L1 to H1B visa conversion Advantages ? L1 to H1B transfer, change of status implications in US

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 3248 Comments

I have seen many of my friends, who come to US on L1 visa from a major Indian IT consulting company like Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, TCS, etc and convert to H1B visa after one year or even less. I will try to explain some of the advantages of this process.

Job Market myth in US :

One of the biggest myths when you are applying for H1B visa petition is, you do not know how the job market is in US and How everything works down here in US.  People are kind of skeptical about the situation here. I completely agree with perception of situation.  Many of the big IT vendors like CTS, TCS or Infy, etc have implementations in US and they bring in their employees to work on site in US. IT people work very hard in India to get an onsite chance including countless sleepless nights and late night conference calls. The bad part is, L1 visa working employees realize after coming to US, that they are not well compensated when compared to their counterparts working on H1B visa in US.  Guess what, once they get grounded well around here in US, they plan on L1 to H1B conversion. The process of L1 to H1B transfer is not very complicated.

Advantages  of L1 to H1B transfer & implications :

There are many advantages of L1 to H1B visa transfer like below

  • Playing Safe : You are playing it very safe, there is no risk involved. Worst case scenario, you can still stay in US on L1 visa  if you realize the Job market is not improving.
  • Seek Full time Employment with Clients : Your opportunities are not limited to just IT consulting companies. You can start looking full time opportunities with a Client company. Might not be the client company you serve on L1, other similar Clients or American companies who need people with your skills. Your opportunities are in fact, endless.
  • L1 to H1B change of Status : Change of status is very simple from L1 to H1B visa. The transfer process is seamless. You can transfer your status from L1 to H1B visa and start working as soon as your H1B starts in October. You do not need to go to visa stamping, unless you plan to leave the country for some reason and re-enter US.
  • Choosing Good IT consulting company : You can talk to real companies and verify their authenticity. It is easy to find companies information in US, than in India. Your network is much broader. You have good chance of connecting with people in a company and you can make a wise choice for choosing a consulting company if you have to.  For more info, check article : How to Choose your H1B sponsor employer
  • Job search, first consulting project time save : You are not wasting any time for job search. The idea is, you keep working on L1 visa and then look for a Job and then take up an opportunity only when you find a good project, at least the first project. You have an option to choose the project. No time is wasted for break through. Typically, first consulting job is the harder part. Good things is, you do not have to waste time for the first job.
  • Help for projects : The other added advantage is, let’s say you start a project and you need some technical help or need to discuss some things about anything, you have a chosen set of old company friends who can help you to solve the issues.

I can keep on writing… the above listed seem very logical and definitely gives you an advantages. Your strategy for applying for H1B visa should be a safe bet with the current economy and recession. If you come to US on L1 visa and then transfer from L1 to H1B, you are playing a safer bet.  On the other hand, you may have lot of work load and other commitments on L1 visa because you may be the only person on site, but “there is no free lunch, you may have to work double shift to hedge the risk…”

Do you know any other advantages ? Add a comment…

   

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Comments ( 3,248 )

  1. Nilesh

    Hi,
    I traveled to US in 2015 on L1B visa and stayed on same for 3 years, meanwhile same company filed my H1B and after its approved I traveled to India and got my H1B stamped and traveled back on H1B status. I’ve completed 1 year on H1B status and 3 years on L1B. my current active visa status is H1B. How many more years I can stay in US on H1B status as its valid through Oct 2017?

  2. jay

    Hello!

    I am on L1-B with company A and have got H1B COS status approved with Company A itself. I am planning to India for some personal reasons and at the same time get the stamping done from Chennai. I am not sure how risky it would be for me.

    Thanks!

    1. Krishna

      Just leave US and serve your own country why do you want to lead this kind of tension life you might save a bit less in INDIA it’s ok but you lead peaceful life

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      jay,
      You have been with the same company, so in general, it should be fine. You have all the documents and all the history…so should be Ok. Just carry all the documents and be confident, hope all goes well.

  3. veerendra

    I was working for company-A on L1B visa from OCT-2013 and my visa will expire on AUG-2016. Company-B filed H1B with COS for me, this year and it got picked up in lottery. Now Company-A want to extend my L1B for two more years. I want to continue working for Company-A and didn’t want to switch to Company-B. Can I continue working with Company-A with new approved L1 petition or I need to go India and get my L1B stamped with new approved petition to keep my L1B status.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      veerendra,

      You need to take an action to invalidate your COS so that you can continue to work on L-1. This can be done through:
      1. Traveling outside US while H-1 COS is pending and then return on L-1 visa
      2. Leave US after H-1 COS has been approved but return after Oct 1 on L-1 so that approved COS becomes ineffective.

  4. Pankaj Tyagi

    I am on L1A visa and my visa is going to be expired in couple of days. but the client for which my company was used to work wants to hire me on their payroll. what is the best possible way to get a valid visa from india as I am going back there.

  5. Saket

    Hi,
    I am on L1B visa through Employer A. I want convert to H1 visa, my current employer A will not convert me so I have to look for employer/consultant B.
    My question is if my H1B is picked up in lottery do I have the option to use the H1 for my existing employer A?

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