The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa. An H-1B visa expires after a specific period of time. Under normal circumstances, an H-1B visa is valid for 3 years and can be extended to up to 6 years. When your H-1B visa expires, you must either obtain an extension of visa, transfer to a different status (such as F-1 or O-1), or leave the US.
You are strongly recommended to consult with a professional H-1B lawyer (h1b律师推荐) because maintain legal residence status after H-1B expires can be a difficult task. If you are in a big city like San Francisco, you may have an ample amount of choice for H-1B visa lawyer (also known as 湾区h1b律师).
Consequences of losing H-1B Employment:
Employees who are granted H-1B visas may only work for the sponsoring US company. Sometimes H-1B workers want to quit their jobs. If you quit or are dismissed by the employer that sponsored your H-1B visa, you need to find a new employer in 60 days (grace period), and the new employer must file an H-1B transfer visa application on your behalf.
The materials for H-1B transfer visa application are basically the same as those for the initial H1B application. The important supplementary documents include I-797 Approval Notice (your existing H-1b approval notice), form W-2 from your previous company and up to 3 months latest pay stubs. Your new company needs to pay the H-1B transfer application fee. There will be no lottery for H-1B transfer. The H-1B transfer application processing normally takes 4-8 weeks.
Apply for another status after losing H-1B employment:
- If your spouse is on H-1B, F-1 or L-1 visa, you can change your status to your spouse’s dependent status such as H-4, F-2 or L-2. However, F-2 or L-2 holders are not allowed to work in the US.
- If you want to study, you can change your status to F-1 (student visa).
- If you possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, you can apply for an O-1 visa. O-1 holder can work in the US. The number of O-1 applicants is significantly lower than H-1B.
- If any of these choices are not available to you, you can change to B-2 (tourist visa).