have been getting my salary and the paystubs.

    I am planning to get my visa transferred to employer B. But my recent paystubs make it clear that the year to date salary is low and that I wasn’t pad for the first two months.

    1. Am I at risk of being out of status if I submit the last two salary slips ? ( for the month of June and July ), and USCIS determines that I wasn’t paid during the first two months.

    2. Can I submit my bank statements for H1B visa transfer showing the salary deposit for the last two months, without submitting the salary slips ?

    What should my course of action be to get the visa transferred without an RFP.

    Please suggest.

    • Anu,

      1. Usually USCIS doesn’t look at year to date pay to determine whether you are getting paid as per the LCA or not. They typically look at the last couple of payslips and determine whether you are getting paid or not.

      2. Payslips is preferred to bank statement.

      If you have concerns, talk to the new employer’s immigration lawyer. They should also reply on similar lines.

  23. Hi Saurabh,

    Please assist me,

    I am currently working with Employer A and have applied H1B(2016) through Employer B, the Visa status is “Transferred to other office”. My current employer is willing to apply L1B right now, I have following questions,

    1. Shall I go ahead and apply for L1B with Employer A and will it have any influence on my H1 currently in progress
    2. Once my H1 Visa is approved, before the stamping is it feasible to transfer my H1 to Employer A from B & any chance that Employer B will come to know about it
    3. For Change of status to H1, is it feasible to transfer the H1 Visa to Employer A being in L1

    • Hi Raghu,
      I have a problem. My current employer “A” has made an amendment on my approved Petition and the Amended petition status shows as “case is received ” with USCIS for last 3 months. Now I have got an offer from Employer B and they will file my petition in Premium .
      Can you please help me to know if there will b any issue with the H1b transfer to employer B . If there is any then how to resolve it.

    • H1B & L1B,

      1. They can happen together. No impact
      2. Yes
      3. Do you mean that you would enter US on L-1 and then apply for H-1 COS and H-1 transfer to A? This is possible.

  24. Hi,

    I got H1-B stamped on Feb 2011. I stayed in US on H1-B for 1 and half year from Employer A.
    Then I returned back to India (In Sep 2012) due to some personal reason.
    Then after sometime switched to Employer B (In May 2013).
    Employer A has revoked H1-B when I switched to Employer B in India.

    Is it possible to file new petition under cap-exempt?
    I do not have I-94 copy with me but I have receipt number. Will it be sufficient for H1B transfer?
    As H1B was stamped on Feb2011, By what time I can apply for H1B transfer?

    • Amit,

      Yes, cap-exempt petition can be filed. Usually, cap-exempt petition needs to be applied within 6 years but off late USCIS seem to be going easy on this requirement.

      It is ok to have just the receipt number for this. You can get your travel history from CBP site using your passport number.

  25. varun

    Hi Saurabh

    I have few questions please can you advice me on it.
    I am presently working under Employer A. But during April 2016 I have applied H1B from two employers Employer A(present) and Employer B.
    My H1B got picked in May 2016 and got an approval for H1B recently from EMPLOYER B as they will be my future employer from OCT 2016 to SEP 2019.
    But I am in a plan for going to India for personal reason this Dec 2016 and I should even be going for H1B stamping.
    Is there any risk If I put a H1B transfer now from my future employer B (where the H1B got the approval) to my present Employer A and then proceed to India after the Transfer gets approved.?
    Or should I wait for few mths and let the payroll run with the employer B and meanwhile go to India for stamping and then come back and file the transfer of H1 B to my present Employer A

    • Varun,

      What happened to A’s petition? Was it selected? Is it still pending? Are you currently inside US on L-1 through A? Was B’s petition approved w/ COS?

      • Hi saurabh
        Thank you for the reply
        My petition for H1B with employer A was not picked or not selected in the lottery .
        The H1B got picked and got approved with employer B and the start date is from OCTOBER 1st 2016 there was no RFE on it .
        I’m in US from August 2013 finished my masters and during my OPT Extension I applied for H1B so I’m not in L1 with employer A . I’m working at a client location as of now in MI.

