US H1B Visa Transfer In 2022 – What You Must Know

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14 January

The H1B visa enables US employers to hire foreign professionals. The visa was created in 1990 by Congress for employers who cannot find qualified Americans for the vacant role. The H1B visa holder must only work for the sponsoring employer. Otherwise, their visa will be revoked.

However, individuals with H1B visa status can transfer to a different employer. In this article, we will provide you with the lowdown on the H1B visa transfer process. We’ll discuss the H1B visa transfer requirements, the fees involved, the timeline of the whole process, and more. Read on to know more.

What is H1B Visa Transfer?

H1B Visa transfer allows individuals to switch employers. The visa holder is under no obligation to receive permission from their former employer for the H1V visa transfer, though they need to follow contractual agreements or non-compete laws they signed with the previous employer. 

To transfer their H1B visa to their new employer, the visa holder must start with filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA). Next, they must gather all the necessary documents (revealed below). Then they should complete the USCIS petition letter (also known as Form I-129), before filling it with the USCIS.

What are the Requirements for an H1B Transfer?

Following are the requirements for an H1B visa transfer:

  1. The visa holder’s next employer must submit an H1B visa transfer petition to the USCIS. This is something the visa holder/employee can’t do on their employer’s behalf.
  2. The employee mustn’t have conducted any lawful acts in the US or violated any of their visa statuses
  3. The petition should be filed with the USCIS before the expiry of the current employment period
  4. The employee has to submit various supporting documents (mentioned below) required by the USCIS for an H1B visa transfer
  5. The employee must file premium processing if they stopped working with their former employer before the H1B visa transfer

Which documents are needed for the H1B transfer?

You must prepare and submit the following documents to USCIS for H1B transfer:

  • Copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action showing their H1B approval
  • Copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
  • 1 Copy each of passport, current H1B visa, social security card
  • 1 copy each of degrees and diplomas
  • Copy of employment offer letter
  • Up to 3 most recent payslips
  • Your new employer must prepare and submit the following documents to USCIS for H1B transfer:
  • Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers
  • Labor Condition Application
  • Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

When should I start getting ready for my H1B transfer?

You should start getting ready for your H1B visa transfer well before April 1, which is the first-day USCIS begins accepting petitions for the H1B visa transfer for the federal government’s fiscal year starting on October 1.

What is a form used for transferring your visa to another company?

Labor Condition Application, or LCA, is the form used for transferring your H1B visa to another company. You can download LCA online from the ICERT website.

How to do an H1B petition transfer?

To do an H1B petition transfer, the employee must start with filing an LCA. Next, they should gather all documents (mentioned above), complete Form I-129 (the USCIS petition letter), and file the petition letter with the USCIS.

How long does it take to get approval on an H1B visa transfer?

Although the exact time varies from case to case, getting approval on an H1B visa transfer typically takes 4-8 weeks after submitting the application to USCIS. Factors that affect the H1B visa transfer process length include the USCIS processing center responsible for the application and the location of previous employment.

What are the fees for an H1B visa transfer?

Here are the various fees an employer has to pay for an H1B visa transfer:

Attorney fee: $2000-$3000

Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee: $500

ACWIA Training Fee: $750 (if the employer has <25 employees) and $1,500 (if the employer has >25 employees)

Public Law 114-113 fee: $4,000 (only if the employer has 50+ employees with more than 50% of those on L-1 or H1B status

Premium Processing Fee (Optional): $2,500

Is there a premium processing fee for an H1B transfer?

There is a voluntary premium processing fee of $2,500 for H1B transfer for employers who want the USCIS to shorten the processing time for their I-129 petition to 15 calendar days. If the employer doesn’t file in premium processing, USCIS might take between 3 and 6 months (or more) to issue a decision.

What if my H1B visa transfer application was denied?

If your H1B visa transfer application is denied, you must stop working for your new employer on receiving the notification of denial. That’s because the denial of H1B transfer strips you of a valid H1B status to be legally employed in the US.

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