Switching jobs for H-1B visa holders gets tougher

World

02 May 2019

Is it getting difficult for H-1B holders to switch jobs

In the recent times, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been denying the approval of applications filed by a new employer on various grounds, thus making it difficult for the current H-1B visa holders to switch jobs in the US.

In several cases, the visas were denied even if the new job required the same skill set.

Here are the details.

Reason

New position not under 'specialty occupation', says USCIS

New position not under 'specialty occupation', says USCIS

The USCIS, in many cases, cited that the new position doesn't come under 'specialty occupation' as the reason for denial of the application.

Moreover, if an employee start working somewhere else, and the visa is denied, unless the old employer takes them back, they could be 'out of status' and get barred from entering the US for as long as 10 years.

Grace time

No grace time in H-1B status after denial, say experts

The managing attorney at Immigration.com, Rajiv S Khanna, said, "Typically, there is no grace period if the H-1B status has already expired by the time the denial intimation is received."

"If there is time remaining on the original visa with the old employer, the beneficiary will have a 60-day grace period or the time remaining on the original approval, whichever is shorter," he added.

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Here are the three options an individual is left with

As per Khanna, the three options available to an individual in case of denial are: to re-file the application in hope for a positive outcome, to file an appeal or file a lawsuit. However, the last two options are inadvisable as they are time consuming.

Advance application

'Application can be made in advance', says New York-based attorney

'Application can be made in advance', says New York-based attorney

According to a New York-based immigration attorney, Cyrus D Mehta, "The silver lining is that H-1B premium processing, which requires USCIS to make a decision within 15 days, has been reinstituted."

"Therefore, an application can be made in advance of moving to a new employer to determine whether or not USCIS will approve the transfer request," Mehta added.

Denial rates

USCIS denied 32% of new H-1B applications in first quarter

Meanwhile, an analysis done by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a non-partisan think-tank, showed that 32% of new H-1B applications in the first cycle (October-December) of fiscal year 2019 were denied.

The denial rates have increased drastically from FY 2015 (6%) to FY 2018 (24%).

Interestingly, the same under the Obama administration from 2010 to 2015 never crossed 8% mark.

What is H-1B visa?

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

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Most asked questions

Who is the director of USCIS?

USCIS comes under which department?

Does one need to invest in US for H-1B visa?

What is H-1B visa?

More questions

Who is the director of USCIS?

Asked 2019-05-02 11:37:31 by Amit Venkatesan

Answered by NewsBytes

The Director of USCIS is L Francis Cissna.

USCIS comes under which department?

Asked 2019-05-02 11:37:31 by Amit Mukopadhyay

Answered by NewsBytes

USCIS, under the Department of Homeland Security, is the federal agency which is given the task of approving the visa applications.

Does one need to invest in US for H-1B visa?

Asked 2019-05-02 11:37:31 by Arnav Dasgupta

Answered by NewsBytes

H-1B visa does not require any investment. One just has to find a job with an American company, which is willing to sponsor it.

What is H-1B visa?

Asked 2019-05-02 11:37:31 by Parakram Malik

Answered by NewsBytes

The H-1B visa, under the Immigration and Nationality Act of US, allows companies in the US to hire foreign nationals temporarily in speciality occupations, which require technical or theoretical expertise.

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