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

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 3251 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 ( 3,251 )

  1. Prasad

    This forum is really very informative.
    I have a question and need your advice on this.
    I am currently on L1 visa which expires in Feb 2011 and my wife is working on L2 with EAD; her EAD also expires in Feb 2011. My company is planning to apply for H1b for me, which means that when my H1 gets approved my wife will be on H4 visa.
    We are planning to visit India for 3 weeks in Oct 2010 and I don’t know when my H1b visa will come. Therefore, my question is that if my H1 gets approved during the time when I am in India, then which Visa will they consider at the port of entry: H1b or L1.

    If they changed the visa at the port of entry then my wife will go on H4 visa and she will have to leave her job despite of having a valid EAD till Feb 2011.

    Please guide us on what we should do?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If you travel outside of US while your COS is pending, then the COS is considered abandoned.

      Suppose your H1/H4 is approved before you leave for India or while you are in India. In this case you need to get H1/H4 visa stamped in order to enter US on those visas and work on those visas. Else you can use L1/L2 visas to enter and work on L1.

      Suppose your H1/H4 is not approved by the time you re-enter US. You will have to enter on L1. Your COS will be considered as abandoned, and you will have to file for COS again or get H1/H4 stamped in order to work on H1.

      A general recommendation is to not travel while COS is pending. You can apply for H1 w/ premium processing and try to get the result before your India trip.

      1. Prasad

        Thanks for the reply to my previous question! We have another query and shall be very grateful if you can advise.

        My company is going to apply for my H1b visa. My wife, is currently working on EAD over L2 Visa, that goes through Feb 2011. She has talked to her company about filing her H1b. Her company doesn’t have any policy in place for H1b visa but they are saying that they may apply after taking some approvals.

        In this scenario… it may happen that I get my H1 visa before her gets approved (the gap may be a couple of weeks) If that happens what should we do?

        Since she would go on H4 status when my H1 got approved, we wished to know if there is any grace period for her L2 visa on which she can continue to work until her H1 gets approved or would she have to quit?

        Thanks a lot for your help!

  2. Rajib

    I had H1B and then L1B and now I want to go back to H1B.

    H1B Issued by Company A on August 2007 – Expired on September 2009.
    I came to US on October 2007 and went to India on August 2008.

    Again in India same company issued L1B on October 2009 since H1B just expired.
    L1B expiring in September 2012.
    Now I came back to USA in June 2010 with L1B. I want to change my company. Is there any advantage I’ll get for my previous H1B ?
    Can I work in a big IT company directly ?

      1. Rajib

        Saurabh,
        Thanks a lot for your reply. But my H1B already expired. (I didn’t extend it). Now I am in L1B. So I want to know whether
        1) H1 transfer is possible to a new employer
        2) if not then can I do COS from my current l1 to H1.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Rajib,
          .
          Whether you do a H1 transfer or file a new H1 petition, COS from L1 to H1 is a must (provided you don’t want to go out of US for H1 visa stamping).
          .
          In case of H1 transfer, you will have to submit a copy of the old H1 petition to prove that you have been counted in quota once, and your petition doesn’t need a separate quota number. If you file a new H1, then you will be basically telling USCIS that you want a new separate quota number. Because the quota is still open, either options are applicable.
          .
          COS needs to be applied in both cases, so that you can immediately start working on H1 once petition is approved. If COS is not applied, then you will have to enter US on an unexpired H1 visa stamp in order to start working on H1.

  3. Krish

    Hi ,

    Can anyone answer this please?

    Currently im working in a company A and holding L-1b visa from them. i’ve been in US for 1 year. now i returned my country and got an offer from another company B in US and they are sponsering H-1b for me.

    my confusion here is, during my interview for H-1b ,if my H-1bpetition is rejected, will it effect the L-1b visa i have from my current company A. they both are different companies.

    one of my friend had this situation,his L1b from current employer also cancelled,while they reject the H1-b for new employer.

    seems to be its too risky and scared to go for the interview. 🙁

    is it a common scenario or in exceptional case its happening like that.

    looking forward a reply .

