Planning to change a job on H1B? What are some essential factors Employers seek in prospective H-1B hires

Updated on: 2023-06-21 - 2 mins read
H-1B hiringSkilled professionalsEmployer's perspectiveUS Workforce planningUS Immigration regulations
Planning to change a job on H1B? What are some essential factors Employers seek in prospective H-1B hires

Key Points:

  • Assess the remaining time on the candidate's H-1B status to plan for their employment duration.
  • Utilize approved I-140 petitions from previous employers to extend the candidate's H-1B status beyond the six-year limit.
  • Ensure that the salary offered to the H-1B candidate meets or exceeds the prevailing wage set by the Department of Labor. The prevailing wage varies based on occupation and geographic location.
  • Verify that the candidate's educational background aligns with the minimum requirements for the position as outlined by the DOL.
  • Decide whether to start the candidate's employment on filing the H-1B transfer or wait for official approval, considering the urgency of the role and associated risks.
  • Evaluate your organization's ability to support Green Card sponsorship and communicate your commitment to long-term retention.
  • Balancing these considerations helps ensure compliance, establish successful employment relationships, and support the growth and stability of your organization.


When considering hiring H-1B professionals, employers must navigate various factors to ensure compliance with immigration regulations and establish a successful employment relationship. In this blog post, we will explore key considerations from an employer's perspective when evaluating prospective H-1B hires.

Assessing Time Remaining in H-1B Status:

As an employer, it is vital to assess the time remaining on a candidate's H-1B status. This information allows you to plan for the candidate's employment duration within your organization. On average, H-1B visas are initially granted for a period of three years, with the possibility of a three-year extension, totaling a maximum of six years. By understanding the H-1B timeline, you can effectively manage workforce planning, project assignments, and resource allocation.

Utilizing Approved I-140 Petitions:

When evaluating prospective H-1B hires, consider whether they possess an approved I-140 petition from a previous employer. This approval indicates that the candidate has already gone through the labor certification process and has a strong basis for potential Green Card sponsorship. Leveraging an approved I-140 can provide a valuable advantage, as it allows the candidate to continue working beyond the six-year H-1B limit. This approach streamlines the transition process and minimizes disruptions in project continuity and employee retention.

Ensuring Salary and Background Alignment:

To comply with Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, employers must verify that the salary offered to H-1B candidates meets or exceeds the prevailing wage for their specific occupation and geographic area. The prevailing wage is determined based on factors such as job duties, education level, and experience. Conduct a thorough analysis of the prevailing wage data provided by the DOL to ensure salary compliance. Additionally, assess whether the candidate's educational background aligns with the minimum requirements for the position as outlined by the DOL. This alignment not only ensures compliance but also contributes to the candidate's ability to perform the job effectively, fostering a positive employment experience.

Strategizing Onboarding: Start on Filing or Wait for Approval?

As an employer, you have the option to allow an H-1B professional to start working once the H-1B transfer is filed or to wait for official approval. Consider the urgency of the role and the associated risks when making this decision. Starting on filing can expedite the onboarding process, enabling the candidate to contribute sooner. However, it is important to note that there is a degree of uncertainty until the transfer is officially approved. On average, H-1B transfers take several months for processing, but it can vary depending on USCIS workload and other factors. Weigh the potential risks and consult with immigration experts to make an informed decision that balances the need for immediate productivity with the level of risk tolerance within your organization.

Long-Term Retention Pathways:

Securing H-1B professionals for the long term involves considering the potential pathways for Green Card sponsorship. Evaluate your organization's ability to support and navigate the Green Card process, including labor certification, I-140 petition, and adjustment of status or consular processing. The Green Card process can take several years, with varying processing times based on the employment-based category and country of chargeability. Communicate your commitment to sponsoring the candidate for a Green Card, as this demonstrates investment in their long-term career growth and stability within your organization. Clear communication about the expected timeline and support for the Green Card process can foster loyalty, engagement, and retention among H-1B professionals.

Official Link:

USCIS: H-1B Specialty Occupations