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Immigration Issues/H1 transfer before original employment start


It looks like the question I am asking is quite common these days, but feedback I receive browsing immigration forums and QAs is mixed and particular details vary.
I have H1b valid from Oct2007 and visa stamped in passport. I am currently abroad. My plan is to move to US first week of October.
1. Can H1b be transferred to another employer in September, i.e. before it is valid and while I am outside of US?
2. Can H1b be transferred to another employer in October, when I am in US, but not yet formally empolyed? I am asking this because my currend H1b sponsor is not going to commence formal employment before the first project is found for me, evading his obligation to pay me while I am on bench in this way.
Thank you

1.  You can try.  The regulations are not clear on this. The USCIS may not agree to this since you are not in the country, you are not currently on H-1 status for another employer to apply for a fresh H-1B.  
2.  The H-1B is employer based petition and I would not advise you to enter the country in the situation where there is no bona fide employment.
Mark Ashley

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Mark Ashley


Business Immigration. My practice focuses on representing researchers, scholars, and other advanced degree professionals with filing NIW, EB-1,O-1, H-1, L-1 petitions. I am a founding partner in the immigration law firm Ashley & Krishnan,


18 years as a practicing attorney.

Member of AILA

JD from St. Mary's University, Texas.

Awards and Honors
American Jurisprudence Award recipient

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