Many H-1B visa holders move to the US each year to work at prestigious companies making great strides in technology innovation. However, not even these large corporations are immune to drastic changes in the economy. After months of mass layoffs at some of the largest big tech companies, many H-1B visa holders must now contend with uncertainty regarding their stay in the United States.
These non-immigrant visa holders run the risk of significant penalties if they remain in the US beyond the scope of their H-1B requirements. Additionally, their family members likely won’t be able to renew their H4 visas if the H-1B visa holder is no longer sponsored by a qualifying employer.
Fortunately, these visa holders can remain in the country through an H-1B transfer. This is the simple process of seeking sponsorship from a new employer in a position that is allowed by the visa’s requirements.
In order to apply for an H-1B transfer, you must first find a new employer that is willing to sponsor your application. Keep in mind that you must make sure your H-1B status is still valid and that you have not committed any unlawful acts in the US.
Typically, USCIS provides a discretionary 60-day grace period for H-1B holders who have lost their jobs. In order to qualify for this grace period, you must show that you have actively been searching for a job throughout the period.
Fortunately, technology professionals are still in high demand, despite the recent spate of high-profile layoffs.
As long as you have satisfied the requirements to keep your H-1B status, most of the remaining work to file for the H-1B transfer falls on your new employer.
Your new employer will need to follow a similar process as the initial H-1B application. They must first file a Labor Condition Application to make sure that you qualify for H-1B status. If the LCA is accepted, your employer will then file your petition. This requires submitting an I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
Keep in touch with your new employer so you can provide any documentation or information they ask for.
Once the petition is filed and accepted, you’ll be free to start your new job and stay in the United States for the remainder of your visa period.
We’re always seeking new talent here at Infomatics. Our HR team and recruiters work with new hires and a team of lawyers to sponsor qualified employees and support them throughout their visa and immigration process.
If you’ve been recently laid off from your job or are just looking for a new position, take a look at our job openings and see if any of them suit your needs. If you don’t see any opportunities that fit, send us your resume and we’ll let you know when the right job comes our way!
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