Foreign nationals in valid H1B status are eligible to work for multiple H1B employers as long as the additional employer(s) are willing to file a petition for a “Concurrent H1B.”
For the benefit of H1B employees who are interested in working with multiple H1B employers, we present here an overview of the Concurrent H1B and the key elements that employers and H1B employees must keep in mind while working in the U.S. under a Concurrent H1B.
1. Concurrent H1B – What Is It?
An H1B petition filed on behalf of a foreign national working in the U.S. under an H1B, seeking authorization to allow him to be employed in another job concurrent with his current H1B employment, is commonly referred to as “Concurrent H1B.”
Foreign nationals who are maintaining valid H1B status can have a Concurrent H1B petition filed on their behalf by a new employer so that the H1B holder can work for more than one employer at the same time.
My Case Scenario
Peter, an Irish national, is in valid H1B nonimmigrant status. He works full-time as an Accountant at a mid-sized accounting firm. He would like to make some extra money and has been offered a job for 10-15 hours a week as an in-house Accountant at a medium sized business. Can he take the job?
If the new employer can show that Peter’s proposed part time H1B job is a specialty occupation and requires someone with at least a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, then the employer should be able to file a Concurrent H1B on behalf of Peter. He can begin working for the new employer as soon as the petition is filed.
2. Concurrent H1B Requirements
The Concurrent H1B petition must meet all the requirements of regular H1B petition. The employer needs to show that:
- The position offered requires knowledge, both theoretical and applied, which is almost exclusively obtained through studies at an institution of higher learning
- The position requires a specific course of study which relates directly to the position
- Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific activity (or its equivalent) is a minimum requirement for the position
DID YOU KNOW?
The new employer wishing to file the Concurrent H1B must follow all the regular steps of filing an H1B petition, including obtaining the LCA from the Department of Labor and filing a petition with USCIS.
3. Concurrent H1Bs – How Many Can You Hold?
There is no statutory limit on how many Concurrent H1B’s an individual can hold simultaneously. However, the H1B worker should be careful to show that he or she is not working too many hours and is maintaining valid H1B status at all times.
USCIS may not approve a H1B concurrent employment for a full-time position if the employee is already working full-time for the main H1B employer.
4. Concurrent H1Bs Across Multiple Specialty Occupations
The concurrent H1B position(s) need not be in the same occupational category or specialty occupation as the first position. All that matters is that concurrent position is a specialty occupation and that the H1B worker is qualified for the position.
DID YOU KNOW?
The H1B holder may begin working for the concurrent employer as soon as the Concurrent H1B petition is filed with USCIS.
5. Concurrent H1B Employment Between Cap-Exempt And Cap-Subject Employers
An H1B worker working for an H1B cap-exempt employer can concurrently work for a cap-subject employer and can continue to work for the cap-subject employer even if he or she leaves the cap-exempt employer.
The H1B worker, however, will not be able to extend the H1B concurrent employment unless he or she is working for a cap-exempt employer as the primary H1B.
DID YOU KNOW?
An H1B worker who is working in the U.S. for a cap-exempt employer and has not previously been chosen in the H1B Cap can concurrently work for a cap-subject employer.
My Case Scenario
Jane, a Venezuelan national, has degrees in Economics and Writing. She is working for an Economic think tank, which is a non-profit organization, as a grant writer. As a non-profit organization that has an affiliation with a university, the organization is cap-exempt. Jane has never previously been chosen in the H1B cap. She has been now offered a job as an Associate Editor for a small journal. Its several months to go until April so an H1B cap petition cannot be filed on her behalf at the present time. However, the journal needs her to start immediately. What can Jane do?
After much discussion with both the Journal and the non-profit organization, Jane decides that she will work for both organizations for 20-25 hours/week. The non-profit organization files an H1B amendment to amend Jane’s hours from full-time to 20-25 hours/week. Then the journal files a Concurrent H1B so she may begin working there as well.
Although the 2 jobs are in different occupational categories, Jane is qualified for both positions as she has degrees in both Economics and Writing.
Note: In April, the journal can file an H1B Cap petition on Jane’s behalf if they would like her to work full-time for them or to make sure that she can continue working for them if she leaves her job with the think tank.
6. Changes In Concurrent H1B Employment
Changes in employment, which can include changing work location, requires notifying USCIS to ensure that the H1B worker maintains valid nonimmigrant H1B status. This is true even for the concurrent H1B position.
DID YOU KNOW?
If the H1B worker is laid off or leaves the main H1B position, the H1B worker will remain in status and can continue working for the H1B concurrent employer.
My Case Scenario
Miriam, a national of Ethiopia, is in H1B status. She works for as a Financial Analyst for a small brokerage firm. She also teaches at a local community college on the weekend and some evenings. The job at the community college is the Concurrent position. She has just found out she will be laid off from the brokerage firm. She fears she will need to stop working at the community college when she loses her primary position
Although the H1B with the brokerage firm was her first H1B, Miriam does not have to stop working at the community college as the concurrent H1B continues to be valid. She can remain in the U.S. and continue to teach while she looks for new employment.
All too common misconception about H1B’s is that an H1B holder can only work for one employer at one time. In fact, those valid H1B status are eligible to work for multiple H1B employers as long as the additional employer(s) are willing to file a Concurrent H1B petition on their behalf.
While adding concurrent employers generally appears straightforward, it does have many nuances that employers and employees should keep in mind. A concurrent H1B petition for part time H1B employment will not be approved merely because an H1B petition on behalf of the foreign national is already approved. Thorough preparation is essential to secure approval of a Concurrent H1B petition.
If you have any questions regarding working for multiple H1B employers while in H1B status, or need help filing a U.S. work visa, contact our experienced immigration attorneys immediately for a FREE Immigration Lawyer Consultation.
We’ll analyze your specific situation and recommend the most effective strategy based on our attorneys’ near 100% success rates.
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