Can I work 2 jobs on a single H1B visa?

Federal immigration law allows immigrants to work for a single employer, with an approved H-1B petition.  The H-1B process is the system by which USCIS allows individuals from other countries to work in the U.S.  The general rule is that any work outside the employment for the approved H-1B employer is prohibited.

The law does allow for concurrent employment; however, a separate H-1B application must be filed before work for the second employer may begin.  All of the same rules apply to the second H-1B job that apply to the first.  That means the prevailing wage must be paid, the position must be at the bachelor’s degree level or beyond and the applicant’s resume must satisfy the job qualifications.  In the concurrent employment situation, the portability rules regarding H-1B transfers applies and this allows the H-1B employee to begin working for the second employer once the receipt notice for the second position is obtained from USCIS.

If you have questions about concurrent H-1B visas or need guidance in navigating the federal immigration system for your company or employees, please feel free to give us a call at 314-961-8200 or visit our contact page here.

TRANSCRIPT:

Can a foreign worker work for 2 employers in the United States, without filing separate H1B Visas? If this is a question you have, this is the video for you.

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration attorney practicing law here in St. Louis, Missouri. We get a lot of questions about dual employment, under the H1B process. Very simply, the H1B process is the way that the immigration service allows foreign born workers to work in the United States. Typically, if you’re here on an employment Visa, it’s an H1B Visa. Under that Visa, you typically can only work for 1 employer.

Outside employment is pretty much prohibited. If you file a second H1B application and your second employer pays for the filing fees, and goes through all of the paperwork to get that second H1B Visa, then you can indeed work for 2 separate employers.

Without that separate H1B application on file, you’re not going to be able to work for both employers. Each employer is going to have to get a prevailing wage statement, and an LCA from the Department of Labor. You are going to have to show that you’re qualified for both positions. The employer is going to have to post the job at both job sites. Both employers are going to have to do that. Each H1B application is approved.

We explain this to a lot of people. Sometimes they say, “Well, what if the second job is an independent contractor? Does that get around the requirement?” The answer is no. You can frame it however you want. At the end of the day, if you’re working for 2 different companies, you are going to have to get 2 separate H1B applications on file and approved.

Of course, with the cap on H1B Visas, a lot of times, this can be problematic. Every year we scramble at April 1st to get all the H1B applications on file because there’s a lottery. Last year, there were almost twice as many filed as there were available Visas. The chances of an employee getting 2 separate H1B Visas approved are pretty slim.

If you pull it off, though, you can do it. Otherwise, you can’t work 2 jobs on a single H1B. Like I said, we deal with this question about employment Visas all the time. If you have any questions, go ahead, give us a call. (314) 961-8200 or you can shoot me an email at jim@hackinglawpractice.com. Thanks for visiting the website and if you have any questions, let us know.