Need New H1B Visa Stamping after Transfer? Re-stamping ? H4? FAQs

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 35 Comments

Many of the H1B holders in US or in their home country, go through something called H1B Visa Transfer Process, when they wish to change employers. One of the common questions that comes to mind is the validity of their H1B Visa stamping on their passport. Do they need get new visa stamp  ? If they need to renew H1B Visa stamp or go for re-stamping ? We will cover these topics in this article.

What is H1B Visa Stamping in Passport ? How does it Look ? Employer Annotation ?

You need a Visa to enter US. Depending on your purpose to enter US, you get a different class of visa. If you would like work in US as international as high skilled worker, you will need to get US visa of class ‘H1B’ stamped on your passport. H1B Visa stamp is a sticker or foil that is put in your passport (glued to your passport page ), when you go through H1B Visa Stamping Process after your H1B approval from USCIS. It looks like below with classification stated as H1B. Also, one key thing to note is that it usually has annotation with employer name and case number. Also, there could be other visa annotations like Clearance Received.  The employer name on the visa stamp would be same as the Employer Name listed on the original H1B approval notice I797 from your employer. The confusing part of H1B stamp validity is the  employer name and H1B Case Number printed on the visa. With the name of the employer on the stamp, many assume that the visa stamp is tied to employer and they need a new one, after H1B transfer.

H1B US Visa Sample with Annotation of Employer Name and Receipt Number

Do you need New Visa Stamping after H1B Transfer ? What is the validity of H1B Visa Stamp after Change of Employer?

The name of employer on the H1B Visa stamp is not really tied with the validity of the stamp.  It is printed as annotation indicating the name of the employer, who sponsored H1B with USCIS. The H1B Visa stamp is not really employer specific. Annotations on visa are for guidance and do not dictate the validity of the visa stamp.  H1B Visa Stamp on your passport remains valid for the entire duration of the validity as indicated on the stamp. If you look above sample visa stamp, 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 name and case number) for your travel after H1B transfer with all other supporting documents of the new employer like approval notice, offer letter, etc.

Documents to present at Port of Entry after H1B Transfer with H1B Stamp from Previous Employer ?

When you enter US with your H1B stamp from previous employer, you will need to make sure you present current documents related to your new employer and indicate that you have transferred to make sure your I-94 end date reflects your new H1B petition end date and they enter your current employer details in the system. The documents are pretty standard and below is the list

  • Original H1B Transfer Approval Notice ( I-797 form)
  • Employment offer letter, agreement ( if any)
  • LCA tied to the H1B transfer
  • Recent Pay Stubs, if you are already in US ands worked there.
  • Carry a copy of your old H1B approval notice and offer letter, pay stubs, etc. as  supporting documents, if asked.
  • Contact Info of your new employer
  • Additional information tied to your profile like Education Certificates, Professional licenses, etc.

Does your Spouse/ Children on H4 Visa need a new Stamp after H1B Transfer ?

No, the same concept explained above applies to H4 visa dependents as well. If the H4 visa holder’s visa stamp on 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 re-stamping.

Can my old employer Revoke or cancel my H1B Visa Stamp on passport ?

No, your employer cannot revoke or cancel your H1B visa stamp on passport. They can only withdraw the petition from USCIS indicating the end of employer, but they cannot really do anything with your visa stamping and it has no impact.

Can my H1B Visa Stamp be revoked by Government Official / Consular ? What is Prudential Revocation ?

Your H1B Visa stamp can be revoked by US Consulate based on request from Government officials or any US Government Agency for issues related to law enforcement. The could be for instances such as DUI or national security, etc. The revocation done as per the request from government official is called ‘prudential revocation’.  Below screenshot is the official rule on US State.gov website.  If such things happen, you would be very likely informed via email that your visa revoked and you cannot use it. Having a visa revocation does not necessarily impact your current status in US and you may stay in US, but cannot re-enter 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.US Visa Prudential Revocation DUI

I have valid H1B Visa Stamp, but I do not work for my old employer. Can I travel to US with my H1B Visa stamp and find employer there and do H1B Transfer?

No, you cannot travel to US on your old employer’s stamp in this case, because you do NOT have valid employment from anyone in US with supporting approval notice from USCIS. You can only use H1B Stamp from previous employer, if you have Valid H1B approval notice from an employer and they are willing to pay you so that you can work on H1B status in US. Trying to enter US, just with valid H1B stamp without a proper H1B approval notice and job from an employer in US is illegal and you will face issues at Port of Entry.

