Q & A H-1B Visa Portability: Working at Different Site Locations

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers your questions regarding H-1B visa portability.

Q: Can an H-1B employee work at different site locations and can an employee change jobs easily?

A:  Yes, but a separate Labor Condition Application must be filed for each work site. H-1B employees are able to transfer jobs, so long as the petition filed by the new employer is not subject to a numerical cap. A person who already has an H-1B visa can port to another employer, but the new employer must file a new petition. Once you have received a receipt notice for the new petition you may begin working for the new employer.

Overview of the H-1B program: 

The H-1B program was enacted by Congress with the intention of helping American employers seek out distinguished foreign workers who possess the necessary business skills and abilities absent within the American workforce. The provisions of the H-1B program allow qualified foreign workers to attain temporary employment having met specific requirements, while protecting American workers from being negatively affected by the temporary employment of these workers.

In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the Petitioner (U.S. Employer) must submit evidence that substantiates that the foreign worker either a) possesses a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent work experience for the particular position sought b) that the degree requirement is common for the particular position within the industry, or that the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone possessing a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a relevant field for the position c) that the employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position or d) that the nature of the duties necessary to perform the position are so specialized and complex that performance of the duties is associated with attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher, or equivalent work experience.

H-1B Cap

The H-1B visa program is subject to a congressionally mandated cap limiting the issuance of H-1B visas to 65,000 per year. Individuals holding advanced degrees are exempted from the 65,000 cap. Initial H-1B applicants must demonstrate that they have obtained an American master’s degree or higher to be exempted from the cap, however only the first 20,000 petitions received by USCIS will benefit from the exemption.

For more information about the H-1B visa please visit our website.

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