The earliest your employer can file H1B petition is 6 months prior to the start date. For example if you want the start date to be October 1st, 2018, the earliest your employer can file is on April 1st, 2018.
How long does USCIS take to process my petition if I file under regular processing?
Typically, under regular processing, USCIS takes between 60-90 days to issue H1B. However, you have an option to expedite the process within 15 business days by filing as Premium for which you have to pay additional $1225.
My H1B petition is already filed under regular processing, can I convert it to premium?
Absolutely! You can switch to premium any time during the process as long as you pay $1225 to the USCIS. Notify your employer to convert your petition to premium processing, they will take of all the paperwork needed.
Related: A complete walkthrough about H1B
Normally, it takes about 60-90 days before USCIS issue H1B. Keep in mind you always have an option to speed up the process by filing as premium which takes just 15 calendar days. Regardless what process you choose, you can start working for your new employer the day the petition is filed with USCIS.
I switched to a new employer, now I change my mind and wanted to go back to my previous employer, would it be possible?
Yes! Once USCIS approves H1B petition, it remains valid until it expires or employer revokes it. If neither occurs, you are good to go back to your previous employer without re-filing.
Currently, I am on H1B but have been laid off by my employer. How long is the grace period before I go out of status?
The news here is bad. You go out of status the moment you are terminated, unfortunately, there is no grace period. You have to file for a change of status before the termination. However, practically, USCIS disregards the out of status period of less than 10 days. So upon termination, you must file for a change of status as soon as possible.
Under the current rules of H1B visa can I take a long vacation while still maintaining valid H1B status?
Yes! You can take long vacation on H1B without having any affect on your status. Upon arrival you can continue your work immediately as long as your H1B has not expired.
My company started to laying off its employees, I sense my day is coming, what are the possible options to remain in the States legally?
Its extremely important to plan ahead of time in this case. The optimal solution is to find a new sponsoring employer and transfer your H1 to them. If you have no luck in finding a job, the other option would be filing for a change of B-2 Tourist visa status immediately. This allows you to remain in the US legally as a visitor while you look for a job or to go back to the school.
Related: H1B Cap reach dates by year
No! The six year period in H1B is not reset unless the candidate leaves the US for a minimum one year.
Can I start a company while on H1B?
Absolutely! You can start your own company. However, you can not work for it unless you have H1B visa approved for that company. You always have an option to hire either Green Card holder or US citizen as the company CEO who would take care of the day-to-day activities. Also, you can only form either C-Corp or LLC but not S-Corp (Only US citizens can form S-Corp).