Navigating Job Changes on an H-1B Visa: Tips and Considerations

Tech Job Market Offers Opportunities for H-1B Holders

Despite recent layoffs in the tech sector, there are still numerous job opportunities available for tech talent, including early-stage startups.

In addition to the tech industry, other sectors such as healthcare, professional services, government, and hospitality are also experiencing job growth and seeking tech professionals.

Legislation like the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 are expected to further boost job opportunities in the coming years.

For H-1B holders eyeing positions at startups, it's essential to understand visa and green card options, as well as effectively communicate immigration knowledge to employers with limited experience in this area.

Tips for Managing H-1B Transfer

If you have already gone through the H-1B lottery process, you don't need to repeat it for a transfer.

Identify your dream job and assess if it qualifies as a specialty occupation for H-1B purposes.

Consider the next role that aligns with your career progression.

Leverage your network and connections to find employers willing to facilitate the transfer.

According to the 2023 Immigration Trends Report, a significant number of employers actively recruit and hire foreign national employees in the U.S.

Employer Support and Costs

During the interview process, inquire about the prospective employer's willingness to provide immigration support.

If a potential employer is unwilling or hesitant, explore alternative options.

Remember, employers are responsible for covering the costs associated with the H-1B transfer.

Inform employers that the transfer process for a startup usually takes around a month and costs less than $10,000.

Collaborating with an experienced immigration attorney is crucial for assembling a strong work visa petition.

Working with an Immigration Attorney

It's advisable for all companies to engage an experienced immigration attorney when sponsoring an H-1B employee.

Startups or companies new to sponsoring H-1B visas must have their Federal Employer Identification Number verified by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

Typically, obtaining FEIN verification takes about a week.

The entire H-1B transfer process, from offer to start date, can be completed in as little as four to six weeks.

Involving an attorney ensures compliance with immigration regulations and increases the chances of a successful transfer.


Walter Thompson. (July 13, 2023). Ask Sophie: Any guidance for changing jobs while on an H-1B?.

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