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.

  By Am22tech    Updated  6 Jun, 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

Filing H1B Transfer

#1 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.

#2 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.

#3 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

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If your old employer has not withdrawn your H1B yet, you can go back into H-1B status by starting work for your old employer again.

#2 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

#1 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.

#2 With New i-94

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


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.

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Recent discussion on forum

  1. bharath

    Hi Anil,

    I have a question related to filing H1B transfer after I94 expiry…

    Currently my Employer A has applied for H1B Transfer which is going on(according to your calculation in another chat, I may get result from USCIS in November 2019), however my I94 is going to expire in Sep 13th 2019 including I797.
    He is not ready to push it for Premium processing even after requesting so many times.
    If my H1B transfer gets denied at worst case, Employer A is ready to file another or ready to ask other Employer B to file transfer via Employer A to work for the same end Client.

    In worst scenario, how much time we would be having to file for another H1B transfer after I94 expiry? Currently my employer says, we will have 60 days of time even after I94 expires, please share your thoughts on the same.


  2. bharath

    My employer was telling we can file and I can work again via consular processing, please let me know how it works.


  3. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @mpcontact19

    You can file H1B transfer again after denial but you cannot stay in US. You should go out of US and wait for transfer approval if you file again after denial.

  4. Anil.Gupta

    Second transfer will be affected if your i94 has already expired as each existing application becomes a bridge to next one.

  5. Anil.Gupta

    You can do both i.e. apply with same employer or apply for new employer from native country.

  6. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @mpcontact19

    Vendor will say whatever suits them. You can check with an attorney if you want to take that risk.

    There is no official 60 day period. It all depends on your current circumstances. It does not apply to all in general.

  7. mpcontact19

    Thanks for your response.
    Now my situation is i94 expired, Old H1B expired.

    1. Currently I am working company ‘A’ with H1b transfer on Receipt notice & its in premium process, waiting for approval status.
    2. Company ‘B’ has also filed H1b transfer with premium process.

    In that case if unfortunate company ‘A’ H1B Transfer get Deny & company ‘B’ has got H1B Transfer approval already so in that situation will I able to start with company ‘B’ staying here? or need to travel to native country with consular process if i94 expired, Old H1B expired?

    I would like to know what are the options are available in worst cases.

    Response are highly appreciated.
    Thanks in Advanced!!!

  8. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @mpcontact19

    The safest option is to join company B before you see any denial for company A.

    Other things depend on the timing of when the application was filed and if a new i94 has been issued with company B’s approval.

  9. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @mpcontact19

    You can start with company B after current’s denial if company B is okay with it.
    Usually, Employers are not comfortable in these situations and may ask you to go out of US and re-enter.

  10. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @mpcontact19

    What exact procedure you are asking for? I don’t understand your question.

    Talk to your employer and their attorney about the joining formalities.

  11. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @h1ext2019

    You can file H1B transfer but your current pending extension will become a bridge petition.

    Read on to find the risks associated with bridge petition.

  12. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @Ramya_M

    Sorry to hear about the H1B denial.

    Unfortunately, the denial and out of status time starts immediately on the date of denial and not the notice receipt.

    You can file H1B transfer but cannot stay in US.

  13. ashuh1baccnt

    Hi @Anil.Gupta.

    I have an on going interview with another employer right now. If that goes well in this month, then can I have the H1B Transfer filed with 2nd employer in premium with my current employer extension petition as Bridge petition? If so, what are the chances of getting that approved?

    P.S. My extension petition with current employer is having a receipt date of 29 Aug-19 and My H1B and I-94 expired on Sept-30.

  14. ashuh1baccnt

    Thank You @Anil.Gupta.

    I’ll provide an update as this progresses.

  15. ashuh1baccnt

    Hi @Anil.Gupta

    Here you say with consular processing, we have to move out of US and get the stamping. You have mentioned we can move any country like Mexico.

    Is that possible, if the I-94 is already expired?

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