Job change H1b visa transfer safer process

A while ago, a friend of mine took up a new job and the new employer filed for a H1b transfer. Upon insistence of the recruiter he served a 2 weeks notice to his employer as soon as he accepted the Offer. He was hoping the new employer would start the visa transfer immediately. But the new employer filed the transfer and got the receipt notice on the day of joining. Meanwhile, my friend moved places and showed up at new work. Unfortunately, the transfer which was filed in premium, went into a RFE and eventually denied.

At this point he cannot continue to work and the recruiter stopped communicating with him. He was stranded. But luckily, he contacted the old recruiter and they still held his visa and were ok to take him back but not before hard balling him on the offer etc. But, this whole bad experience would have been totally avoided had my friend been little bit more vigilant and be aware of cardinal rules of H1b transfers. While my friends case ended more amicable there are situations described in forums where the previous employer refused to take them back. Why would they?

So, if you are looking to transfer your visa, better to be risk averse. Only serve notice to your current employer after the new employer transfer goes through. Insist upon filing it in premium processing, even if that means paying the premium fee from your pocket. I think it’s worth it for the peace of mind it brings. Recruiters mount pressure on you to serve a notice as soon as you accept the offer. They may even belittle you if you insist on serving the notice only after the approval. I have been in the same situation. I just stood my ground and they eventually filed for premium processing albeit grudgingly. Hiring people with good fit is hard. And in the long run it doesn’t matter. If things take a wrong turn, you have more to loose than them. But if you still have to join, atleast don’t send the notice to your current employer unless you get the transfer receipt from the new employer.

Be safe than sorry!

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