If your job is about to end, what are the ramifications regarding an H-1 visa?

I came to US about 18 months ago with an H-4 Visa; both my husband’s H-1 and my H-4 extensions were applied and received and will be good for 2 years from now. Meanwhile my company processed my H-1 Visa and I went to India about a year ago and got the H-1 visa stamped. I came back to the US 9 months ago with a job. My project is over next month. My H-1 visa is valid for another 2 years. What is the best way to stay in US and search for a new job with my H-1?

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Immigration Law, Illinois

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should start looking for a new employer with whom you can transfer your H-1B once the current job is over.  Once you are in H-1B status, you can easily transfer that status to another employer.  THe new employer would still have to file a H-1B visa petition on your behalf but you would not need to wait for the approval notice to start working; you can start working on the basis of the receipt notice.  If you are not able to find a job before the current one ends, it would be best for you to change status back to H-4 so that you do not have any out of status time (you are technically out of status at the end of the last day of your current job if you have not done anything to secure your status for the day after that).  If you then later find another employer willing to petition you for a H-1B, you can then do a change of status from H-4 to H-1B.  You would not need to get a new H-1B visa in your passport, since you already have one.  But the visa itself is not an indication of your status.  It is only valid for entry to the US.


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