Will I be able to transfer my stamped (but not activated) H1 if I'm laid off while being outside the country?

I have my H1 approved and stamped but was planning to enter the US in a couple of months. Suppose I get laid off during those months, are there any potential risks involved in transferring it to another employer? Since I already have my stamp, I’m guessing that shouldn’t be the case? Or do I have to enter the US to “activate it” and collect pay slips before being able to transfer? I’m currently on US payroll but working from outside the US.

In my scenario, is it advisable to enter the US and “activate” my h1b as soon as possible or is there no need for that? Or will I be able to transfer without even being on US soil for 1 day?

H1B transfer can be done even when you have not entered the US.

There are varied rules as far as counting the H1B under cap or not is concerned. Sometimes, they allow the transfer and sometimes not.

So, it is better if you can enter the US and then file transfer.


Any idea what they decide based on? Since you said sometimes they may decide it doesn’t count against the cap and sometimes they may not. Or is it random based on the whims of the officer processing the case?

Based on the officer. Legally, its allowed to file transfers but then the officer looks at the circumstances of the case and takes a decision.