H1B Transfer – After i94 Expiry, Bridge Risk (Pending Extension)

H1B transfer can start working on receipt with no 240 day limit. Unlawful presence starts on denial after i94 expiry. Go back to old employer if H1B valid.

Am22tech
  By Am22tech    Updated  6 Aug, 20


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.

Each H1B transfer application is also an H1B extension automatically as the employer requested a work permit for 3 years.

I strongly recommend filing H1B transfer in premium and join a new employer only after H1B approval especially with IT consulting companies who have a high rate of H1B denials

H1B Transfer

While Extension in Progress

You can file H1B transfer while extension is in progress.

If your current i94 is valid, you can transfer H1B when the extension is in progress as the pending extension will not become a bridge.

You can switch employer after i94 expiry but your pending extension application will become a bridge petition. USCIS can only approve H1B transfer as consular processing if they approve unless an extension is approved first.

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

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

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

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

File New H1B Transfer After Denial

You cannot file another H1B extension, or transfer, or change of status to some other visa category as you are currently “Out of Status” after H1B transfer denial.

You are allowed to file a new H1B application with ‘Consular processing’ and wait outside the US for its result.

If you file an H1B extension or transfer now requesting an extension of your stay in the US, it will be rejected as you filed it on the day when your status was “Out of status”.

Transfer Denied

i-94 Still Valid

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If your old employer has not withdrawn your H1B yet, you can go back into H-1B status by starting work for your old employer again.

i-94 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.



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

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 a new i94, it means you’ll need to leave the US, obtain an H-1B visa stamp abroad, and then re-enter the US.

With New i-94

if you get a new i94 issued with approval, you are lucky and can continue working as usual. No need to worry.

FAQ

Can I start working with H1B Transfer receipt?

You can start working on an H1B transfer receipt with a new employer before your current i94 expiry.

But, I recommend waiting for approval before joining a new H1B employer.

What is my status if H1B transfer filed before i94 expiry?

Once your i94 expires your status will be counted as “period of authorized stay” based on your pending H1B transfer with USCIS if you have joined the new employer on receipt.

If you joined the new employer after an H1B transfer approval, you are invalid H1B status.

Can I file H1B transfer after i94 expiry?

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

Your pending H1B extension from the current employer will become a bridge petition and may affect the result of H1B transfer.

Is there 240 days limit for H1B transfer after i94 expiry?

There is no H1B 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.

What happens if H1B Transfer denied after i94 expiry?

If you had already started working for a new H1B transfer employer, you are immediately OUT OF STATUS from the denial date.
You should leave the US immediately (preferably within 10-15 days) to avoid adding ‘Unlawful presence’ to your name.

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




Author

Am22tech
  By Am22tech  

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Poonam_Vagale
    Poonam_Vagale

    Hi Anil.
    I had told about this situation earlier…My husband joined Company B and transfer was from Company A’s valid petition… He got an RFE for B’s petition, Then my husband joined Company C using Company A’s valid petition and Company B’s paystubs. Now he has got an RFE for C’s petition regarding maintenance of status. He has all the paystubs and w2’s. Company B’s last paystub was generated 3 months late and it mentions pay period as Aug 1st to August 31st. But it has to be May 1st to 17th. Company C’s petition was received by USCIS on May 1st. Will it be a denial if we submit that paystub or we don’t submit it at all? Old employer is not ready to correct that mistake in Paystub.
    Now Company


  2. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @Poonam_Vagale

    You have posted for the first time and you started your message that ‘you have posted earlier’?

    I don’t understand your situation at all.

    When was all the applications filed? Before i94 expired or before?

    Why didn’t the company B run payroll? How did your husband maintain H1B status without running payroll?


  3. VikyS
    VikyS

    Hi Anil,

    Really appreciate all your prompt responses on all the queries.

    My Visa was approved till March 2020 hence I had I797 and I94 validity till March 2020. I filed location change amendment with same employer for same client in July 2019 it got approved but with new validity 31 Dec 2019. On new I797 I did not get any I94 info and when I am checking online it is still showing I94 Validity as March 2020.

    Now I have applied for Extension in Dec 2019 from my current employer A now I am getting better opportunity with another employer B.

    So now if employer B will apply for my Transfer in premium will my current extension case will act as Bridge case. Provided that still my I94 is showing valid till March 2020 and I797 was expired on 31st Dec 2019.

    Need your advice…


  4. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @VikyS

    You must have got a new i94 with your amendment approval. USCIS sends that i94 attached to i797. Check with your employer.

    The paper i94 is not usually updated online. So, you are effectively looking at old i94.

    Your H1B transfer will be a bridged as your current i94 has expired in Dec 2019.


  5. VikyS
    VikyS

    Considering the same I talked to my employer… but they confirmed they have received only new approved copy of I797 not I94. I am on deputation with top Indian IT firm. I have stamped Visa on my passport till March 2020, this is contradiction from USCIS they are approving my case by revoking the visa validity. So the first I797 with March 2020 validity nullifies the latest approval?

    1)How do we can get updated I94 any site or USCIS link?
    Currently I am pulling I94 from I94 - Official Website .

    2)Also if my employer B is filing in Premium how much chances do you think of getting approval with consular processing?


  6. anil_am22
    anil_am22

    Hi @VikyS

    Looks like there is some disconnect. If USCIS approved your amendment, then they must have issued a new i94.

    Your understanding of visa stamp and petition approval is wrong. Visa only allows entry to US and does not govern your stay in US.

    Visa validity till March 2020 does not mean that you can stay in US till March.

    Please talk to your Employer’s attorney to first find out your correct i94 date and then we can suggest something.


  7. sarabh1b
    sarabh1b

    Hi Anil, Great Article!

    Could you please help me with my Scenario if this falls under Bridge Scenario?

    *** I-94 Expires on Oct-27-2020 *** (through Employer-A)

    –Employer-A (Last working day Sep-30-2020) ---->
    –Joining Employer-B (Contract) on Oct-1-2020 (H1B Transfer Receipt received on Sep-13-2020, will Start working from Oct-1-2010) ----->
    –Employer-C (Full-time) (Received Offer on Sep-22-2020 and H1B Will be filed by Oct-10-2020 on Premium Processing)

    i.e. Employer-C’s Petition will be filed before I-94 Expiry but after I had resigned from Employer-A and While working for Employer-B.

    Q1- Will Employer B’s Petition become a Bridge Petition to Employer-C Petition?
    (I read this “82 FR 82441” about Bridge petition online, but couldn’t clearly understand)

    Q2 - If so, Employer-C’s Petition cannot be Adjudicated until B’s Petition’s decision?

    Q3 - Employer C’s Petition Decision is Dependent on Employer-B’s Petition?


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