An H-1B Visa is employer-specific. This means you are only authorized to work for the employer who sponsored your H-1B visa. However, this does not prevent you from changing your employer and transferring your H-1B visa. Here’s how to change your employer and transfer your H-1B visa.
How do I change my employer and transfer my H-1B visa?
If you have found a new employer, you can transfer your H-1B visa and change your employer by filing an I-129 petition for a change of employer with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You cannot file on your own. The I-129 Petition must be filed by your new employer.
When can I start working for my new employer?
If a new employer has filed an I-129 petition on your behalf, you are able to start working for the new employer as soon as the case has been received for processing with USCIS. You do not need to wait for the case to be approved to start working.
How long does it take for Form I-129 to be approved?
Case processing times depend on the service center where your case has been assigned. In most cases, a Form I-129 petition will take anywhere from 3-6 months to process with standard processing.
Can I speed up the processing of my case?
Yes. An I-129 petition can be sped up by filing Form I-907 for Premium Processing. Filing Form I-907 with USCIS guarantees a decision on your case within 15 days of when your case is received. There is an added fee for premium processing on top of the standard filing fee for Form I-129.
How far in advance can I file Form I-129?
Form I-129 can be filed no more than 6 months before the intended start date. It is best practice to file as far in advance of your intended start date as possible to avoid any delays in commencing your employment.
Additional Outside Resources
- USCIS: Form I-129 Petition for Foreign Worker
- USCIS: Form I-907 Premium Processing
- USCIS: H1B Visas for Specialty Occupations
We Can Help!
The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 20 years of experience helping people obtain H-1B visas to live and work in the United States. Contact us today for a free assessment of your legal situation.