Many of the H1B Visa holders in the US or outside of the US, go through something called H1B Visa Transfer Process when they wish to change employers. One of the common questions that come to mind is the validity of their H1B Visa stamping on their passport after the change of employer.
May are not sure and wonder, if they need to get a new H1B visa stamp or if they need to renew the visa stamping on their passports. In this article, we will cover these topics, including common questions.
H1B Visa Stamping in a Passport with Employer Name Annotation
In general, you need a valid US Visa to enter America. Depending on your purpose to enter the US, you get a different class of visa. If you would like to work in the US as an international high-skilled worker, you will need to get a US visa of class ‘H1B’ stamped on your passport. The H1B Visa stamp is a sticker or foil that is glued to your passport page when you go through H1B Visa stamping Process after your H1B approval from USCIS.
It looks like in the below image with the classification stated as H1B.
One key thing to note is that the H1B Visa Stamp ( visa foil glued in page) usually has an annotation with the employer name and case number as in the above screenshot. Also, there could be other visa annotations like ‘Clearance Received’ or ‘Department Authorization’. The employer name on the visa stamp would be the same as the ‘Employer Name’ listed on the original H1B approval notice I797 from your employer.
Confusion with Employer Name in Annontation
The reason for confusion regarding the H1B stamp validity arises due to the Employer/ Company Name and H1B Receipt or Case Number printed on the visa in the annotation section. As the H1B visa stamp has the name of the company that sponsored the H1B Visa, many assume that the visa stamp is also tied to the employer and that they need a new visa stamp, after the H1B transfer. Let’s clarify this in the next section.
Do you need New Visa Stamping after H1B Transfer? Validity?
The name of the employer in the annotation section on the H1B Visa stamp is not really related to the validity of the stamp. The annotation on the visa stamp indicates the name of the employer, who sponsored H1B with USCIS at the time of the stamping. The H1B Visa stamp that is issued to the individual and stamped in the passport is not employer-specific and continues to be valid even after you move to another employer until the ‘Expiration Date’ on it.
Annotations on US Visa stamps are for guidance to the Customs and Border Protection officers, who verify the same at the US Port of entry procedures. The information in the annotation section does not dictate the validity of the visa stamp, only the ‘Expiration Date’ field on the visa indicates that.
If you look at the sample H1B Visa stamp below that highlights the ‘Expiration Date’, it tells the expiration date, which is the end date of the validity of the H1B visa stamp. Also, under entries, if you have the letter ‘M’, it means your visa is valid for Multiple entries until the expiration date of the H1B stamp.
You can use your valid H1B visa stamp (even with your old employer’s name and case number) for your travel after the H1B transfer with all other supporting documents of the new employer like approval notice, offer letter, etc. You do not need a new H1B Visa Stamping in your passport after the H1B Visa transfer as long as the previous H1B stamp in your passport is valid.
Documents Needed at Port of Entry after H1B Transfer
When you enter the US at any of the various US Ports of Entry locations, with your H1B stamp from your previous employer, you will need to make sure you present current documents related to your new employer and indicate that you have transferred. This is to make sure your I-94 end date reflects your new H1B petition end date and CBP Officers enter your current employer details in the system.
Below are the documents that you will need to carry at the port of entry:
- Original H1B Transfer Approval Notice (I-797 form)
- Employment offer letter, agreement (if any)
- H1B LCA tied to the new position after H1B transfer
- Recent Pay Stubs, if you are already in the US and working with a new company.
- Copy of your old H1B approval notice and offer letter, pay stubs, etc. as supporting documents, if asked.
- Contact Info of your new employer
- General proofs tied to your profile like Education Certificates, Professional licenses, etc.
Can my H1B Visa Stamp be revoked by US Government Official? Prudential Revocation?
