If you are in the United States on an H–1B work visa and you’re hoping to change jobs, don’t delay. Talk to an employment visa attorney in New York City today about how you can seek out your American dream without running afoul of the United States immigration law system.

What Is an H-1B Work Visa?

An H-1B visa, frequently simply called a work visa, is a temporary nonimmigrant visa tied to your employment in the United States. Employers use H-1B visas when looking to hire individuals with high qualifications, usually professionals from specialty occupations. The visa itself requires would-be visa holders to have at least a specific bachelor’s degree.

To sponsor a non-immigrant worker to the United States with an H-1B, prospective employers file Form I-129. If there are any problems with the petition, the employers may need either to correct the previously submitted I-129 or to submit an entirely new application.

There are, comparatively speaking, few H-1B visas available per year: just 65,000. If your petition is rejected, you might need to wait a full year before you can apply again. As a result, employees may be frightened or unwilling to risk their visa status by trying to change their jobs, regardless of how tempting the new job offer may be.

How Do I Change Jobs if I Have an H-1B Work Visa?

Fortunately, the law does not prevent work visa holders from changing jobs, but it does require you to follow certain steps, or else you won’t be legally allowed to switch to another job. In the process, you will transfer your present immigration status to a new visa, which your new employer will sponsor.

Your new employer will need to file an I-129, before your current job ends. If you stop working for your current employer before the filing process ends, your new employer will need to request premium processing.

You as the visa holder will need to pay all fees associated with an H-1B transfer.

You and your new employer will send all necessary documents.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will send a confirmation to your new employer and you’ll be able to start working.

What Are the Necessary Documents?

You’ll recognize some of these documents from when you first applied for an H-1B.

You will need your resume, a diploma or degree as required by H-1B protocol, your university transcripts, and an academic evaluation. Lastly, you’ll also need to submit paystubs from your previous position or a letter from your old employer.

Your new employer will need to submit several documents: a letter of position indicating your job title and salary, a document that explains the responsibilities and duties of the job, as well as marketing material and financial statements from the company.

Connect with an Immigration Law Office Today

Changing your job while maintaining your H-1B visa isn’t difficult, but it does involve distinct steps. Get in touch with our law office soon, and we’ll be able to explain what needs to be done in detail.