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Can You Change Jobs on an H-1B Visa?

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If you landed a job in the United States with an H-1B visa, but your role isn’t what you expected, you might be thinking about getting a new job. Finding a new job can be a long and complex process when working under an H-1B visa. Aside from going through the challenges of job searching, you will need to complete certain steps with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Can I Request an H-1B Visa Transfer?

Many people have the misconception that they can simply request a transfer with the immigration office when they want to find new employment. Unfortunately, with an H-1B visa transfer, you will be the only one making a “transfer.” If you have a new job opportunity lined up, you will need to reapply for an H-1B visa. This means that your previous visa application will be voided. Although your previous visa application approval will help your case, it doesn’t mean you won’t need to reapply.

When applying for an H-1B visa a second time, you can avoid the following:

  • You won’t be subject to visa caps

  • You can petition any time of the year

  • You can file more than one petition at the same time (known as bridging)

  • You can begin to work at your new job once you receive a notice from the USCIS – regardless of whether it has not been approved or denied yet

  • You don’t need permission from your current employer to apply for an H-1B visa transfer

However, your new employer will still need to file an H-1B visa petition on your behalf. You will also need to show proof of your legal status at the time of filing. It is also important to note that a new H-1B petition will not extend your stay in the United States, and you are still subject to the departure date on your I-94 record. An attorney can help you request an extension if your H-1B visa is about to expire.

If you need help applying for an H-1B visa transfer or a new H-1B visa application, contact our Dallas immigration attorneys today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!