I have H1B visa approval notice and visa stamp from Employer A. I have done H1B transfer to Employer B before traveling to US. I have never been to US on H1B visa. Can I use my H1B Visa stamp from Employer A as it did not expire yet ? Do I need re-stamping after H1B transfer to Employer B ?

You can use your H1B Stamp from Employer A to enter US along with your Valid H1B Approval notice from Employer B. You traveling to US for the first time does not matter  as long as your H1B visa stamp is valid in passport. You need 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 Old employer  at Port of Entry ?

   

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Comments ( 35 )

  1. Ramon

    Hello,

    Does anyone know of any government document that explicitly states that there’s no need to obtain a new visa stamp to reenter the US after transitioning from employer A to employer B (through an H1-B transfer)?

    My visa stamp (issued by employer A) expires in 2021 and my I-94 admin until date is also in 2021. I recently transferred to company B (through an H1B transfer) and have plans to travel internationally in 2 months. This post mentions that I do not need to get a new visa stamp to reenter the US but would like to know the source of the information, if possible.

    Thanks,

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, it is a common practice and based on General US visa validity. I am not sure, if there will be one for h1B that tells explicitly. Here is US Visa General Validity on State.gov
      You can ask your attorney at the new Company B to give you the source and maybe you can share it with the community too.

  2. RG

    Hi,

    I have an approved H1B extension with my current employer A. I also have an offer from employer B who are ready to start the h1 transfer process. In the meanwhile I plan to visit India and have to get stamping (as my old visa is expired). Can i still get the new stamping done on employer A? I don’t plan to join employer B before coming back.

    Or is it better to ask employer B to hold the transfer until i come back to avoid any issues in visa stamping?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, while it many not hurt, just from logistics standpoint it is better to do it after you are in US. So, tell employer B to start the H1B process after you return US.

  3. H1Transfer

    Hi Kumar,

    Need suggestion, Currently my Employer A is processing my H1b CAP 2020 petition and its in premium waiting for approval. Also I do have offer from Employer B who said will transfer my H1 once approved.

    1. Shall I go for visa stamping with Employer A approved petition or should I wait for Employer B transfer process to complete to go for visa stamping process.

      1. H1 Cap 2020 Non Ad transfer process

        Hi Kumar

        Thanks for your reply. Yes I am residing in India. So what you are saying is that I need to go for stamping from Employer A first. Is there any way I can go for stamping for Employer B only after H1 transfer is approved?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Technically, you will not have H1B status until you get stamping. USCIS may question that. It is recommended that you get H1B stamping first and then try to do transfer.

  4. Sachin

    Hello Guys,

    I have a question and it will be very helpful if someone can answer.

    My wife is in India currently and she has unexpired H4 visa from my previous employer, My H1 transfer to the new employer got approved recently but I have not received the approval notice yet , So my question is, Can my wife travel back to USA with unexpired H4 visa but without my H1 approval notice?
    Please note, the previous employer has revoked the H1 petition due to job change.

    Thanks,
    Sachin

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sachin,
      It is risky to travel without valid H1B approval notice that you are using currently to stay in US. If something is verified at Port of Entry and she is carrying something that is not valid, it can be big issue. I suggest you get the approval notice and then ask her to travel to avoid issues at port of entry

  5. sumani

    My h1b extn employer A applied Premium process, I got good offer employer B, they are planning to apply Premium process for transfer H1b visa. Mean while, my family emergency needs to travel to India and eligible drop box with employer A.

    Can any one please respond ASAP. What is the best options, I need to go India same time I don’t want to lose that good offer.
    Options 1: I can hold employer B for transferring visa until get approval from A and gets visa stamped in India.
    Options 2: I can go to India and get stamped employer A, mean while employer B also initiate that transfer, then it should be any issues in getting stamping in india or port of entry.
    Options 3: If both employer A & B get approved and valid, then travel to India getting stamping use it employer A, after then joined to employer B
    While my family travelling after 2 months, they need to go again visa stamping.

    I was confused all, please respond if any one have face this same kind of problems.

  6. vijaya

    Hi,

    I did H1b transfer from company A to Company B of feb 5th and still am waiting for the approval. My previous location amendment with company A got denied one time.

    Will that affect my H1b transfer approval?. How long will take to get the approval?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      It should not affect, both are very different petitions…It can take few weeks to few months. If you go for premium processing, you get it in 15 days.

  7. Pokemon16

    I’m going to India to get my H1B from employer A (current employer) stamped. I have an offer from employer B who are waiting on the LCA approval, and will file my h1b application on premium processing immediately. I’ll be in India when the verdict of the new transfer petition comes.
    -What happens in case of my transfer application for employer B gets approved while I’m in india? Will that affect my travel back?
    -my i94 record will be changed once I’m in my home country. How will that affect the new h1b transfer petition?

