Unexpected/unplanned change of employment/ visa transfer due to termination of contract with an international travel.

Could anyone please respond/ help in this matter. This is a bit urgent.

Thank you!

Hello All,

This site has been a good support for me in past and I am hoping it will help me through this time with the important decisions as well.

I am a physical therapist and work for rehab company called XYZ on a full time H1B visa. XYZ provides therapy services to various skilled nursing facilities. Thus I work for XYZ at a third party/ client location.

Unfortunately today, XYZ’s contract with this client got unexpectedly terminated effective Jan 8, 2015. Currently XYZ does’t have any full time position available in my area. They havent told me yet whether my position would be terminated or whether they will be able to accomodate me somehow. But as there is no opening I see, I would mostly have to look for a new job to maintain an H1B status. Also we have an International trip planned (to India) from last week of Dec to Jan 7 (need to do this for personal reasons). On this background, my plan is to start a job search right away, however I was thinking of initiating the change of employment/ visa transfer paperwork with USCIS after I return from India (provided I am able to secure new job this quick). Since the timings are very crucial (termination is on Jan 8th and I plan to return just a day prior) and it involves an unavoidable international travel as well, I would like to check/ confirm a few points with you all Your help is highly appreciated.

  1. How long it takes to complete the visa transfer paper work?

  2. Is it possible to start the employment at a new location while the H1B transfer paperwork is in the process?

  3. If the answer to #2 is No, or If I am not able to find a job prior to Jan 8,2015 - how long is it possible to maintain an H1B visa status without an actual employment and what are the possible options for that [for e.g is it possible to be on a payroll without a pay stub (i.e unpaid leave) and if so for how long]?

  4. In case I am not able to maintain H1B status and decided to change it to H4 (My spoue is on H1B as well)- is it possible to file H1B again after finding a new job and is the new H1B cap exempted?

  5. If I am not initiating the change of employment/ visa transfer prior to Jan 8th, as per my understanding, I am safe to travel as I am coming back on Jan 7. Please correct me if I am wrong

If I am missing an important point, please feel free to add. I am really thankful for your time and inputs on this.

Best Regards,