File H1B Transfer After i94 Expiry – Bridge Petition Risks

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.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  18 Jul, 19


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.

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

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

Can I start working with H1B Transfer receipt?

You can start working on H1B transfer receipt with new employer. before your current i94 expiry. But, I recommend to wait for approval before joining 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 H1B transfer approval, you are in valid H1B status.

Can I file H1B transfer after i94 expiry?

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

Your pending H1B extension from 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 new H1B transfer employer, you are immediately OUT OF STATUS from the denial date.
You should leave 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.

File another H1B Transfer after Denial

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

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

If you file an H1B extension or transfer now requesting extension of your stay in US, 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.

USA Work in USA - H1B, L Visa

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Nilparna_Sub

    Hi Anil…
    I have a question and need your help in this regard.
    I am currently working for Employer A with petition Approved till July 2020, However Stamping (VISA) is expiring on July ,2019. In the meantime I got offer from Employer B and they are willing to file on Premium for H1B Transfer. Now I need to travel urgently to India during Mid August , 2019 and plan to return Mid September.
    My questions are -

    1. If I file for Transfer through Employer B and it gets RFE, Can I still do stamping using Employer A approved petition and come back using that ?
    2. If I file for Transfer through Employer B and it gets Approved , Does that voids/ invalidates my approved petition from, Employer A ? Can I still do stamping using Employer A approved petition and come back using that
    3. If there is any risk , Should I file for transfer after I return from my trip in September ?

    Please Suggest how should I handle this situation.

  2. 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.


  3. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @bharath

    You can file another H1B transfer after denial and after i94 expiry but you cannot start working for them.
    You should leave USA after the denial and wait for result outside USA to be on safe side.

    The 60 day grace is only applicable if your i94 is valid. Once i94 expires, the denial puts you in ‘Unlawful presence’ immediately.

  4. bharath

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


  5. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @bharath

    Consular processing means you have to leave USA and that’s exactly what i told you in my last answer.

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2 more replies

  247 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Kumar
    Kumar 27 Mar, 19 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Anil / Team – Thanks for helping via this post, its very helpful
    Would you kindly suggest on my case here :

    – Current I-797 has expired (9/1/2018) and 240 days will complete on (4/30/2019)
    – Current Employer extension still on process (Employer responding to RFE , extension decision pending)
    – New Employer ready for H1 Transfer

    considering above scenario . what would be best option for visa transfer to new employer

    – shall i wait for 1st employer extension result or parallel i can process transfer and extension

    pls suggest also what is the risk involve on above case. if you guide me on this

    Thank you

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 Mar, 19 at 8:55 pm

      The risk is mentioned above for your situation. Please go through it.

      Your extension petition will become bridge petition and will affect transfer decision as your i94 has already expired.

      • Kumar
        Kumar 27 Mar, 19 at 9:29 pm

        Thanks Anil for your reply .
        are you referring points mentioned as above or some other post


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 Mar, 19 at 9:34 pm

          Yes, the points mentioned on the post that you have linked. It is same page as you are currently writing your comment on.

          • Kumar
            Kumar 28 Mar, 19 at 9:41 am

            Thank you Anil.

            Can i file only LCA for New transfer now ( Before 1st Employer Extension result ) and file H1B transfer to 2nd Employer after 1st Employers extension result.

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 28 Mar, 19 at 3:25 pm

              Yes, you can file LCA for H1b transfer anytime. There is no restriction.
              If you are scared that your extension might be denied, then i suggest to file the H1B transfer as well.

              If the extension is denied, you can still go out of USA and wait for transfer result and re-enter USA once transfer is approved.
              File transfer in premium and you will get result within 15 days.

  2. kaps
    kaps 19 Mar, 19 at 9:41 pm

    Hi, I am under 60 days grace period on H1B as I lost my job. Now I have 30 days left.
    I-140 approved.
    I am working with consultant who filed LCA today and will file my H1B transfer next week, He wants me to join on Slip as his client wants same. It will be processed under premium processing (if approved it will be right on time, if denied I have to leave country as 60 days will be there)
    Now, I got an offer from a big company, they know my this situation But they can’t make process fast due to all background checks, LCA etc.
    They said they may able to file before April 20th which is my last day of stay But also wants me to join on Slip. (Also mentioned no false hopes of filing date they will try)

