Can I use my previous H-1B when looking for a job?

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Can I use my previous H-1B when looking for a job?

After I got my PhD in the US, I worked in a company with OPT for 10 months and H-1B for 1 year and 4 months. Then I stayed outside of the US for 1 year and 9 months. Then I came back for another degree under F1 for 2 years. School said I would not have OPT anymore. Can I use my previous H-1B when I find a job? Or I have to apply for a new H-1B under cap starting 10/1 every year? If I can use my previous H1B, is it a reapply or a transfer? Do I just have the remaining time, 4 years and 8 months?

Asked on July 5, 2012 under Immigration Law, Indiana

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can have a new employer file for a new H-1B that is NOT subject to the annual H-1B quota since you have already been in H-1B status within 6 years.  In that sense, you can have a new employer file a petition on your behalf at any point during the fiscal year when they offer you a job and agree to petition for you.  It would not be a transfer sicne you are not currently in H-1B status.  Therefore, you would need to wait until the H-1B visa petition is approved and only then would you be able to start working for that employer.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Immigration is one of those complex specialties under the law and it really would be best for you to speak directly wuith an immigrtion attorney as to the ins and outs of your particular situation. But you need to understand this:  individuals are not able to apply for an H1B visa to allow them to work in the US. The employer must petition for entry of the employee. So you can not renew your visa; the employer must. OPnce you weer terminated your status became changed.  You may wish to apply for a B2 or B1 visa while looking for a new job.  Then your new employer can apply for your H-1B status.  Good luck.


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