    Krish

    1. vagabond

      Hi,

      It is very unusual that your friend got his both work visas cancelled. When you pursue one visa the other one should not come in the picture at all especially when they are from different companies. If you talk crisp, there can be two valid H-1B visas for a person at a point of time.

      However, having said all this, I feel you should pursue your H-1B aspirations come what may as that is worth to do.

      **Not a legal opinion**

      1. Krish

        Thanks vegabond,

        ur reply relaxes me.
        but can anyone confirm that it shouldnt be the case.

        if the H1b is rejected,then i will continue to work with my current employer. i need the L-1b which i have it from the current employer.

        Do you think i can explain this situation at interview and ask whether will my L-1b get affected if H-1b is refused,and i dont want that to be happen?

        Thanks
        Krish

        1. Raj

          Hi,

          It happened in my company when few of the people who went for B1 Visa they were cancelling L1 Visa which they already had on their Passport while issuing B1 Visa.

          Cleverly, one of the employees made sure when they were taking off their L1 Visa, he intervene and explained to him that currenlty he is going on B1 Visa for a business visit and L1 visa will be used in future when he actually will be shifted to the US branch office as an employee.

          That worked for him.

          Regards,
          Raj

  4. Rajesh

    Kumar,
    Thank you very much for this very wonderful article & bunches of info thru your website,
    The problem while on L1, while serving notice period(in my case it is 2 months), will the L1 sponsoring company has the right to cancel L1 visa, the moment I gave resignation and if they ask me to come back to home country?
    (status at this time: H1b Approved w/o COS)

    Then can i go back to home country and get H1 stamped there & come back?
    Thanks in advance for your reply

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, the L1 employer can cancel the L1 and send you back to India. Yes, you can use that as an opportunity to get H1 stamp and return to US to work on H1.

  5. Kumar

    Hi,

    I currently have a L1B visa valid till July 2011. I am currently in India and might go to US by December 2010 or Feb 2011.

    I want to change to H1B for a new employer once I move to US. What are my options and what is the procedure?

    1) Do I need to inform current employer about new employer filing H1 for me?

    2) Will my current employer get to know about it from USCIS?

    3) Can i continue working for current employer for notice period in US(which is 3 months now)

    4) At what point in the process, it is safe to resign from current employer keeping 3 months notice period time?

    5) Should I wait for extension of L1 to start with H1 process? Does it matter?

    Thanks,
    Kumar

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1) No, you don’t.

      2) No, they won’t.

      3) You can continue to work for your L1 employer until H1 is not approved. If H1 is approved along with COS, then you need to start working for the H1 employer immediately.

      4) 3 months it too long a period. You can file for H1 w/o COS. Once approved, you can server the notice period and apply for COS. And then join the new employer when COS is approved.

      5) It doesn’t matter, as long as you have been maintaining your status in US.

      1. Kumar

        Thanks Saurabh..if I apply h1 without COS and later if it’s not approved, will my L1 still hold good? Do I need to go out of us for stamping ?

          1. Kumar

            Thanks Saurabh. final question..

            Say I apply for H1B w/o COS and once it;s approved, I resign from my current employer, serve 3 months notice period and then I file COS. Do I have the right to stay in US till COS approval is pending? Later I can go back to my home country and get it stamped.

            Thanks,
            Kumar

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            If you are not working on L1, then you cannot stay in US on the basis of pending COS.

            A possible alternative would be to get H1 approved w/o COS, then serve notice period and leave US. Get H1 stamped and enter US to work on H1.

  6. Shilpa

    Hi,
    I joined US office of my company on Aug 10 on L1, now i have to change my visa to H1B by finding some other employer….Is is possible?
    what if i found new employer who is ready to sponser H1B for me? do i need to intimate my current employer immediately ?
    If i dont inform my current employer, is it possible to get all the process done without letting current employer know?
    If yes, then once i get H1B approved…for stamping do i need to go back to india?
    What if my employer sends me back to india before my H1B is granted?

    Appreciate your input on above qstns…

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Yes, it is possible to find another employer and file H1 through them.

      It is not necessary to inform your current L1 employer about your H1 petition. They won’t know about the H1 process unless someone tells them specifically.

