In our previous entry, we talked about giving promotions to H-1B visa workers, and how it can potentially cause issues for them unless the appropriate steps are taken. We also covered a general overview of how, when an employee receives a promotion, they will need a new H-1B visa.
The rule is technically that a job isn’t considered new unless it is significantly different from the old job, but there are no strict guidelines for what is determined significantly different. Therefore, when giving a promotion at all, it is always a good idea to file for a new H-1B visa.
You definitely don’t want to be caught thinking that the new job is only mildly different from the old one, whereas Immigration thinks it is significantly different. That could lead to the employee’s H-1B visa being cancelled, and them being forced to leave the country immediately.
There are a few simple guidelines that can help you determine whether a new job is significantly different or not.
For example, if there is a new job title, new management responsibilities, and/or a significant pay raise, then Immigration is likely to consider it a new job. If, however, the new job only has a few small additional duties, no more management responsibilities, and/or only a small increase in pay, then Immigration is less likely to see it as a new job. Nothing can be guaranteed, however, these are just rough guidelines. It is always a good idea to check with an immigration attorney before making any permanent decisions.
The good news is that filing for a new H-1B visa is a quick process, and the worker can start working immediately after the new H-1B visa paperwork is filed. They do not have to wait to hear back first.