        • Varun,

          Transfer can be applied even before 1st payslip is generated. However, if you leave US while transfer is pending, then you would still have to show an approved petition when returning to US. As your intent is to work for A, make sure you receive their approval notice by then.

  26. Dear Saurabh,

    I need your help.
    My case for H1-B is picked in Lottery this Year [2016].
    I have receipt for the same but I have not approval notice.
    Will changing my Employer void my visa?
    Some of my colleagues are saying that I Visa will void if I quit company before stamping.
    Please help !!
    Thanking You in advance !!


    • Sanjeev,

      If you leave the employer while H-1 is still pending, they can withdraw the petition and you will be out of cap. If the petition gets approved and you leave them before stamping, you can still avail cap-exempt (H-1 transfer) in future. You would need to know at least the receipt number or better have the approval notice for this.

      • Thank You Saurabh for your Prompt Revert !!

        Can I know how long it will take to get a petition approved [considering this year ].

        If my current employer withdraw petition , will they get refund of fees ?

        Thank You again for all your help !!


        • Sanjeev,

          There is no SLA and so it could take few more months (or you may be lucky and get the result next week).

          No fees is refunded on withdrawing the petition, but employers may do that out of spite.

          • Thank You So Much Saurabh !!

            “Finger -Crossed”

            I will update you what happened to my case.

            Thanks Again !


  27. Hi Saurabh,

    I Applied for H1B in the current year and got picked in the lottery and current status is ” My Case was
    recieived” through Employer A. Now i am presently working with India based MNC. After the petition gets Approved. Can i Transfer my Petition to my current employer and will it comes under Cap exempt petition.
    What is the timeline for Cap Exempt Petition. And Job Description should be same in both the cases?.


    • Raghu,

      Yes, once current petition is approved, another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you. Typically this needs to be done within 6 years of original approval date. Job description can be different. However, you need to be qualified for the offered position.

  28. Hi Saurabh,

    I have approved petition on December 2012 in company A , Now i moved to company B.

    TO transfer my petition my current employer is asking for soft copy of my petition but company A is not sharing it.

    So my company B is not processing it now .

    How to make use of my old approved H1B petition ?

    • Srinivasa Prabhu M,

      Do you know at least the receipt number? Cap-exempt petition can be filed even with just the receipt number as USCIS knows all the details about that receipt number from their system. Your new employer can say that receipt copy is not being submitted as old employer didn’t share that, but USCIS can look-up the case using the receipt number.

      If A is not willing to give you that soft copy, file FOIA with USCIS to get copy of your I-129. Someone did that recently and was able to get the receipt number from it. You won’t be getting the receipt copy, but will know the receipt number.

  29. Hi
    Because of a mishap in my family i had to quit my job overnight and travel back to India. i was in USA for continuous 8 months from Dec 2015 to July 2016. After 1 month in india i joined a new company. Is my h1b valid or my previous employer will revoke my petition. If i plan to not to do transfer (file) H1b with my new company and then go back to my previous company after 1 year will the peition be active with my previous company?


    • Anirban Sen,

      The old employer can withdraw the petition at their will. However, you can still use that petition as reference to file a cap-exempt petition in future either through old employer, or current employer or any other employer. You would need copy of the approval notice and recent payslips for the US employment period.

  30. Saurabh,

    I got H1B visa on November 2015, this visa will be expires on 30th September 2016 and still i didn’t get opportunity from my company.

    1. If suppose, if i get an opportunity on this month or next month. in this case, will it possible travel to US?

    2. If not possible, what’s procedure for extend the visa?

    3. If i apply for extend, how long it will take to get the visa?



    • Divya,

      1. You can enter US as long as the visa and petition have not expired.
      2. Employer needs to file cap-exempt petition for you. Once approved, go for visa stamping and then travel to US.
      3. Could take few months but PP option is available.

      • Thanks very very much Saurabh.

        Can i know that how many months could take for regular processing and PP.

        Suppose if i go to once again visa stamp, what type of questions will be occur? how to answer to them?