      If the H1 is filed and approved along w/ COS, then you can start working based on the approval. However if COS is not filed or not approved, then you need to get H1 stamped in order to work on H1.

  7. Vijay

    Hi,

    My L1B visa is valid till june-2011. Right now I am in US. I may go for extension during Feb/March-2011 timeframe but I heard that L1B rejections are more in recent months ( Fresh L1B stamping got rejected for one of my collegue in my company ) so what is the probability that my visa extension gets rejected.
    Instead can I look for some other company in US and do COS , what is your advise ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Do you know what’s the cause of rejection for your colleague? If it has something to do w/ the company or job description, then it may impact you (if your job description is similar to your colleague’s). If it was due to his/her credentials then chances are less that it may impact you.

      You can do COS if you intend to work for a new employer, or you can file H1 through your current employer as well and start working on H1.

  8. Surya

    Hi,

    I am on L1b from company A and it is valid till 2011-july, i am planning to apply for H1b.

    My question is that,
    1. i have to go to india once for some personal reason in feb, So if i have requested for COS, then do i need to goto stamping when i goto india? what is present probability of getting stamped if i have PO from a client for next 6 months. Atleast an approx number, please.

    2. if i dont request for COS and just apply for h1, then can i go to india and comeback on my l1 and request for cos ? does have problems?

    thank you very much for your time.

    1. surya

      hi,

      i would like to add to above question
      or
      3. once i got my approved h1 without of cos, i will go to india on l1 for vacation and tries to getting stamping for h1. if got approved h1, i will exit company A and will come to us on h1 else if h1 is rejected is my l1 still valid?? can i come to us on my l1??

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Yes, you will have to go for stamping. If you apply for H1 and it gets approved, you will receive a 797. Chances are that you will get H1 stamp until the expiry of 797.

      2. If you just apply for H1 w/o COS, you cannot start working in US on H1 until COS is applied and approved, or you get H1 stamped from outside US. Yes, you can come back on L1 (provided it has not expired) and then apply for COS.

  9. Sandeep Kumar

    My company has filled H1 B for me in Oct 2010 quota from India but due to urgency at client place same company also filled the L1B visa too and I got the L1B visa stamped in my Passport.
    Since My H1 B is already filled before L1 got stamped, My questions are:-
    1. Can my company cancel the filled H1 B visa Petition?
    2. I am interested in H1 instead of L1, What should be the next steps in order to get the H1 B visa stamped.
    Note:- I am currently in India and shall travel to US in next 2 weeks.

  10. Adrina Acharyya

    Hi
    I am on L1B visa with company A and the company want me to go back to India in DEC 2010. I want to work in US, my L1B is expiring in SEP’2010.
    I wanted to convert to F1 CPT and work here until I get my H1.
    I wanted to know the time taken to have my status converted to F1 with a CPT from L1B(i heard about a Univ which gives me CPT right from first Sem)
    Pls help me in this

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When is your I-94 expiring? If it is sometime in Sep 2010, then your company needs to file for an extension (you cannot stay in US beyond expiry of I-94), or they have to send you back. You cannot stay in US on expired I-94 from Sep’10 to Dec’10.

      COS typically takes up to two months. Exact processing times depend upon the service center. You can check them out at USCIS website.

      1. Adrina Acharyya

        Actually My L1 visa wil expire on DEC’2010.
        I wanted to convert my L1 to F1 CPT and work here until I get my H1.
        I wanted to know the time taken to have my status converted to F1 with a CPT from L1B(i heard about a Univ which gives me CPT right from first Sem)
        Pls help me in this

  11. Indra Singh

    Hi,

    I’m currently on L1 for a company A and another company B is going to sponsor H1B for me with COS. While leaving, I would like to give some notice period to my employer and current client (with consent from company B), while the H1B visa is being applied/processed. My questions are:
    1) While giving notice to my employer (company A), and H1B is not yet approved, suppose the employer does not like it, does the employer have the power to cancel L1 and send me back to my country?

    2) assuming I have to wait till the H1B is approved and COS has happened, can I continue wot work for my current employer for some time as part of notice period? Is it illegal?

    Thanks in Advance!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Yes, they can revoke the H1 and send you back to India.