  8. Arun

    I have a valid stamping until Dec 31,2019 with my previous employer. I switched my employer last year and with my transfer , i got new validity until March 2021. I will be traveling to India in April 2019 . Can i go for new VISA stamping as i will get the updated date stamped on my passport and also is it eligible for dropbox ?

  9. Srinivas

    Hi there,
    I’m planning to transfer my H1 from company A to B. Since I’m on extension till Mar 2019 & my I-94 expires in Mar 2019 too.
    1. What are the consequences I may face?
    2. Once the transfer is complete, what will be my new extension? Do I need to go for transfer with extension? does that option availble

    Srinivas

  10. ravi

    I had H1B visa valid till March 2020 from Employer A. I moved to different employer B on Oct 1, 2018, after approved petition which was valid till 2021 Sept. After moved to new employer went to India on Nov 3, 2018, and while coming back from India. I was stopped at Delhi airport. Saying that my visa is no longer valid. Even though it had expiration date till March 2020.

    I am not sure how my visa becomes invalid or how it got revoked? I didnt get any email or notice regarding this and it was a surprise for me at the airport.

        1. Mallik

          Hi Ravi,
          I am in a very similar situation. I just came for a short visit to India and I am trying to understand if I need a new visa stamp. My immigration attorney said I don’t need a new one. I asked the question to [email protected] and they also said, “H1-B visa holders and their dependents who are returning to the U.S. on a valid visa, but who have changed their employer in the U.S., do not require a new visa. However, they must carry their new I-797 (original) and old petition while traveling.”

          So I am a bit surprised by your case. Do you know why you were stopped at the Delhi airport ?

          1. IMUser

            Thanks Malik. Your comments were very detailed and clearly written that will not confuse anybody. I wanted to know the second half of the story – did you come back to US?
            What happened ? Did anybody – In India or USA said anything while returning back. How was it? Please share your experience again.
            Thanks

          2. John Snow

            I’m as well waiting for experts to comment in this case : why the immigration officer stopped at Delhi, though you have the old H1 stamping valid until 2021. Ideally they shouldn’t stop.

  11. h1approved

    Hi,

    I got to know that my H1B got approved through my employer (They called USCIS to know the information as my OPT ext was denied.) and they claim they are yet to get the approval notice. They submitted Form I-824 (for further action on approved petitions)and still waiting for any notice. My OPT denial notice states that my H1 was approved on Oct 2, 2018 and that was the reason for denial of OPT extension. In this case, the employer said that they won’t pay the H1 salary for the past months and will start pay according to H1 norms only AFTER they receive the approval notice. Is this how it would work? What are the other sources that I can get my approval notice?

    Any inputs are appreciated. Thanks

  12. Ravi

    Subject : H1 Transfer and travel to India

    Scenario : I did a H1 transfer from company A to B and the current petition with company B is valid till Apr 2021. H4 transfer did not happened since my dependents were in India. Me and my dependents have valid visa from company A till 2019 August. I need to travel India for an emergency for a week.

    Question : Can i travel back with my old stamped visa from company A along with my family? My Family is in India and will travel for the first time

  13. Jack

    My h1b extension is valid till 2020 October for me my wife my kid…if I do h1 transfer only my application is filled. In this I have 2 questions
    1.do we need to file 539 form for dependents along with my transfer so that me and my dependents validity remains in sync
    2.If we do not do above then me my dependents validity will be out of sync..my validity might be till 2021 then will I have to file my extension for dependents alone once it approaches deadline..

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, they need to be done together to keep in sync. Talk to your attorney, who files your H1B and make sure you file for the H4 extension as well in the same package.

      1. jack

        Do you mean option1 filing I-539 along with transfer because many employers prefer to file only employee case transfer and take care of dependents transfer after approval comes.

  14. Alok

    Hello Kumar,
    Thanks for putting up this article, its really cleared many doubts.
    I have one question though. I have a valid H1B approval notice from employer A (of year 2017), but visa stamping not yet done. Is it possible to change employer (say employer B) and use my approval notice for new employer? Is there any way I can get visa stamped with employer B without going through lottery process again?

    Thanks,
    Alok

  15. Ankit

    Hi Kumar

    I have a question, dont know where to post this but extremely helpful if any one can answer.

    I was working with a startup of 10 members (total full time employees – 8, 2 US citizens, 4 Greencard and 2 h1b) and i’m working from India as a contractor (consultant). If they have to file h1 for me are there any restrictions? What is the criteria for small employers to hire on h1b, appreciate any links that clear my doubts

    Thanks

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