File H1B Transfer Before or After i94 Expiry

Anil Gupta  18 Mar, 19      120  USA Work in USA - H1B, L Visa

H1B Transfer USCIS

H1B transfer is a new petition to change your H1B employer. Once approved, you will receive a new i797 notice of approval with a new i94 attached to paper i797.

The answer to “Can H1 transfer be rejected” is Yes, it can be rejected.

File H1B Transfer Before i94 expiry

You can start working for new employer based on H1B transfer receipt immediately if your i94 has not yet expired.

Once your i94 expires your status will be counted as “period of authorized stay” based on your pending H1B transfer with USCIS.

We recommend to start working for new employer only after approval.

File H1B Transfer After i94 expiry

You CAN file H1B transfer after i94 expiry and start working for new employer too.

But we strongly recommend to NOT start working for H1B transfer until it has been approved.

H1B transfer after i94 expiry
H1B transfer after i94 expiry

H1B Transfer 240 day limit after i94 expiry

There is no 240 day limit applicable for H1B transfer cases if filed before i94 expiry with USCIS.

You can keep working for new employer even after 240 days if the petition is still pending with USCIS.

H1B Transfer Denied after i94 expiry

If you had already started working for new H1B transfer employer, you are immediately OUT OF STATUS from the denial date.

Your period of authorized stay starting from your i94 expiry date to denial date ends too.

You will start adding “Unlawful presence” to your name after the denial.

Also, you cannot file another extension, or transfer, or change of status to some other visa category as your are currently “Out of Status“.
Even if you file an H1b extension or transfer now, it will be rejected as you filed it on the day when your status was “Out of status”.

H1B Transfer Denied – i94 still Valid

If you started working for new employer on receipt, you are still out of status and the period of authorized stay ends after denial.

But, unlawful presence will not start as the I-94 has not expired.

If your old employer has not withdrawn your H1B yet, you can go back into H-1B status by starting work for your old employer again.

H1B Transfer Denied – i94 expired, Old H1B expired

You can re-file h1B transfer but, you cannot start working as your current status is “Out of status’ after denial.

H1B transfer refile, if approved, will be approved with consular processing meaning that you will have to go out of US and get H1B stamped in passport to re-enter.

H1B Transfer Approved without new i94

The H1B transfer I-797 approval notice should either have an I-94 or consular processing information. If you did not receive new i94, it means you’ll need to leave the US, obtain an H-1B visa stamp abroad, and then re-enter the US.

File Second H1B Transfer before First H1B transfer Denial – i94 expired, Old H1B expired

If you file second H1B transfer before the first one reaches a result, you can start and keep working for new employer.

If the first H1B transfer is denied, the bridge between first H1B transfer and second one is broken and hence your second H1B transfer will also be denied ultimately.

Your “Unlawful presence” begins on the day of first H1B transfer denial in this case.

H1B Transfer USCIS TimeLine

With Premium Processing, H1B transfer application will get result within 15 calendar days.

With Regular processing, there is no fixed timeline. The result timeline will depend on USCIS service center’s workload.

H1B Transfer Processing Time

We track H1B Transfer processing time for All USCIS service centers.

   Read all 120 Q & A

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  1. Hi
    My current i94 expired on 31st Jan 2019. I had applied for extn in Nov 2018. RFE has issued and I have submitted all the documents. Now I am in 240days time. I would like to know can I apply for H1B Transfer for different employer ?

    • Anil Gupta   18 Mar, 19 at 5:05 pm

      You can apply for H1B transfer at this time but read about the risks above.

  2. Hi Anil,

    Our i94 expired in Aug 2018 and we got to know about visa denial on 15th March 2019. When we called Ucsic, they said our visa was denied on 5th March. We have not received any hard copy yet, but my husband signed out of his current job in the same day.

    Our 240 days are ending on 29th march.

    Is there any way we can file for ‘
    Discretionary Request for Grant of Status’ with our current employer/find a new employer and stay in USA till we get result ?

    Also, from.which date UCSIC calculate the unlawful presence? It will be 5th March or the day we receive hard copy of our denial?
    As PP is open, we may get answer soon.

  3. Hi Anil,
    Thanks for such an helpful Blog..Need some help from you regarding my case.
    My current petition with Employer A is valid till July , 2019. They have filed for Extension for 1 more year.
    In between . I got an offer from Employer B and would like to join them after H1b transfer is Approved.
    My question is
    1. Suppose My H1B transfer to company B is Approved and at the last moment for some reason I decide not to join Employer B, Can I still continue working for Company A ?
    2 . In case the H1B transfer request from Employer B is denied , Can I still continue working for my my current employer A ?

    Thank you.

    • Anil Gupta   15 Mar, 19 at 7:58 pm

      H1B transfer approval or denial does not affect your current H1B. You can keep working with current employer if you wish even after the H1B transfer approval or denial.

      • Thanks for the quick reply
        One more question..If the Transfer to Employer B is approved then what would happen to the Extension Application that my Current Employer A is filing ? Will this be Rejected ?

