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1. When and where may I apply for H-1B status?
The USCIS fiscal year begins each year on October 1st. You may apply up to 6 months prior to the beginning of the next fiscal year. Therefore, you may start applying on April 1st to begin working by the following October 1st. Your employer must initially file a petition to USCIS and obtain approval whether you are changing status in the United States or filing for consular processing.
2. May I travel abroad in H-1B status?
If you file for consular processing and have an H-1B visa, you may travel on the visa as long as your visa is valid. Even after you file and receive a change of status to H-1B in the United States, you may later request consular processing for a visa to allow you to enter the United States after time spent abroad.
3. How long must I wait before receiving a decision on my application?
Normally, it will take at least 2-3 months to receive a decision from USCIS. There is also a premium process option where the petition will be adjudicated within 15 calendar days for an additional $1,225 premium process fee.
4. May I change employers?
Once you are in H-1B status you may change employers. Your new employer must file new petition on your behalf and pay all the relevant filing fees on your behalf. Once your application is filed, you may begin working for your new employer as long as there are no quota issues in your case.
IMIN LAW Employment & Family Based Immigration