Dear Sophie: How can we sponsor H-1B transfers and extensions?

Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

“Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Extra Crunch subscribers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie:

I work in people ops at a startup. We have no experience with H-1B visas. We recently received applications for job openings from a couple of strong applicants who are on H-1B visas with other companies. What should we know about hiring an H-1B visa holder?

One of the job applicants will need to have her H-1B renewed next year. What should we know about filing for a renewal? Are H-1B transfers and renewals still possible given that H-1B visas are no longer being issued at consulates?

—Newbie in Newark

Dear Newbie,

Exciting that your company is hiring. Congrats! Yes, H-1B transfers and renewals are still possible. The only current restriction is that H-1B visas can generally not be issued to people outside the U.S. right now. They were halted through at least the end of 2020 under last month’s executive proclamation.