      2. Usually one is expected to start working for H1 employer as soon as COS is approved. However, if you stay for 1-2 weeks w/ L1 employer to serve the notice period, that may still work out.

  12. Shivangi Gupta

    hi,

    I am working in NY for company A on L1. My current visa (L1) and i94 is expiring on Oct 10-2011, hence i am leaving to India next week. Company A is planning to get my L1 re-stamped and send me back to NY.

    Now, Company B in US has applied for my H1B 2 weeks back (Aug 18-2010). Now if i want to come back to us, how shall i go about?
    1- When I go for L1 interview in India (tentatively in Oct 2010 end), would the embassy know that there is already an H1 approval (or application under processing) for me and so would not give me L1? Or will my filing of H1 give a problem in my L1 stamping?
    2- Will my current employer (Company A) know that my H1 is being processed by Company B, like when Company A files petition from my new L1 visa?
    3- Will my H1B application/petition be affected by my new L1 visa?

    As of now I am thinking the following, please suggest issues if any
    – I’ll let Company B continue with my H1b processing
    – Then once I am back in India next month, my existing employer (Company A) will file for my fresh L1 visa (which includes first petition and then stamping)
    – Then I’ll travel back to US on L1 visa
    – Then I’ll apply for change of status from L1 to H1 (if my H1 gets approved by then)

    Please advice?

    Thanks,
    Shivangi

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I think you meant to say L1 expiring in 2010 and not 2011.

      1- They might know, but that shouldn’t impact your L1 stamping.
      2- They won’t
      3- No it won’t

      Your plan looks fine to me. BTW, was your H1 filed w/ COS or w/o COS?

      1. Shivangi Gupta

        Saurabh, the expiry date on L1 visa is Oct-2010, but when I entered last time I got an I-94 till Oct-2011 (one extra year).

        The H1 was filed w/COS, hence the issue? I was advised not to leave the country if my H1 is in pending processing (if it was filed w/COS), and I have been told that if I do leave and come back on different visa then a new amendment request has to be submitted which would cost around ~$4000.

        Please advise

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, it is always advisable not to leave US while COS is pending. Your understanding is right. Your COS will be abandoned once you leave US, however H1 processing will continue to go on.

          Once you enter US on L1, you can file for COS and move to H1. I don’t think the cost is $4000. It’s around 300-500 USD plus attorney fees.

  13. Mathew

    I came to US on L1 filed by company A valid till 2011, my H1 got approved by company B in 2010 with valid till 2012 ,i started working for company B and running the payroll, now i am traveling to india for a visit , as the rule i have to stamp the H1 in my passport , but as a third party consultant iam afraid to go for stamping . My question is that can i come back on my stamped L1 visa and continue as now , do the immigration officer at the port of entry will ask any thing about my H1 visa. Do it will effect my H1 status? can i apply for a new H1 for the same company B , do i need permit from previous company A to enter US on L1 please give me a suggestion.

    1. Rajesh

      Unfortunately this 3rd party consultant rule is making evryone nervous but I don’t think it will be an issue as long as you have the Paystubs (on H1B), you can convince them that the 3rd party are real Implementors (as stated in Employer-Employee relation), Appreciate if someone can throw more light on this.

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      If you intend to work in US on H1 immediately after entering US, then you need to get H1 stamped. Once you get your H1 stamped, you will show that visa stamp at PoE and use it to enter US. That way your I-94 will have H1 endorsed and you can work on H1.

      As for stamping, I don’t see much of concern as you have been working on H1 and have the payslips, W2 etc to prove your status.

      If you enter US on L1, then you will be on L1 in US and will have to work for company A (the one holding your L1).

      Remember, whatever visa you use to enter US, determines your status in US and you need to work and maintain that status.

    3. administrator
      Kumar

      No, you should go for visa stamping and get H1B visa stamped on your passport as you have worked on H1B and you have payroll on H1B status. At Port of entry the officer checks your visa status and gives your I-94 indicating your Status and validity. You should not try to do anything stupid at the port of entry by pretending to enter on L1 and work on H1B, it is fraud. Just go for visa stamping with all your paperwork and client letter, talk to your current employer and seek his guidance, you should be fine. Do not just panic.