        • Divya,

          RP would take 2-6 months while PP will be done in 15 calendar days. Typical questions – how did you find the employer, what client, what project etc etc

  31. Hi Sourabh,
    My Spouse fresh H1B petition picked in Lottery and now got RFE from USCIS to provide the extended client contract. However she has been moved to a project belongs to another USA based client located in different place. Even her Organization doesn’t have any other contract with her earlier client. Please could you suggest can her RFE can be responded to USCIS using the current client contact, she is currently working on, to approver her H1B petition. She is currently working in offshore India location for the USA based client project. And her previous client location was on Los Angeles for which the petition got filed for this fresh H1B. And the new client location is in USA location CA, TX, Atlanta and NJ. Can I request to suggest a feasible option which can help to get this fresh H1B approved from USCIS. Thanks in advance! Regards,Bibhu

    • Bibhu,

      This is a tricky situation. If the new client location is not the same as old one, then new LCA needs to be applied which doesn’t help this pending petition. See if there is a client in the same location as the old one. If not, ask some executive at the employer to write a letter to USCIS and vouch for your case. What is the attorney suggesting?

  32. Thanks a lot Saurabh for your reply.
    My new employer mailed me yours is private company and petition cannot be transferred.
    Any idea what it means?
    Will I be able to transfer my visa or it wont be possible at all.
    Please help me.


    • Bittu,

      I don’t know why it would stop them if the employer is a private firm. There is no rule like that. If possible, try to talk to their immigration department.

  33. Hi Saurabh,

    Recently I got a mail from my employer saying that my H1 B petition got approved.

    1) Does that mean, my H1B got picked in the lottery? If Yes, they have not given me any receipt number to verify the status of Visa in USCIS portal, instead I have a Case number with me
    2) Is this VISA be valid if I change the employer in the month of October? If yes, any additional documents need to be requested from employer before leaving.

    Please advise ASAP. Thanks in advance for your response.



  34. My company laid me off but they agreed to run payroll until Aug 19th. I have the question here.
    Let’s say I am working in company ‘A’ and I got laid off. Company ‘B’ agreed to transfer my H1b from A to B. So it will take two weeks to get reply from USCIS that they received my application and I can start working. But, it takes 2 to 3 months for the new I-797 and LCA to get approved. During this 2 to 3 months is it possible to transfer my H1b to company C while the amendment of LCA from A to company B is in pending.

    Can somebody reply ASAP. This information is very important for me.

    Gowttham Khumar

    • Gowttham Khumar,

      You may be able to do that, as long as you start working for B immediately after B’s petition has been received by USCIS. This makes the assumption that your I-94 hasn’t expired. In that case, you remain in valid status (valid I-94, maintaining H-1 status through B’s payroll and pending transfer petition), and can use that to file cap-exempt petition through C.

  35. Hi Saurabh,
    My case for H1-B is picked in Lottery this year .
    My Case is in approved status.
    Will Changing my Employer impact my H1-B?
    Thanking you in anticipation !!

    • Sandeep,

      Another employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you. Once approved, go for stamping and then travel to US to work for the new employer. No issues.

      • Thank You Saurabh !!

        Sorry to bother you , If have few more queries.

        1: What documents should I need to provide to my next Employer for cap-exempt petition ?

        2: What are the chances of getting cap-exempt petition approved from my next employer ?

        2: Is there be any role of my previous Employer to restrict me for petition from my previous Employer?

        3: Would any document required from my previous employer as well?

        Thanking you in anticipation !!


        • Sandeep,

          1. Documents required are similar to what initial filing required. Additional document required is copy of current approval notice. I assume you have never been to US before, so no question of maintaining status.
          2. No
          3. See (1)

  36. Hello Saurabh,

    My H1B has been stamped in 2015 and from Sept 2015 I was eligible to travel to USA, I reached USA 2016 June last week and my employer A is running paychecks and which is not shared to me.

    Now I got another vendor who is offering W2 contract position and he asked me to transfer my H1B against him from employer A.

    Can I / vendor(employer) B can transfer with out notifying employer A, menas no payslips etc., ? as the Visa fee & ticket charges are all invested by myself and he(employer A) may demand for percentage again?

