How Can I Change Employers with an H-1B Visa?

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Say, for instance, that there comes a time in your career when you feel it is best to make the next move. Well, leaving your current employer may be tricky if you are a foreign worker holding an H-1B visa for a specialty occupation. Nonetheless, it is doable. Read on to discover how to legally change employers with an H-1B visa and how a seasoned Baltimore County, Maryland employment immigration lawyer at Sheri Hoidra Law Office, LLC can walk you through every step of the way.

How can I legally change employers with an H-1B visa?

A major feature of United States work authorization visas, including H-1B visas, is that they must be sponsored by a United States employer. Therefore, if you wish to leave your current employer, they can no longer sponsor your stay in the United States. In other words, you may have to apply for an H-1B visa all over again to legally change employers. This may entail the following steps:

  1. You must find a new employer who is willing to offer you a specialty job position, along with a willingness to sponsor your H-1B visa.
  2. The new employer must submit the Labor Conditions Approval (LCA) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which should detail the title, salary, and job description.
  3. The new employer must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, along with documents related to the United States company and the required application fee.
  4. You must provide your employer with a copy of your United States visa, resume, past pay stubs, university degree, etc. to go alongside Form I-129.

Can I remain in the United States if I lose my job?

On the other hand, you may have been put in a position where you, unfortunately, lose your job with your United States employer. Well, you may rest assured knowing that the USCIS may grant you a discretionary grace period so that you may have time to figure out your next move. Specifically, this grace period may be up to 60 consecutive calendar days or until the end of your authorized validity period, whichever period is shorter. In addition, you may receive this grace period regardless of whether you voluntarily left your employer or not.

So with these 60 days, you may work to seek a new employer who is willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. Or, you may use these 60 days to apply for a change in nonimmigrant status or otherwise adjust your status. Whichever is the case, you must use your time wisely.

In the end, the first step you must take in this visa transfer process is to retain the services of a competent Baltimore County, Maryland immigration lawyer. So call us at Sheri Hoidra Law Office, LLC today.