Can H-1B Visa Holders Change Fields?

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa Leave a Comment

I was thinking about writing on H-1B Visa transfer and changing jobs to different fields using H-1B Visa article for long time.

Good thing, though, that Jenna had asked some questions about applying for H-1B visa in jobs in different fields, instead of different areas of study.

This question was asked in the comments section of the post, H-1B Visa Questions and Answers – 1

Jenna Asks

…Second, I have some questions for you.

I am currently a senior in a 4 year program (university), I am graduating by next June (2009).

Since it is extremely hard to find a job that is related to my major so that it would be hard for me to use OPT with the job that is related to my major.

So I wonder is it possible that I get a job that is not related to my major by this December or early next year and then apply for H-1B in April?

(I kind of got an offer from the company I did internship last year, but this company has nothing to do with my major). However, I won’t finish school until June.

Thank you a lot!!!
Jenna

Can I apply for H-1B Visa?

Good to see you have found some useful information from my blog.

It’s my understanding you cannot apply, reason being USCIS is getting very strict and from Jan 2009, they are going to implement new Labor verification process. But, there could be a way if you can show relationship between the job you are applying for H-1B and area of study, then you can certainly apply.

H1B Visa Fraud

In one instance, the H-1B visa was approved for some professional jobs and the jobs involve working with laundry machines and dry cleaning.

A total of 51 similar fraudulent cases were found. I will post detailed reports of similar H-1B visa frauds.

Changing Fields with H-1B Visa

I was able to get additional information from immigration attorneys at Murthy.com written in the site’s newsletter about changing fields with H-1B Visa. This is what they had to say (in the Answer part, after this question).

Question:

I am on an H-1B. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. My current H-1B job is a computer programming position.
I have an opportunity to change to an engineering position. Can I do this? Does it matter that the job descriptions for my current job and my new job are different?
Will I need a cap number to change to a different type of job? I thought there was a requirement that the jobs be the same or similar.

Answer :

It is NOT necessary for the new H-1B job to be similar with the current H-1B job in any fashion. What is necessary is for both jobs to meet the general H-1B requirements for a specialty occupation.

That is, the positions must require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a field of specialized knowledge. Of course, the foreign national beneficiary must possess the required degree or its equivalent.

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