    Secondly, what are the general benefits can I get from W2 contract ?

    Thanks in advance !

    • Vinodh,

      You would need copy of approval notice from A, and most recent payslips to show that you are maintaining legal status. See if you can get the payslips from the employer. Use some pretext like you want to know how much taxes are being withheld etc. If not, maybe submit bank statement to show that salary is being deposited.

  37. Hi,

    I was travelled to US in July with employer A. I have got job with employer B now with some client. I dont have any pay stub for July month. Since its been already 1 month 1 week, if employer B applies for new petition in regular/premium mode, what are the chances of approval and risks for me?

    This is bit urgent. please reply me ASAP.


    • Chanti,

      When do you expect the payslip to be generated? Will it even be generated, especially in the scenario if you are on bench and not on a project?

      • Hi Saurabh, Thanks for your reply…
        Lets assume pay stub is not available/generated..what would be the possibility ..

        Thanks& regards,

        • Chanti,

          USCIS may approve new employer’s petition w/ consular processing as you will be considered out-of-status (you are not getting paid). So you will have to leave US, and re-enter US on new employer’s petition and get their I-94 and then work for them.

  38. Hi

    My H1B petition is approved. I had Visa Interview with VO and application is now in “Administrative Processing” i.e. 221g.

    Is it possible to transfer H1B with new petitioner without lottery?
    If yes, how much time it will take?


    • Amol,

      Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you even when the current visa stamp is stuck in Admin Processing.

    • Hello,
      I got two lotteries 2014 and 2015, and 2015 petition is approved and stamped visa. Now I have 2015 visa, however this employer doing lot of problem and I am still in India. I have 2014 petition so can I go for stamping one more time.
      1. I have stamped visa for A employer and I am still in india, can I go for second time stamping for B employer.


  39. Hi
    My petition is approved in Jan 2016. I had visa Interview with VO in APRIL 2016 and my application is under Administrative Processing i.e. 221g.

    Is it possible to transfer H1B in this scenario?


    • AB,

      Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you even when the current visa stamp is stuck in Admin Processing.

  40. Hi Saurabh,

    I have a valid H1B visa till 2018 and I am currently in US from last 3 months with employer A. Now I am planing to go back to india due to personal reasons and quit employer and join employer B for some time and come back to US after may be 8 months so in this case I have below doubts:

    1) Can I transfer my visa to employer B and what are the road blocks in this case?
    2) And how long I can stay in india holding H1B and come to US again..is there any time frame in which I need to come here and I can’t stay in india for long time if I want to come to US again?

    Thanks in Advance 🙂

    • Gaurav,

      1. Should be ok as long as you have copy of A’s approval notice and proof of getting paid during these 3 months (pay slips)
      2. B can file a cap-exempt petition within next 6 years. Off late, USCIS has been going easy on this 6 year requirement as well.

  41. Hi Sourabh,

    I am working in company A India, who has sponsored my h1b petition. It got picked in lottery 2016.

    1) May change company after 1st October (once visa will approve) with out going to US?
    2) If yes, Do i need to be in company A for few months to get salary slips of Oct?
    3) Do i need to take any document from my current company(A)?
    4) Is it right thing to do or its very common.
    5) How much will be transfer cost for new company.


  42. Hi Saurabh,

    I’m currently in US under F-1 visa. I got my H1-B visa approved for FY 2017 to start working this October 1st. However, things with my sponsor employer is not working out. I was wondering if I can file for H1-B transfer under cap exempt or do I have to start working in October 1st and then file for H1-B transfer?
    Thank you for your help!

    • Daphene,

      I have read mixed experience about this. Some say it is possible to apply for H-1 transfer now w/ a start date of Oct 1. Others say you have to wait until Oct 1. I suggest finding an employer and discussing the case w/ their attorney to see if they will be willing to apply now.

  43. Hi Saurabh,

    Am in L2 EAD and working for company A. My H1B got picked in the lottery from a consultancy B this year.