Your H1B Visa stamp can be revoked by the US Consulate based on a request from any US Government officials or any US Government Agency for issues related to law enforcement. This could be for instances such as Driving Under the Influence(DUI) or national security, etc. The revocation done as per the request from government officials is called ‘prudential revocation’. Below is a screenshot of the official rule on the US State.gov website.
If a prudential revocation happens, you would be very likely informed via email that your visa is revoked and you cannot use it. Having a visa revocation does not necessarily impact your current status in the US and you may stay in the US, but cannot re-enter the US with the same visa. Read US Visa vs Status, if you want to know the difference. If you end up in such situations, it is best to contact your immigration attorney to seek help.
If your H1B visa is revoked due to prudential revocation as explained above, then you cannot use your current H1B Visa, even though it stands valid and not past the expiration date. In such cases, you need to apply for a new H1B Visa with the US consulate. You can enter the US with the new H1B visa stamp issued by the consulate, once approved.
No, the same concept explained above applies to H4 visa dependents as well. If the H4 visa holder’s visa stamp on the passport is valid, they can use the same visa stamp and present the New H1B approval notice copy of their spouse after transfer. They do not need to go for renewal or new visa stamping.
No, your employer cannot revoke or cancel the H1B visa stamp on your passport. They can only withdraw the petition from USCIS indicating the end of the employer, but they cannot really do anything with your visa stamping and it has no impact. Even though the message on the USCIS website regarding your petition says ‘revoked’, it does not have any impact on the US Visa stamp in your passport.
No, you cannot travel to the US on your old employer’s stamp in this case, because you do NOT have valid employment from anyone in the US with supporting approval notice from USCIS. You can only use H1B Stamp from the previous employer if you have a valid H1B approval notice from an employer and they are willing to employ you and pay you so that you can work on the H1B status in the US. Trying to enter the US, just with a valid H1B stamp without a proper H1B approval notice and a job from an employer in the US is illegal and you may face issues at the Port of Entry and may be deported as well.
You can use your H1B Stamp from Employer A to enter the US along with your valid H1B Approval notice from Employer B. Even if you are traveling to the US for the first time, it does not matter as long as your H1B visa stamp is valid in your passport. You need to ensure you carry all the documents related to your new employer B and also copies of Employer A approval notice so that you have all of that covered.
What has been your experience with H1B Visa Transfer and using Visa Stamp from your old employer at the US port of entry?
Wow this is super article, thanks for this.
I have one question.
I heard in case H1b transfer, I need to go through councilor interview. Can I not opt for Dropbox for stamping with new employer?
Appreciate your content here. Need some help on my current situation.
I have a valid h1-b visa stamping from employer A(my current employer). Recently I got an offer from employer B with start date on June 1st, 2023. My h1-b transfer has been approved as of today.
I’m thinking about travelling internationally/ visiting family in Asia in mid-April for two weeks. I would still be employed at employer A at the time & two weeks after I’m back. I plan to quit firm employer A in May.
In my case, am I allow to travel internationally and re-enter US with h1-b from employer A? Should I present my new I797 with employer B as well? Would it impact my new h1-b transfer if I entered with the old h1b visa from employer A?
I have an stamped first time H1B visa from my future employer (Stamped today)and I have never been to US. My future employer does not want me to send to US right now due to recession and lack of clients and wants me to wait for 6 months. I am currently working in an MNC where I have lot of requirement at Onsite. Can I transfer my H1B visa to my current company if they agree to? If my future employer tries to withdraw the petition would I still be cap exempt? I have the I797, LCA etc from my future employer.
Need your thoughts on this.
Yes, you can. Well, technically as you are stamped, you should be counted towards the cap and no need of lottery. Double-check with the attorney at the company you are joining and then take the call. Do update here how it goes.
While i was waiting for perm my h1b expired. Since my wife was working i got h4 visa and stayed at US. Now after converting h4 to h1b do i need to get it stamped before start working ?
Hi guys, need some help on this.
