EXPAT Assignment in singapore on H1B

Good day!
I have two questions regarding H1B.

  1. I am on H1B for last 12 years and my PERM was filed and approved in 2012 (still waiting for my date to get current). My company just sent me on an EXPAT assignment to Singapore for 1 year. Our immigration team approved this assignment and confirmed that i can work as an EXPAT and it will not hurt my H1B status and the PERM application. I am on my US payroll and nothing changed in employment. All international taxes are being taken care of by my employer. My question is that is there a limit on how long i can stay as an EXPAT outside USA without jeopardizing my H1B status and PERM application.

  2. I have an offer from another company in USA who wants to hire me and will take care of H1B transfer. For that i will have to be back in USA? And is the premium processing available for H1B transfer if my new company applies it next month ( Mar2019 time frame)

I appreciate your time and help here.

Best Regards,
Raj Raina

H1B status outside USA in Singapore

I am not aware of such thing as maintaining H1B status outside USA. Once you step out of US, US immigration law does not apply to you.

Your PERM and i140 (if approved) can still remain valid as these are for future job and not for H1B position.

Your H1B may not be withdrawn by your Employer and they probably would like you to return and work for them in future.

The ‘status’ is what is printed on your i94. I94 is given and valid only for the period you are present in USA.

File H1B Transfer

You can file H1B Transfer anytime and from anywhere i.e. from within US or outside US.

If you file H1B transfer while you are in US, you can start working for new employer on H1B application receipt.

If you go out of USA and then file H1B Transfer, you will need a valid H1B stamp to enter US and start working for new employer. You can use your existing Employer’s H1B stamp to enter USA.

Let me know if you need more information.

Thank you so much Anil for the detailed answer. One question i still have is that can my new employer file the H1B transfer through premium processing? The filing of the H1B transfer will happen in March2019 time frame.


H1B Premium processing is not available at this time for H1B transfer applications due to temporarily suspension.

Hi Anil
Thanks for your informative inputs. My potential new employers wants me to be on an EXPAT assignment in Singapore too.

Can my potential new employer file my H1B transfer while I am outside US, so, I can start working for the new employer on the receipt itself (on their US payroll).

I understand I would not be able to enter US till my H1B transfer is approved. Will it have any effect on my original PERM and approved i140. Thanks a lot in advance.

Best regards

As i already told earlier, you get on to H1B status only when you are inside US physically.

The status is printed on your i94. You do not get any i94 if you are physically outside USA.

H1B transfer can be filed by US employer irrespective of your physical location but to activate it and start working using H1B visa, you have to enter USA and your i94 should be marked with H1B status.

If you start working for your H1B employer on receipt and then leave USA, the H1B can only be approved with consular processing.

Thanks Anil for your response.