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Shelter in Place and H1B Remote Employment

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: As shelter in place orders are executed for the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and throughout the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic H1B remote employment rises. Read more

H1B Mission India Website Correction

In a recent meeting with the Department of State (DOS), we advised: The Mission India U.S. Travel Docs website features this question: "I have a valid H-1B visa which contains my previous petitioner's details. I have changed my employer with valid I-797 and am back india for a short trip. Can I travel back to the U.S. on the same visa or do I need to apply for a new visa? Can a person on a dependent visa work in the U.S.?"

The site at provides the following answer: "In general, if you have a new petition with a different employer, you need to apply for a new visa. In certain situations (such as corporate restructuring), it may be possible to travel back with your current I-797 and visa. Further information can be found through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection."

This answer is inconsistent with the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), which provides that a visa holder can use a valid H-1B visa issued for previous employment with company A and an I-797 issued for a new position at company B to seek admission to the United States. Can the language on us travel docs website be amended to reflect the correct procedure under AC21?

DOS response:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 9 FAM 402.10-11(C) provides that an H-1B visa holder does not need to seek a new visa when there has been a change in their employer. Mission India has corrected the information on their website to reflect this.

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