    1)Can I transfer my H1B once it gets approved and after Oct 1 to another company C without working for B(without payslips from B)?
    2)If so, do I need approval notice in my hand or just receipt number is enough to transfer to company C?

    Thanks in advance

    • H1 transfer,

      1. If you are on H-1 for at least 1 pay period after Oct 1 then you may be asked to submit payslips as proof of maintaining legal H-1 status. However, if H-1 is applied within 1st week of Oct 1 or so, then you may get away w/o submitting payslips from B.
      2. Transfer can happen only after the original petition has been approved. You cannot transfer while it is still pending.

  44. Hi Saurabh,

    I’m currently in US on H1-B visa and I came on Nov 2015. My previous project ended in April end and I have pay stubs till then.

    As I could not get any projects, my employer asked me to submit a letter for Leave of Absence without pay for May and June months and he’ll be starting paying for the month of July which I’ll be getting it on August 1st (June 1st – 15th) and 2nd paystub on August 15th( July 16th – 30th). After August 15th, if I still don’t have a project offer letter, he’ll send me back to India. He said he’ll not cancel my visa and the visa is valid till Dec 31st 2016.

    Now my situation is, I have to go to India for a week in July end and I’m back on 28th July.

    In this situation,

    1. Will there be any issues at the port of entry regarding pay stubs

    2. After I come back to India with the last 2 pay stubs, can I get another employer to transfer my H1-b visa from India and come back again through the new employer.

    Please clarify these 2 questions.


    • Ramesh,

      1. Usually they don’t ask for payslips but they may ask for it.
      2. You can try to do that. If you have 2 most recent payslips, then it may still work out in your case.

  45. Hi Saurabh ,
    I am currently in H1B Visa with Employer A , i have an approved H1B Transfer from Employer B filed through ‘Consular Processing’ and to be able to work for Employer B i need to undergo Stamping from India.

    My concern and query being if i go to India and get Stamped from Employer B’s approved petition, can i still work for Employer A from US before joining Employer B ,Employer A’s petition being still valid but Stamped Visa is from Employer B , this is because my Joining Date in Employer B is 3 months after my stamping date and i want to continue working with Employer A until then …

    Please advice …


    • Iten Singh,

      When you return to US, you will have to show A or B’s petition at PoE. The petition that you use will determine who you can work for. Just b/c you get stamping through B, doesn’t mean you can work for them even if you enter and show A’s petition at PoE. Your I-94 issued at PoE would be for a specific employer and you can work for them only until another employer gets I-94 endorsed in their name.

      • Thanks Saurabh for the prompt and precise response. So, if i show Employer B’s petition as the same has been stamped on my Passport, my I94 will be issued for Employer B and i won’t be able to work for Employer A with the old Petition even id it;s valid unless they transfer my I94, correct ?

        Iten Singh

        • Iten Singh,

          That is correct. A will have to apply for transfer/amendment, or you will have to enter US on A’s petition.

  46. Hi Sourabh,

    I have a urgent scenario and need your suggestions. Please advice.

    I am with employer A, an MNC and my H1B got picked in the lottery this year in April 2016. Now I got offer through other employer B and I want to accept that offer and file for transfer later as employee A don’t have any onshore position currently.

    I have the following questions.

    1) Can I get it transferred to B while I am in India(Note: My H1B is only picked in lottery with my current employer A and I have the receipt notice ).
    2) Should I wait for my petition to be approved since I need to serve notice period of 90 day and need to resign(Because if I wait I may lose offer from employer B) but if I resign now Employer A may withdraw my petition.
    3) What are the percentage changes of Transfer petition to get approved in this scenario.
    4)Till how long(years) my new employer B can file cap exempt petition from now

    • H1B TRANSFER Worried,

      1. For transfer, the petition needs to be approved first. If yours is pending and you leave A, then A can withdraw the petition and you will be out of lottery.
      2. Yes, wait for approval to come through and get hold of the approval notice or at least the receipt number. Then resign from them and join B or C
      3. No stats available
      4. Usually it is 6 years from original approval date but USCIS seem to be going easy on this rule off late.

