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If I Am Laid off by My H-1B Employer, Can I Change Employer?

Hi William,

If I am laid off or terminated by my H-1B employer, am I out of status? If I receive advance notice that I will be laid off, before my validity period ends, can I change employer?


If you are no longer employed by the U.S. employer who petitioned for your H-1B visa, and you are not being paid by that H-1B employer, then you are out of status. You can look for other employment with an employer who can petition for your H-1B transfer. When you transfer your H-1B employment to a new employer, USCIS will request pay statements, the sooner you find another H-1B employer, the better. You shold have little to no gap in your employment.

Prior to being laid off, another qualified H-1B employer may file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on your behalf with USCIS.  In order to change employers without having to depart the U.S., the Form I-129 petition should have been filed prior to the termination of your job, and you should maintaining valid H-1B status.  If the I-129 petition is filed after your dismissal, you may have to return overseas to process your H-1B visa for the new employer.

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