Travel for H1B stamping while H1B transfer is pending

Hi @Anil_Gupta
I am currently employed with company A, I have an approved I-797 until 2021, but my visa stamp expires this december.

I got an offer with company B, they have applied for my visa transfer. I have to travel to India during January and i will have to go for visa stamping as my visa stamping expires this december. I plan to come back to USA using company A’s visa stamping, as company B’s visa will take a long time for approval (due to huge backlogs). My questions are:

  1. Will there be any issue with this approach.
  2. when i go for stamping, will the office ask me a question on - there is another company B who has applied for your transfer, but you are appearing got company A petition. will this come up and be an issue.

please help.

H1B transfer pending, travel is allowed

Assuming you will join new employer after the H1B transfer is approved, I do not see any issue with company A H1B visa stamping.

Pending H1B transfer does not affect H1B stamping

US embassy generally does not get information about your PENDING petition filed with USCIS unless USCIS shares it with them. So, chances are low that they will ask you about your H1B transfer.
But, even if they do, there is no harmnis talking about it openly.
You are perfectly allowed to file change employers on H1B.
It will not affect your H1B stamping.

hanks for the prompt reply. Will there be any issue at POE, will they ask me there is another pending transfer and you are trying to enter using company A visa. Please help.

No, there is no issue as you are allowed to change employers legally.
Pending application only means that you have applied for it.
You have the option of ‘not joining’ the new employer if you want.
So, there is no issue at Port of entry either.

Remember, all of this is true when you have NOT started working for new employer.

HI Mr. Anil,

Hope you are doing well!.

I want to extend this thread and ask my question somewhat related to this.

I have my Approved visa with company A until OCt 2020. I am travelling to india in Sep 2019 and have stamping scheduled in india US Consulate.

Meanwhile before I leave, a new employer Employer B is filing my H1B Visa transfer as I want to switch. The new employer is going to file it in premium processing. So,

  1. There is a chance that new employer visa is not approved before i go for stamping - in that case this thread answers my question.
  2. But, there is a chance that my visa is approved with company B as they are filing in premium when I am in india and planning to go for stamping for employer A (current).

Questions for case 2:

  1. Is it going to be a problem in my stamping as my new employer visa is approved and I am going for stamping with my old employer - I have not joined the new employer yet.
  2. As it is approved I am assuming US consulate may have this detail in the system - can this be a troublemaker where they can ask why you have another H1B approved with company B and which one you are currently working for
  3. Can it result into rejection of stamping

If not, what will be the plan for me - is it like come back and then resign and join the new employer?

Should I consider postponing my travel plans and get the switch done and then travel and have the stamping for new employer?

Hi @ankitgarg16

Approval of H1B transfer petition is not an issue as long as you intend to enter US and keep working for current employer. Once you are in US, you can join the new employer.

But, there is a small catch here. Your H1B transfer application would have been filed with ‘extension of status’ meaning that you have requested for new i94. If you leave US, the new i94 won’t be issued and your transfer may be approved with consular processing.

In these cases, your employer would ask you to go out of US and get H1B stamp before starting work for them.

As far as Visa officer is concerned, they may question about your intent of working with new employer. If you say Yes, then they may ask you to show the approved i797 from new employer.

My suggestion is to avoid all this and wait for H1B transfer approval and get stamping with new i797 if you really want to join them. This would be safe and clean keeping in mind the current scenario.

Thank you Anil. This helps a lot.

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I have been working with Employer A and Client A since 3 Years. Had to return to India in August 2020 due to Family Emergency.
After a lot of struggle got Expedited Appointment on Jan 14(Finger printing completed pending with consular appointment), but Employer A told me that company is in merger process and I cannot attend Interview until 2 months.
So I postponed my Appointment to Jan 29 and will apply for H1B transfer Premium to Employer B on Jan18(LCA submitted on Jan 11), Client will be same.
Given the timeline, I may or maynot receive Employer B’s 797 copy. Can you please let me know if it is ok I can carry Employer A’s 797 copy which is valid until December 2021 and get stamping.
Employer B will be providing me Receipt number, Employer Letter and all documentation required.