As an Adobe Experience Manager developer, you already know that companies seek and value your skills. After all, your unique skill set brought you together with your current H1B visa sponsor in the first place. However, in light of recent changes to the 2019 H1B program, you may feel uneasy when you’re approached with offers that could lead to new, better employment opportunities. You might think that if something goes wrong, it could put your status in jeopardy.
While your apprehension is certainly understandable, the current administration’s changes shouldn’t deter you from accepting employment at a new company. The only change that applies to current H1B visa holders is one that suspends expedited processing in transfer situations. So there is no longer an option to fast-track an application. However, there are also no additional rules that should worry you.
Steps for Transferring an H1B Visa
The process to transfer an H1B visa from one company to another starts out very similar to the process of applying for one. First, the company offering you employment must submit a petition to hire a nonimmigrant worker (Form I-129) and a labor condition application (Form ETA 9035/9035E) to United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). It’s from there that the process begins to differ: instead of visiting the consulate next, you’ll need to take the following three steps to keep the ball rolling.
1. Gather copies of the following documents
- The offer letter, with your signature, added
- Your university transcripts in a sealed cover
- An updated resume
- Your Bachelors, Masters, or any higher education degree
- Two or three of your most recent pay stubs
- Your academic evaluation, if required, with your initial visa application
- W2 Tax forms from your initial employer
- Your passport
- Your Social Security card
- The H1B stamp on your passport
- I-797, your initial H1B petition approval notice
- I-94, your arrival paper or passport stamp
- Experience letters or any other letters of recommendation, if you have any
2. Submit your copied documents where directed.
You’ll be asked to send your documents to either your prospective employer’s hiring manager, their HR department, an immigration attorney, or to USCIS. If you’re not sure where to send them, be sure to ask the hiring manager who offered you the position.
After you submit your documents, it can take from one to four months for USCIS to issue an approval. Technically, you can begin working for the new company as soon USCIS issues receipt of your prospective employer’s petition and labor condition application. But since there is always a possibility that the transfer could be denied, due to paperwork mistakes or fee miscalculations, for example, it is best to stay put until you know you’re approved for sure. Mistakes can be corrected while you are safely working via the H1B you have currently, but not if you are working without one.
3. Give your current employer notice.
You don’t have to inform your current employer that you’ve entered into the process of transferring your visa. However, when you receive word that your transfer request has been approved, it’s customary to give 2-week’s notice of your departure. This allows them to fill your position with as little interruption to business as possible. However unless you’ve signed a contract stating that you would notice, you’re not required to give any notice at all. You can begin working with your new employer as soon as possible.
Transferring your H1B visa is safer than you might think.
You came to the United States to pursue opportunities that would help advance your career and enrich your life. And as an H1B visa holder, you’re entitled to take a better employment offer should it come your way, without suffering repercussions. New changes to the program may make you wary of starting down a new path, but rest assured there has been no new rule created to stop you from reaching your full potential.
That said, you don’t have to wait to be approached in order to take advantage of a better position. An AEM recruiter can put you in touch with companies who are looking for employees just like you. TechBridge Inc. is a Utah-based recruiting agency that pairs talented AEM developers with IT hiring managers all across the country. Contact us today to learn about exciting job opportunities.
Download the Checklist HERE.