  14. Nattu

    I am on L1 Visa sponsored by company A which is expiring in June 2011
    Same company is sponsoring H1 Visa for me in Oct 2010 Cap

    So i assume below will be sequence of action

    1.I get picked up in Lottery
    2.Change of status from L1 to H1
    3.Stamping

    Can there be rejecetion in step 2
    If there is rejection in step 2 is my L1 revoked as well ?

    If we assume i am not rejected in step 2
    For 3rd step do i need to go back to india with family or any other location like Canada,Mexico will also do ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      There is no lottery at the moment. Because the quota is still open, your peition will get picked up w/o the lottery.

      There can be rejection at step 2. USCIS will adjudicate your petition and judge whether they need to approve it or not.

      If you are in US at the time of H1 filing, your H1 employer can file it along w/ COS (change of status). This will allow you to start working on H1 w/o going out for stamping. Once COS is approved, you can continue to work on H1 as long as your are in US. When you go out of US next, you will have to get H1 stamped, but it’s not necessary to get it stamped prior to that.

      1. Nattu

        So does stamping means getting I-94 at the Port of Entry with H1 Petition ?

        or does it mean i have to go to some US consultate for Stamping H1 Visa ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          A visa stamp is required only to enter US. If one is already in US, visa stamp is not required to move from one visa status to another.

          When H1 petition is filed, it can be filed w/ either of the 2 options:
          – consular processing: in this case one needs to go to a US consulate to get H1 stamped, and only then enter US to work on H1
          – change of status: in this case one doesn’t need to go to a US consulate and can start working on H1 from the start date endorsed on I-94 (this is typically the option when applying w/ COS).

          1. Nattu

            My emplyer is applying with COS so i just have to go out of the country and get I-94 with H1 Petition

            what is recommended Home Country, Mexico, Canada ?

            In case my COS is not approved does my L1 gets cancelled ?

            If it does not get cancelled can i apply for extension

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            I think my answers are confusing you. Let me start from the beginning:
            – If petition is applied along w/ COS and it’s approved, it will come with new I-94. You don’t need to go out of country in order to start working on H1. However, next time you go out of US (personal visit to India or elsewhere), you will have to get H1 stamped in your passport in order to enter US on H1 and work on H1.
            – If petition is applied w/o COS (or COS is denied), it won’t come w/ new I-94. You will have to go out of US and get H1 stamped in order to start working on H1.

            So, in your case, no travel outside US for visa stamping is required.

            If COS is denied, you can continue to work on L1, and you can apply for L1 extension.

  15. Sujit

    Hey kumar,
    Q.1) Can I apply for MBA through GRE?

    Q.2) Please name some good universities in US for MBA

    Q.3) What about the Fees structure for MBA in those universities?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sujit,
      1) It depends on the school. Yes, you should check ETS website. Read this article About GRE for MS or MBA
      2) This is a broad question and depends. You need to decide based on your preference and choices
      3) Again, it depends on the school. Why don’t you check few schools websites.
      Finally, next time please post your questions in Forum or in related article. This article is NO way related to your questions.

  16. Manish

    Hi,

    I am on company A on L1 Visa valid till June 2011
    Company A is also filling my H1b in Oct 2010

    I do not want to leave the company for next couple of years

    Should i request them to file with COS or without COS ?
    are there any advantages/drawbacks fir either of them ?

    Regards,
    Vansh

    Please let me know

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If your H1 is also w/ the same employer, then you will continue working for the same employer irrespective of whether it’s w/ COS or w/o COS.

      Being on H1 gives you more options:
      – more competitive salary
      – ability to change jobs in US

      Being on L1 allows your spouse to work on the basis of EAD.

      1. Manish

        If i get H1B petition approved in OCt 2010 lottery are there any chances of me not getting H1 during stamping ?

        Is stamping like an interview i gave for L1 ? where there are chances of rejection

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          The H1 interview is just like L1 interview. Chances of rejection will depend upon your credentials, your employer credentials and prospective job offer/project.

