H1B transfer - i9 issues reported by Current Employer

I need your help and Suggestion regarding a difficult situation which my new that they have reported to me .

Below is the entire summary of the issue, I would like to request you to please read through this and kindly guide me what actions needed .
I am working in USA , in H1B work permit.

I have been working for Employer A since 24th July 2011.
My extension was filed in 2013 and got approved until 4th March 2016.

I was given an opportunity by the Company B

I accepted the offer and submitted all the required documents for H1b transfer/portability. The petition got approved on Oct 27th 2015 until Nov 2017 .

I was contacted by the HR , and we decided the date of joining as 23rd Nov2015 and informed them that I will not be able to join early due to some deliverable commitments with my current employer .

I had to travel to India on Nov-4th 2015 due to a family emergency and returned back to USA on 12th Nov 2015

I provided my Passport and H1B stamped Visa in POE

I reported back to work on my return and continued to work for my employer A until 20th Nov.

I served notice to my employer my last working day as Nov 20th 2015 completing all the transitions and responsibility Handover.

I was relieved from my duties officially on 20th Nov.

Now the next phase begins -

As my date of joining with Company B was 23rd Nov, I filled in the i9 form online as was instructed to fill in with my previous employer details and latest I94 number , entry details. I ensured to complete the online i9 early on 20th itself as soon as I was relieved from my duties with my previous employer , I ensured to avoid any last minute hiccups with joining formalities.

I joined Company B on Nov 23rd and completed all the joining formalities and documentations, I was asked to go to my project location and meet with stake holders to initiate the project .

I booked accommodation and reported to the contacts in the project location.

I received an email from the Company B 's Immigration team that I am legally not allowed to work for them and out of status and they cannot put me in the Payroll and will not pay me salary until another portability petition is approved .

I requested Employer B to provide the E-Verify details for the I9 compliance and provide the TNC if any for this with explanation of why they are off-boarding me and putting me out of payroll.

The HR has confirmed that they will not pay me for my re-location, accommodation, fooding & Loading and my household and car move expenses until the next petition is approved .

I am surprised with their decision and do not know what should be my next steps -

Below were my questions to them which they are not responding -

I entered USA on 12th nov while I was already employed with Company A and I never had the latest I-797 from Company B yet as I didn’t join them .

I asked them why did they wanted me to enter USA with an their petition if I am already employed with my previous employer and didn’t join them yet .

They asked me why did I not inform them about my India Trip , I told them that it was an unplanned visit to address a family medical emergency in India , and moreover I wasn’t yet employed with them yet hence I didn’t knew that I had to inform them about my current day to day work details and personal/ travel details.

My current Visa/Petition is valid until 4th March 2016, I was relieved from my previous employer on Friday - Nov 20th 2015 and later joined them on Monday 23rd 2015, I inquired with them as per their comment how is it possible that I am out of status ?

Is there a Risk Factor in this employment ? I am very stressed and In-secured of their approach. I am not getting proper responses for the HR team.

  • they first said i need to go for stamping now says they will file some amendments for portability , I am yet to know about their final decision.

They are not sending me the reason why they cannot put me in Payroll.

Kindly help me with your guidance and let me know what would be my appropriate steps to handle this situation.

I dont know why they are saying I am legally not authorized to work in USA now and will have to get a new H1B transfer and until the case is approved I will have to stay unemployed.

My current Visa is valid until 4th March 2015. and the recent H1B transfer petition approval is until 4th Nov 2017.

I am also not able to understand why do they say I am out of status if I entered US with my previous employer’s Visa in POE , I worked with my previous employer until 20th Nov and then joined the new employer on 23rd Nov on the basis of the H1B transer approval and offer letter from them .

Please let me know if additional information needed about this for your analysis .

You used A’s petition when entering US, and your I-94 is marked for A. As I-94 w/ B’s information is no longer valid, they need to file another portability. You have been relieved from A but still not on B’s payroll - hence they are suggesting that you are out of status.

A quick (but expensive) fix is to travel out of country and return to US within few days. At PoE, you show old visa stamp and B’s approved petition to get an I-94 w/ B’s information. You can then work for B.

Thanks Saurabh.
They are not agreeing to the stamping option, rather informed that they would file a new visa portability petition and will keep me out of payroll and wont pay until the new petition is approved.

Kindly suggest what questions should i ask to consider me back to payroll and file the petition.
Also shouldn’t there be a TNC report if they filed a EVerify ?

If you continue to stay inside US, you may run into immigration issues. You will be in US w/o valid employer and w/o any pay. This will put you out of status which can prohibit you from entering in US for 3-10 years (depending upon how long you stay in US w/o employer and/or pay).

Yes, there should be a TNC report.

They have given an update that they are re-filing a portability petition, they are not agreeing to put in payroll until the new petition is approved .

Can I take a legal action against them ? They are not giving me a TNC report and not paying me salary .

If you are not on their payroll legally, then they are not required to pay you. Based upon what you have mentioned, it looks like you are not on their payroll as you don’t have an active I-94 from B.

You should contact an attorney to discuss next course of actions.