  4. Hello Anil,
    You explained a scenario of filing 2nd H1B transfer when i94 is expected where If 1st transfer is denied, automatically 2nd also get denied. How about 2nd transfer being filed in premium and got approved. Will there be any issue if the 1st transfer is denied?

    • Anil Gupta   14 Mar, 19 at 7:10 pm

      The chances are very high that your 2nd H1B transfer will receive an RFE asking you to wait for 1st transfer’s result as your i94 has already expired and your status is dependent on bridge petition.

      If the 2nd application is indeed approved by USCIS and 1st is denied, then it is up-to USCIS to decide the fate of your 2nd approved petition. The chances are low for this scenario though.

      • Thanks for your input.
        Will there be a probably for getting it approved with counselor processing to get Visa stamped out of country?

        • Anil Gupta   14 Mar, 19 at 7:25 pm

          Yes, H1B transfer consular processing is probably a better option in this case if you explicitly file it with that option. Then, USCIS may not issue an RFE at all.

  5. Hi Anil, I’ve my H1-B approved till April 4th 2019, and received a Notice of Intent to Revoke in January which when submitted a response on Feb 12th got revoked on 22nd Feb. I’ve my I-94 expiry till April 4th 2019. Can I file for an H1-B transfer now? What all options do I have now?

    • Anil Gupta   9 Mar, 19 at 6:48 pm

      So, your H1B has been revoked finally on Feb 22, 2019?
      Do you know the reason of revocation?

      As per my opinion, you are out of status after your H1B has been revoked.

      • Yes Anil, it’s finally revoked on Feb 22nd. It’s related to speciality occupation and employee employer relationship

        • Anil Gupta   9 Mar, 19 at 8:22 pm

          You can file H1B transfer now but cannot stay in US for its result.
          You should go out of US and wait for the result and then come to US once H1B is approved.

          • But can I stay and work on receipt if I get a receipt for my transfer within a week ???

            • Anil Gupta   12 Mar, 19 at 1:04 pm

              No, you cannot stay in USA. Once your H1B is revoked, you are ‘out of status’ immediately.

              Even if you file a new H1B transfer now, you are adding time to your ‘out of status’ if you decide to stay in USA. It can have serious issues with future visa applications.

              Please discuss it with your attorney if you want to take that step.

  6. praneeth Reddy   8 Mar, 19 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Anil Gupta

    Thank you for all the information.I have a query, my I-797 is valid till 30th April 2019 and extension is filed by my company A, now i am looking for job change and new employer has agreed for H1b transfer. But my I-94 is expired in 2017 . Based on present situation, what would be your advice ? Should i change my company and apply for H1b transfer , as my I797 is still valid or should i wait till i get my extension approval ?


    • Anil Gupta   8 Mar, 19 at 10:04 pm

      I do not understand your situation. How can your i797 be valid more than your i94 expiry?
      When was your extension filed?

      • praneeth Reddy   9 Mar, 19 at 4:05 pm

        Sorry for the confusion. H1 visa was approved till oct 2017 and later extension was filed and approved till April 2019. So the latest I797 shows valid till April 2019 . Since oct 2017 I haven’t left US and so I don’t have latest I 94. Old I 94 shows validity till oct 2017.

        • Anil Gupta   9 Mar, 19 at 8:15 pm

          You are completely wrong with your i94 information. You cannot stay in US if you do not have a new i94.

          When your H1B extension was approved, you must have got a new i94 attached to your H1B approval copy i.e. i797. Check it and then tell me the i94 expiry date.

          • praneeth Reddy   9 Mar, 19 at 8:22 pm

            Yes sorry for the confusion
            I94 is expiring on April 30 and my extension is in progress with uscis
            So in this case can I switch to different company and apply for H1 transfer ?

            • Anil Gupta   9 Mar, 19 at 8:43 pm

              Yes, you can apply for H1B transfer. Try to file it before your i94 expires to be on safe side.

  7. hi anil TWO H1B transfers filled first was in Feb 2018 and second was in Nov 2018 and first is denied and second is in processing.second was applied before i94 expired.Can i stay legally untill the decesion has been made? My i94 from previous employer in i797 is valid till Feb 2020 and he revoked since i quit. online i94 date is 24 jan 2019.

    • Anil Gupta   7 Mar, 19 at 9:09 am

      Your most recent i94 is what is considered valid. What is the validity date on most recent i94?

      • Online shows 24 Jan 2019. on i797 shows i94 date is Feb 2020.

        • Anil Gupta   7 Mar, 19 at 12:11 pm

          As i already said, look at the most recent i94 that was issued with your H1B transfer approval (if the approval is the most recent activity).

          All other previous i94 are invalid now.

          • Recent i94 is Feb 2020 on approval notice. Just fyi, since i quit the company they revoked. my i94 is still valid?

            • Anil Gupta   7 Mar, 19 at 12:21 pm

              No sure what is your confusion here.

              As I already said that all other previous i94 are rendered invalid the day you receive a new i94.

            • Sorry for confusion. I did went to india once the h1b approved in 2017 but i re enter in my old stamping visa which is 24 Jan 2019 that’s the reason in online i94 expiry date is showed as Jan 24 2019 not as 29 Feb 2020

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