  17. Vijay

    Hi,

    Right now I am having L1B visa , which expires in june 2011. I came to US just 1 month back for Company A .Can I find company B now request them to apply for H1B conversion? or Do i need to wait for few more months ? How long it will take to complete this L1B to H1B conversion ? L1B to H1B conversion also comes under Cap ? can it be done at anytime ?

    Thanks for ur reply

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      There is nothing like ‘conversion’. What will happen a new company will file regular H1 for you (subjected to cap). When filing H1, there are two options:
      – consular processing: one needs to go to a US consulate to get visa stamped in order to work on H1
      – change of status (COS): one can immediately start working in US and moves from one visa status to another.

      Yours will be second option. When filing H1, your company will submit your L1 paychecks etc to show that you are currently in US on L1. Once H1 petition and COS is approved, you will receive a new I-94 that would have H1 visa status stamped on it. You will no longer be on L1 but H1 and can start working for the H1 employer. The process usually take 2-3 months (there is a big delay at VSC at the moment), but if the employer opts for premium processing then you can get the result within 15 calendar days.

  18. PS

    I have L1 with Company A till Jan next year. I have also got H1 with Company A but that is effective only from Oct. Now do I need to wait to get into H1 status before transferring my H1 to company B or I can do it now. Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You can have another company start the process now. For H1 transfer, company B needs to prove that you have been counted in quota once, which your current H1 petition proves.

      Was your H1 petition w/ A applied w/ COS? If yes, then you would have to work for A on H1 from 1st Oct irrespective of whether H1 transfer has been approved or not. Moreover, if you have filed for H1 transfer, you can also work for B on H1 based on the H1 transfer petition receipt.

      1. Neha

        HI Kumar,

        Your reply to Saurabh’s question seems contradictory to me.
        For example:
        Suppose I am with company ABC on L1 but L1 is expired and I-94 is valid. Company ABC applied for H1B with COS in May2010 which is approved in July2010.
        I understand that starting Oct1st I would be in H1B status working for company ABC without going to my home country.

        However suppose company XYZ does a H1b transfer now in Sept’2010 with premium processing and a start date of 1st OCT. If this transfer gets approved then starting 1st OCT which H1B will get active? One from company ABC or one from Company XYZ ?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Neha, I am not sure if I replied anywhere. Saurabh is an expert and has full knowledge as he contributes to this blog too. Coming to your question, based on my understanding, when you have multiple approvals, the H1B where you start working from Oct 1st and have your payroll run will be considered towards your status.

        2. administrator
          Saurabh

          Neha,

          In second scenario, both H1Bs will be active and you need to work for either of the two employers in order to maintain your status. When one does H1 transfer, their old H1 petition doesn’t get canceled (i.e. automatically). The alien can then continue to work for old employer based on old petition or for the new employer based on new petition. One always need to be employed while on H1B, and s/he can be employed w/ any of the employer that has an approved petition for that alien.

          Does that clear the confusion?

          1. Neha

            Thanks Saurabh. That’s pretty much clears the confusion.

            So irrespective of whether the H1B was filed with or without COS, both H1B will be valid starting 1st OCT and I will have a choice to start working for either of the companies – Correct.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            If either of the H1Bs were filed w/ COS, only then you can start working from 1st Oct for either of the companies.

            Otherwise you need to get H1 stamped, and then start working on H1.

  19. Neha

    Hi,

    My L1B visa expired in June 2010 but my I-94 i valid till April 2012. I am currently working for my employer ABC.

    I know that I can continue to work for my employer till April 2012 if I don’t go out of USA. But what is my current status? Am I out of status?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Your current status is still L1 and you are not out of status. A person goes out of status when his/her I-94 gets expired, or when they stop maintaining the pre-requisites for that status (for e.g. for L1/H1 that would be to remain employed).

  20. Rajinder

    Hi,

    After getting L1 from company A, and landing in US, how soon can we apply for a H1B transfer ?
    To be more precise, What is the minimum time of stay in US to apply for a L1 to H1B CoS.

    Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Legally, there is no minimum time of stay. You can apply for COS whenever you want to.

      You will have to submit latest 3-4 payslips when doing the COS. In case, you spent less than 3 pay cycles on L1, then you need to submit that many slips.

  21. Raj

    Hi,

    I am on L1 visa and its valid till 2011 October.

