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Immigration Issues/Change from H1 B Full time to Part time


Dear Eileen,

 I am currently on an H1 Visa for a full time position and me and my employer want to change it to part time. Can you let me know what the minimum hours required is for an H1 B Part time ?

And also if we need to send an accompanying letter with the I-129 form for notifying the UCIS of the amendment of status from H1B full time to Part time?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Jessica,

Thanks for your question.  I see this type of scenario a lot these days with employers who can no longer support a full-time H-1B or with people taking a leave of absence, including reduced hours prior to maternity leave.  I do a lot of H-1Bs, so let me try and answer your question.

There are no minimum hours that will suffice for H-1B part-time.  Generally USICS looks to how will you be able to support yourself on reduced hours?  They will also want to know whether the reduced hours is just a disguise for H-1B "benching," which is not allowed.

They may ask your employer for the reason why the reduction in hours is being requested.
I have done part-time H-1Bs for people for just a few hours a week, but every case is different.  Part-time hours make sense for say, professors who work a few hours per week per semester and can work at another college during the rest of the week.

And finally, YES, your employer should send an accompanying letter with the I-129.  There are other requirements as well.  You and your employer should be cautious in how you submit your documentation.  USCIS is now taking a strict approach to all H-1Bs requests (extensions, change of employers, reduction to part-time) because in our economy, many employers may be so financially unstable that USCIS and Dept. of Labor fear we will have a lot of unemployed or not really employed H-1B workers overstaying in the US.  

Best of luck and feel free to email more details for any follow up concerns or need more assistance.

Eileen Chun-Fruto  

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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