You won the H-1B lottery: Don’t lose your ticket when changing jobs

Obtaining an H-1B skilled-worker visa is like winning the lottery — actually: With the quantity of new visas issued each and every year capped at 85,000, most of this year’s more than 200,000 applicants face disappointment. But if you are currently operating in the United States, then you have currently won the H-1B lottery, and that tends to make you a hot commodity.

With H-1Bs in brief provide, productive businesses regularly poach skilled workers. Every person knows the tech sector thrives on this cost-free exchange of individuals and concepts, so if an additional employer demands your capabilities, why not start out operating for them?

Effectively, not so speedy. H-1B holders can function only for the business that initially sponsored their visa application. So if you want to transform employers, you will have to have to “transfer” your H-1B.

That method utilised to be comparatively simple but not in the Trump era. (Boundless lately underwent this method with an employee, so we recognize the discomfort.) The denial price for initial H-1B applications spiked more than 5-fold to 32 % just in the initially quarter of fiscal 2019, up from 6 % in 2015. Crucially, the Trump administration is targeting “continuing” H-1B applications utilised by current personnel to either renew their H-1B or switch it to a new employer. Even tech giants like Amazon are now seeing double-digit rejection prices.

The bottom line: The days of having an H-1B transfer swiftly rubber-stamped are lengthy gone, and that tends to make it very important to do what ever you can to preserve the odds in your favor. The stakes are higher — if items go south, you could drop your proper to reside and function in the United States. Here’s what H-1B holders have to have to know about the proper — and incorrect — strategies to set about switching employers:

Do not take your transfer for granted.

Initial, recognize that an H-1B “transfer” is truly a brand new visa application, not a straightforward handover of your current H-1B visa from 1 employer to an additional — there’s no such factor.