How much does it cost to transfer H 1B

H-1B transmission

The H-1 visa is an entry permit for non-immigrants who can legally work in the USA with it. The special H-1B visa, which is aimed at special professional groups, falls under the same category. Immigrants who come to America on this visa have advanced degrees and good professional qualifications. The H-1B visa is the most popular of the H-1 visas.

Anyone who receives an H-1B visa can legally but temporarily work in the USA. The application process is initiated by the employer. In practice, this means that interested parties must first find an employer who will support the application to the US government. A detailed description of the application process and all relevant documents can be found in the article about the H-1B visa.

With an H-1B visa, immigrants can temporarily work for a company in the USA. Under certain circumstances, however, the employer changes during the stay. There can be different reasons for this. However, the H-1B visa is tied to the employer. In this case, the employee must therefore transfer it to a new company. This article explains how this transfer process works.

What is an H-1B transmission?

Foreign workers can work in the United States for a maximum of six years on their H-1B visa. The immigration authorities will initially issue the first visa for a maximum of three years. If necessary, the visa holder can apply for an extension. In the field, it is common for workers to find better jobs and change employers. Then employees have to transfer their visa to the new company.

A transfer of the H-1B visa is relevant if you are moving to a new company in the USA. The new job offer can only be accepted by those who still have a valid H-1B visa. It may then take several months for the transfer applicant to complete the process.

Process of the H-1B transmission

The process of the transfer is very similar to the first application for an H-1B visa. However, there is no maximum number of visas issued by the US government for transfer. Typically, a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas a year. This limit does not include transfers. So if you already have an H-1B visa, you don't have to take part in the draw again. The process is therefore a little easier:

  1. Get a new job offer

First, there must be an offer from a new company. Those who do not yet have an offer cannot start the transfer process.

  1. The new employer must submit an application to the Ministry of Labor

Without the appropriate certification, American companies cannot simply hire foreign employees. You can obtain some documents from the Ministry of Labor, such as the ETA9035E form. In it, the company assures foreign applicants that it pays adequate wages and treats its employees fairly. In addition, the company guarantees good working conditions with its signature. The signature is also important to the government because it ensures that the company only recruits legal workers.

Once this step has been completed, the company can apply for the next documents.

  1. Submit an application to the immigration authorities

The company must apply for a permit to employ foreign employees. You can do this with Form I-129. The Immigration Service will review the document and then make a decision to either confirm or reject the application.

While the authority is processing the application, companies and employees are given a processing number. As soon as both have this number, the employee can start in the new position. With the approval of the application from the Immigration Service, both parties can now complete Form I-797. With this, the employee confirms that he is legally allowed to work for this employer in the USA.

In addition, the company uses Form I-9 to request confirmation that it is suitable for hiring a foreign employee.

  1. The employer pays the applicable fees

The costs incurred are similar to those of the original application for an H-1B visa. Since the employer wants to hire an employee, the company has to bear the corresponding costs:

  • Processing costs for I-129
  • A fee under the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act to improve working conditions - for companies with fewer than 25 full-time employees, the cost is $ 750; for companies with more than 25 employees, the cost is $ 1,500
  • Fraud Detection Cost - $ 500 per foreign worker
  • Public Law Fees - $ 4,000 if the company has 50+ employees, half of whom are in the US on an H-1B or L visa
  • Premium processing costs an additional $ 1,225 and company must file Document I-907
  1. The applicant submits the following documents to the immigration service:
    • Copy of the employer's job offer
    • Copy of the passport
    • Copy of the H-1B visa confirmation (stamp)
    • Copy of Document I-797
    • Copy of Document I-94
    • Copy of social security card
    • Copy of qualifications (degrees and certificates)
    • Two or three of the most recent pay slips
    • Copy of the tax return (if necessary)
    • Current curriculum vitae
    • Proof of license for medical professions

Since the applicant already has an H-1B visa, he does not have to go through the entire application process again. For example, he or she can dispense with filling out DS-160. The immigration authorities only need the documents listed here. In addition, the current H-1B visa must still be valid. If it has expired, the applicant cannot apply for a transfer, but must first apply for a new H-1B visa.

Processing time for an H-1B transfer

A specific time frame is set for each individual processing step. The authority distinguishes the following three important steps:

  • Application for certification

First, the employer applies for certification from the Ministry of Labor using the ETA9035 form. No further action can be taken until this letter has been received. The processing process up to the final confirmation usually takes seven working days.

  • Compilation and sending of all important documents and fee payments

Both employers and employees must then download, complete and submit all documents and pay all applicable fees. This can take up to ten days.

  • Processing time for the H-1B transfer

The processing time for the application test depends on the method chosen. The authority normally needs one to four months for this process, regardless of whether the final decision is positive or negative.

The applicant can speed up the process by choosing premium processing. However, the cost of this is relatively high at $ 1,225. In this case, it only takes 15 to 30 days for the candidate to receive a response to their application.

Rejection of the H-1B transfer request

In some cases, the immigration service will refuse to transfer the H-1B visa. As a rule, however, she asks for further documents before a final rejection. This does not mean that she rejects the application, but that the decision has not yet been made. So if you receive the request for further documents, you don't have to worry at first.

Depending on the case, the authority may request different information. Most of the time, however, it will be one of the following documents:

  • Evidence of education - the employee must prove that he or she actually has the educational qualification stated in the application. This can be done with the help of certificates or certificates.
  • Proof of suitability for the exercise of a specific occupation - the applicant must prove that he is suitable for the specified occupation on the basis of job references, training confirmations or certifications.
  • Proof of the seriousness of the employer / employee relationship - both parties declare that their relationship to one another is based on a real job offer and is not a deception, for example with an employment contract.
  • Proof of finances - the company proves that it can afford the new employees and that payment is guaranteed.

If the documents are submitted later, the immigration authorities can make a decision on the application. However, what do you do if it is rejected?

If the authority rejects the application, it will give specific reasons. The applicant can deal with these and submit a new application. To make things faster, many choose premium processing for a second application. Common reasons for rejection are:

No receipt of the correct fees

The processing fees change regularly. It is possible that companies or applicants transfer the wrong amount. If part of the money is missing, the immigration service will automatically reject the application.

The employee cannot prove his suitability for the profession

The H-1B visa is a work permit for certain professional groups. If you apply for a transfer but cannot prove that you are suitable for the new position, then the authority will reject your application. This may be because the candidate does not have a corresponding educational qualification, for example.

Insufficient evidence of the employer / employee relationship

Immigration wants to make sure the job offer is not a sham. There must be a relationship between employer and employee based on a real offer. If this is not the case in the eyes of the authority, it rejects the application. To prevent this from happening, make sure to submit all relevant documents, especially the employment contract. The contract must be detailed and precise. For example, it should include a description of the position, responsibilities, salary and the location of the company.

The employer cannot prove that he can pay the salary

The transfer request will be rejected if it is not apparent that the company can pay the specified salary. For this reason, it is important that the employer submit all financial and tax documents that the agency requires. In this way, the immigration authorities can assume that the financial situation is suitable for employing someone from abroad.

Aside from these three reasons, there may be other issues with the application:

  • The documents are received by the wrong authority
  • The employer does not submit the correct documents
  • The employee has broken the law in the United States

Any of these reasons alone are sufficient to reject the application. Therefore, make sure that you really send all relevant forms to the correct address on time. So nothing stands in the way of transferring the H-1B visa.