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H1B Transfer-Sounds Simple... What You Need to Know

Published on
Apr 7, 2022
Written by
Natalie Sulimani
Read time
Work Visa

Natalie Sulimani

NY Technology Attorney

To live and work in the United States temporarily and for a specified period, you would be required to hold a visa, some, like work visas, are usually facilitated by your employer. 

This means that to have the H-1B visa, you must have secured a job, and then the employer applies for this visa on your behalf. However, circumstances might warrant that you need to (or want to) change your employer due to various reasons, and this is where a visa transfer is required and initiated. Read on to find out more about the visa transfer.

Why Do You Need a Visa Transfer?

 In the United States, when individuals who have the  H-1B visa change their employers or switch to another job, they are required to do a visa transfer. 

To be eligible for the H-1B visa transfer, you must have secured a new job offer while still holding your valid H-1B visa and then initiate the transfer process.

How To Initiate The H-1B Transfer Process

The steps in applying for the H-1B visa transfer and the initial H-1B visa are closely related, but the only difference is that the H1b visa transfer is not limited by a cap like the H1b visa. This means when you already hold an H-1B visa, you are exempt from the cap and would find it easier to obtain the new visa. 

Steps To Applying For The H-1B Visas Are Outlined Below 

  • Secure a new job or get an employment offer: A new employment offer, as mentioned earlier, is required before you can initiate the H1b transfer process as you are not eligible to be transferred if you have not been offered a job.
  • Obtained the Labor Condition Application (LCA): Your new employer is expected to obtain the LCA from the Department of labor as foreigners are not permitted employment without this document. 
  • Fill out The I-129 Form: This form is required to be filled out by the employer and submitted to USCIS. The form is used to seek permission to employ a foreign worker in the United States, now subject to approval or denial.

During this process, all required fees must be paid by the employer. The transfer normally takes 1- 3 months or 15- 30 days for premium processing which attracts an extra fee. After approval, the employer and the employee receive the I-797 form, which proves that you are legally permitted to work in the United States for the employer.  


All the visa application processes are naturally tedious and tricky if you do not have in-depth knowledge about the whole process. This is why you need to consult professional services such as the one provided by Tech Legal Services to guide you through the processes and provide you with detailed requirements and steps needed for a successful visa transfer. 

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