  47. Hi Sourabh,
    Can you please update on the above doubts of mine when you are free. This is kinda urgent as I am looking out for alternate options.

  48. Hi Sri,
    I am also in a similar scenario. The only challenge that i have observed is that the employers in US are willing to interview the candidate ONLY if the person is present physically in US.
    Some people have given suggestions which I am NOT willing to follow as they are generated out of points that are NOT true (like telling the employer – I am in US etc.)

    Also haven’t been able to find an employer in India who is willing to do the transfer !!!!


    • AK,
      Do you have any confirmation on this.
      Can we travel to USA with the stamped VISA(in my case valid till Sep 2018) and approval from new employer or do we need to go for stamping again ?

  49. Hi Sourabh,
    I have a similar scenario and need your suggestions. Please advice.
    I am with employer A, an MNC and my H1B got picked in the lottery last year(2015). I got it stamped through my employer A in Dec 2015.
    Now I see that there are no US projects in near future in my company. I don’t want to waste time continuing in this company until I get a US project.

    I would like to travel to USA and am looking for employers who are ready to transfer my H1B.
    I have the following questions.

    1) Can i get it transfered while I am in India(Note: My H1B is already stamped with my current employer A).
    2) If some company B initiates the transfer process, should I go for stamping again ? Or can I travel with the existing stamping for the new employer B ?
    3) If I have to go for stamping again, will there be any risks involved in this ? Will they cross question on why I have shifted and why is this transfer ?
    4) If I have to go for stamping again, what happens if my H1 is rejected at VISA interview for company B ? Will my previous H1 stamped by current employer be valid ?

    Can you please let me know and suggest me on how I should be going with it. I am in a pathetic position at the moment and have no other option apart from going for a VISA transfer. I would want to make sure that it will not create any problems for me.


    • Sri,
      1. Yes
      2. No new stamping required as long as A’s visa stamp is valid and has not been marked as canceled in the passport
      3. No issues. They would evaluate the case using B’s documents and not worry why you left A
      4. It would remain unimpacted

        • Thanks for your perfect and quick reply, like always Saurabh. I am also on the same boat brother. My transfer case has initiated on 24th November in regular processing only but still till today, status of my case is “Case was Received on 24th of November”

          1. What you think, how much time it take more for H1b transfer? Because it’s already 7 months passed almost.
          2. If it is taking time, is there any chances, coming in RFE?
          3. My employer is also not getting an update on case. Should I expedite my case to Premium or I should wait couple of months more.

          As it’s already getting seven months, now I am loosing my patience.

          Please advice brother.


          • Neer,

            1. Check for processing time on USCIS site for your center.
            2. Delay doesn’t mean RFE. They are just pretty heavily backlogged.
            3. If you want to get faster result then upgrading to PP is the best option.

      • Hi Saurabh,
        One last question with the above H1B transfer proocess.
        As mentioned earlier, my H1B through my current employer is processed and stamped already and I am still in India.
        Now, even if I quit my current company, transfer should not be a problem right ?


        • srikanth ramineni,

          Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you even if you have not traveled to US or old petition has expired, or you leave them.

          • Hi Saurabh,
            I am with employer A, an MNC and my H1B got picked in the lottery last year(2015). I got it stamped through my employer A in Jan 2016.
            Now I see that there are no US projects in near future in my company. And I got offer from employer B, an MNC and they say they are ready for H1B transfer.

            I have the following questions.

            1) If some company B initiates the transfer process, should I go for stamping again ? Or can I travel with the existing stamping for the new employer B ?

            2) I hear from some of my collegues, my current employer will request for withdrawal of sponsership (not cancellation of visa). Does it means my visa is still valid if i found another sponsership? or should i have to find another sponser before my current employer request for withdrawal of sponsership?

            Can you please let me know and suggest me on how I should be going with it. I am really very much worried.


          • Bittu,

            1. You can use A’s stamping until it has expired or has been marked as canceled in the passport.
            2. It would better to get H-1 transferred before current employer withdraws the petition, but you may still be able to get it transferred after the petition has been withdrawn.

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