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UC Merced International

Changing Employers

Changing Employers

If individuals in H-1B Status leave UC Merced before the end dates on their H-1B approval notices, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) is required to notify the U.S. Department of Labor and USCIS. Scholars should inform the OISS if they complete their appointments prior to the expiration of their current H-1B Status.

The H-1B is "employer specific" which means that each time a scholar changes employers the new employer has to prepare an entirely new H-1B application. Because any new H-1B application starts with obtaining a new Department of Labor prevailing wage, scholars should plan any change of employment well in advance, or else prepare to leave the U.S. and return later with the new H-1B Status.

Portability Provision

H-1B regulations (known as AC21) allow individuals already holding H-1B Status to begin employment with a new employer once the new petition is filed with USCIS. The policy at UC Merced is that the scholar is not authorized to utilize portability until OIA has received an official receipt from the USCIS regarding the new H-1B application. It is also important to understand that filing a new petition with USCIS can take 90 days or longer due to new Department of Labor processing times. The Department of Labor process cannot be expedited. Please check with your new employers "international office" for details on how to proceed with their new H-1B portability application.