    If I join Company A which in this case is consultancy sometime next week on slip, Will my visa transfer by a big company will be impacted? (As they still being transferring it from my old employer not from consultant for which I will start working and they don’t know anything).
    How can I join big company here? Do they need to transfer my visa from consulting company if I join them or my old company I-140 and I-797 they can use (Chances are both consultancy and big company will goes in parallel but Consultancy company timing is quicker may approve before)
    Please suggest how can I transfer to big company without letting them know about consulting company which I have to join to stay.
    I am also not sure if this new consultancy company will give me paystubs for 2 weeks, copy of I-797 etc.
    I am looking for a way to join big company after joining consultancy company for some days/2-3 weeks may be.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 19 Mar, 19 at 9:52 pm

      You can file both H1B transfer in parallel using your approved i140. No issues. Join anyone when they get approved or join anyone of them using receipt on or before H1b 60th day grace period.

      • kaps
        kaps 19 Mar, 19 at 10:10 pm

        Thanks Anil for answering my question but not sure if you got the question right, I know it can be filed to multiple employers and I can join one.
        My question is Consultancy company process which will go faster and I will end up joining for 2-3 weeks.
        How this will impact my transfer for big company, if my approval of consultancy came and big company transfer took 1 month then I have to work for one month with consulting company, does I need pay stubs/W-2 etc from consultancy company? Will it require another transfer as big company may not do same.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 20 Mar, 19 at 8:03 am

          I think i clearly answered your question in my last response.

          You should start working within 60 days to get on to H1B status which can only happen if you START working with some H1B company and generate payroll. In your case, it seems that this can happen only if you join consultancy firm. So, you have limited options.

          The full time employer will need to submit their own application. The payslips would be required as a proof of H1B status if they file their application after your 60th day. If they file before 60th day, they can probably skip using the payslips.

          • kaps
            kaps 20 Mar, 19 at 8:12 am

            Only question remaining is if my this visa came approved before they file application, they have to use consultant visa?
            Kapil Batra

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 20 Mar, 19 at 8:52 am

              That’s not really required. Also, you won’t get the approval copy in hand that fast anyway. USCIS takes 7-21 days to send the approval by mail.

  3. Viv
    Viv 19 Mar, 19 at 7:32 pm

    My I-94 is valid until 04/2021. I filed a transfer few weeks back which is pending. Can I file second transfer again ?
    Will the outcome of first transfer has any impact on the second transfer since the I-94 is still valid ?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 19 Mar, 19 at 9:31 pm

      You can file any number of H1b transfers as you wish. They do not affect each other as your i94 is valid.

      • Viv
        Viv 20 Mar, 19 at 5:26 am

        If I do the second transfer in premium, will it wait for first transfer to be approved ?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 20 Mar, 19 at 8:03 am

          I think I already clearly answered your question in my earlier response.

  4. Kumar
    Kumar 18 Mar, 19 at 3:16 pm

    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
      Anil Gupta 18 Mar, 19 at 5:05 pm

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

  5. Checking
    Checking 17 Mar, 19 at 5:48 am

    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.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 17 Mar, 19 at 8:30 am

      Your question about H1B denial and date of unlawful presence start has been added to our forum and answered there as it was out of scope of this article.

      You can ask follow up questions on forum iitself. We answer within 1-24 hours.

  6. NN
    NN 15 Mar, 19 at 1:56 pm

    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
      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.

      • NN
        NN 15 Mar, 19 at 8:33 pm

        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 ?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 15 Mar, 19 at 8:33 pm

          Each H1B application is evaluated separately.

  7. jajikanth
    jajikanth 14 Mar, 19 at 7:04 pm

    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
      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.

      • jajikanth
        jajikanth 14 Mar, 19 at 7:18 pm

        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
          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.

  8. Riya
    Riya 9 Mar, 19 at 11:34 am

    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
      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.

      • Riya
        Riya 9 Mar, 19 at 7:13 pm

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

        • Anil Gupta
          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.

          • Riya
            Riya 12 Mar, 19 at 10:39 am

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

            • Anil Gupta
              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.

  9. praneeth Reddy
    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
      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
        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
          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
            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
              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.

  10. anil
    anil 7 Mar, 19 at 1:43 am

    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
      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?

      • Anil
        Anil 7 Mar, 19 at 12:02 pm

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

        • Anil Gupta
          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.

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

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

            • Anil Gupta
              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.

              • Anil
                Anil 7 Mar, 19 at 12:50 pm

                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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