My initial h1b visa got approved from May 2022 to Sep 2023 for texas location and I even stamped it and it has the validity till Sep 2023 and I haven’t travelled to US yet on this visa. But now, my employer has filed for h1b cap exempt for minneapolis location and it too got approved yesterday till dec 2025. I need to travel to usa as soon as possible, Can I still travel using my previously stamped visa and move to minneapolis from there and then when I return to india, I can get it stamped for the H1b cap exempt approved visa. ?
If so, is there any official sites or article that I can refer for it
I went to embassy on April to get H1B visa stamp but i went through administrative processing. It takes 5 months and i didn’t got my Visa stamp and my boss cancelled my job offer. Now i cleared and i have h1b stamp on my passport but i do not have any job. Can i go to usa?
Can I travel to US with old employer h1b stamp but new employer I797B. Note this is I797B not I797A. Currently out of USA.
I have H1b stamp from employer A on Oct 2021 and I changed my employer in april 2022, i got a new approval notice with my new employer.
I renewed my passport in US and I have my valid h1b stamp in old passport from my previous employer…
Do i need to get a new h1b stamp on my new passport ? Or the previous stamp works which is in my old passport?
I am currently with a consultancy and they are my employer. I have stamping with my current employer till 2025. Recently my client let go off me. I am looking for a new client .
I am planning to go to India . Will there be any issue in the Port Of Entry when I have an employer but no client ?
Hello I am with Employeer A h1b and got laid off I have another job offer in hand but have to travel to india before the transfer starts. I dont have visa stamped on my passport. Will I be cap exempt? Also can i start working from india after my new h1 transfer?
Hi, I was let go from employer A and I am in the process of transferring from employer A to B. Employer B has filed for my H1B and we are waiting for the approval. I am planning on travelling to India after my petition is approved but a couple of days before my start date with Employer B. I will have a valid visa stamp and the new approval notice but I am not have pay stubs to show- would this be an issue?
Hello , my employer A is education institution ( non profit h1b) and i have visa tamp valid untill 2024 , but i changed to profit employer through new profit h1b , do i need to go to visa stamping again ?
I am on an h1b visa and currently working in the US for employer A. My h1b stamping is valid till Jun 2024. I have another offer from employer B and currently my transfer is in progress, I plan to go to India after h1b transfer is completed, in December and come back to US while still working with employer A and I’ll move to employer B after a week of entering the US. Do you think it would be an issue if I am still working for employer A while having the transfer approval for employer B as well.
This can be slightly tricky. Ideally, when you re-enter, you should use the new transferred approval notice and say you would work with new company. This way your I-94 and all reflect the new company. Discuss with your attorney at company B and take the call.
I have an H-1B stamp from Employer A that expires September 2023. My H1B was transferred to Employer B and I have received my I-797 (valid till 2025).
I plan to travel to India in December 2022, Can I get a new H1B stamp in India for the new employer? Or do I have to wait until 6 months before expiration for a new stamp?
I am aware that I can travel to India and come back on Employer A H1B stamp + Employer B I-797, but is there a possibility of stamping it in December 2022 as my H-1B validity would extend to 2025.
Thank you in advance!
You can get, if you want to. No need to wait.
I am on the same boat, please let me know if you are able to use employer A visa stamp + employer B i797 ? What is you updated i94 looks like? Did they give i94 validity till 2025?
My H1B was filed when I was in India and I later moved to the US on H4 Visa(after H1B was filed). Will I get I797A or I797B when the case is approved? Will I be able to start working as soon as the approval copy arrives. Kindly provide your thoughts on this.
Depends on how they filed it. Did they file as Change of Status or not? If, it is not COS, then you cannot work right away, you need to get stamping outside and re-enter or file for COS again. Talk to your employer.
Currently I am in India with Employer A. H1B stamped till December 2023. Never travelled to US on this visa. Employer is in the process of withdrawing H1B petition with USCIS since I have rejected the onsite opportunity due to personal reason.
Q1) Can I transfer the H1B to new employer while I am still being in India?
Q2) Can I initiate the H1B transfer with Employer B while I am still being with current employer?
Q2) Can I transfer this H1B after petition successfully withdrawn by Employer A? Can I transfer the H1B, say for e.g., after 1 year or 2 years or so?
Q1. Yes, if you find any new employer willing to transfer. In fact, transfer is nothing but a new petition, but applied saying that you were counted towards cap in past.
Q3. Yes. As you had visa stamping done, you are technically considered to be counted in cap, so you can apply for transfer.
Should he get visa stamping done after his transfer if it’s not withdrawn . To travel to work with new employer
Hai my h1b visa is in transfer to my new employer b. My stamped visa also got expired. So i have a dropbox appointment scheduled for next month so, if am traveling to india once i get approval from my employer b and get my visa stamped with my new employer. Will there be any issues while entering back to US? And can i travel to india immediately once my h1b transfer is approved and get stamped will there be any issues in the stamping process. Plz advice
it is hard to say if all will go as expected. Every case is different. Usually, if the employer is good and there are no issues, you should be fine.
Hi I got a job offer from company A and got my passport stamped last Sept. 1, 2022. While still in my home country, they decided to withdraw the job offer and said that they will inform the USCIS for “cancellation of the visa” since they rescinded the offer.
Were they referring to withdrawal of their sponsorship?
If I am to get another job with supposedly company B, and they will sponsor me another H1b, I do not need to get my passport stamped again and pay for the MRV and Reciprocity fees, right?
If you have got stamping, you are counted towards cap, so even if they withdraw, it will not have impact. You can apply for cap exempt H1B. If you have already have stamping done, you do not need to apply for a new visa again, you are good to use that to travel to the US.
Employer A was cap exempt as well.. will that affect the status of the stamp?
Thank you soo much!!
Yuan, Do you mean Employer A was educational institution or research and you did not go through H1B lottery?
Yes, it was an educational, research, and nonprofit organization
If the Company B is also cap exempt like A, it should be fine. You do not need to do visa stamping again. Discuss with your company B’s attorney and make the decision.
I didn’t have to undergo the lottery
Yes I didn’t have to undergo the lottery
Thanks so much, Kumar!
I have my H1B extension valid from my current employer & also I have initiated my H1B transfer to a new employer now.
I am travelling to India and will get my stamping done for current employer thru dropbox.
So while my H1B transfer with the new employer is in progress, will there be any issue in coming back to USA.
Please guide me. Thanks
This can be slightly tricky. While, it should not have any bearing, they would be able to see that some other application is pending and they may ask about it.
Ideally, you should get that approval and then go for stamping, so that you can avoid some tricky situations.
I have a stamped visa which expires in 2024 with employer A, recently I have moved to a different employer B. I was notified that my H1B has been with drawn from employer A. I’m planning to travel to India in November.
Since withdraw of my H1B petition by employer A and to which my visa is stamped. Will I have any difficulties when returning to US ?
Thanks in advance
No, it will not have any impact. It is standard procedure to withdraw. It will not have any bearing on the visa stamped on your passport.
I have H1 stamp of Employer A on my visa and H1B approval notice of Employer A valid till September 2024. I got a new job with Employer B and recently received H1B approval notice vaid from Oct 17, 2022 onwards. I am planning to resign Employer A on Oct 14,2022. Also, I am visiting India from Oct 7,2022 and returning back to USA on Oct 29,2022. My starting date with new employer is from Oct 31, 2022 onwards.
My question is that will I face any immigration hassle while returning to USA on Oct 29,2022? I have a valid approval notice for Employer B valid from Oct 17 onwards and visa stamping on Employer A? I don’t think my Employer A approval notice will be valid once I resign on Oct 14, 2022 (still I will have the copy).
Please help me with that if I will face any issue.
You should not have any issues. That gap does not matter as you will not be in the US.