    Should i wait for L1B to H1B conversion if i want to complete my L1B visa period.

    How should i go about and start this conversion?

    Please guide.

    Thanks
    Raj

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      IMO, the deciding factor should be how attractive your H1 job is as compared to L1 job. If you think that H1 job is better, then you can try to make the switch now. Otherwise you can wait and explore for better opportunities.

      The quota is still open, and I don’t see it getting filled anytime soon.

      1. Raj

        thanks Saurabh for you time and reply.

        I will like to make my question clear.

        My L1 Visa expires in october 2011.

        When is the latest i can start my procedure to switch to H1B.

        I know i can do it immediately but i want to the know the latest.

        This is because i can server my L1 time period and then get my H1B for another 3 years.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          For the current fiscal year, you can apply H1 as long as quota is open. The process takes 2-3 months.

          So if this year or next year’s quota is open in, say May 2011 also, you can apply for H1, serve your L1 resignation period, and then move to H1.

          You also need to remember that maximum time you can spent in US on H1+ L1 visa is 6 years (unless you have pending GC). So you need to take into consideration as well.

          1. Raj

            Thanks Saurabh for you reply.

            I wanted to know how this conversion from L1 to H1B take place.
            Please if you can provide me step by step process it will be great.

            thanks
            Raj

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            1. Find an employer that’s willing to file your H1.
            2. Your employer completes the H1 form, I-129 etc and submits it along w/ COS petition I-539.
            3. Submit supporting documents to prove that you were maintaining status on L1 (payslips, W2s etc) and your new employer has the resources to pay you (project details, client contract etc).
            4. Once approved, H1 797 will arrive w/ new I-94 that would have the date from which your H1 kicks in.

          3. Raj

            Thanks Saurabh.

            What steps i can take to find an employer?
            How can i know that this employers will file my application?

            Thanks
            Raj

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      I guess we have reached the maximum level of replies possible, so I cannot reply to your latest post. So I am making the post here. To search for potential employers, you can
      – search for openings on US job sites like dice, monster
      – network w/ people on social networking sites like linkedin to get in touch w/ employers
      – get in touch w/ your friends who are already in US on H1 through consulting companies

      Once you have find employer(s), vet them to see if they are legitimate, have good track record and have real projects for you.

  22. H A Shenoy

    Hi

    I am currently on L1 Visa and my visa is due to expire in Nov 2010. I have already applied for extension of my Visa with USCIS. the status of my extension is still not approved. In the meantime i am planning to get my H1B filed around mid september through a different employer. Will there be any trouble? Will my L1 or H1 get invalidated?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Shenoy, It will not be any trouble…But, if you apply H1 through other employer as Change of Status, then legally, you would have to move to H1B after the approval….just talk to your employer about this and do it accordingly.

  23. Mantu Kumar

    Sorry , I addressed my query to Swapnil while it should be Kumar. Apologies ..
    Kumar,
    Could you please do me a favour by your suggestion regarding my query.

    Thanks

  24. Mantu Kumar

    Hi Swapnil,
    I have H1B visa valid till Sep 2011. I had also gone through successful visa stamping in Feb 2009 but due to bad market conditions , my H1B sponsor not suggested me to land in US.
    Now they are calling me but I supposed to sit on bench initially for 2-3 months till the time I will get any project.
    My question is my current employer (other than H1B sponsor) ready to send me US on L1 visa , but I am afraid if I will go for L1 my H1 stamped visa will not valid but I am not sure about this.
    I would like to know can I land in US based on L1 through my current employer and later on shift to my H1 or do I need to go through Fresh H1B filing procedure again.

    Looking forward towards your response. Thanks in Advance

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When you go for your L1 stamping, either of the two things can happen:
      1) Visa Officer will inquire about your H1 visa stamp. You can let him/her know that you anticipate to travel through your H1 employer in near future (when market conditions are optimal). If the VO is satisfied w/ your answer, s/he would not cancel your H1, otherwise s/he would cancel your H1 visa stamp w/o prejudice.
      2) VO doesn’t ask anything about your H1 stamp, and nothing happens to your stamp.

      Visa stamp is required only to enter US. Once you are in US, it’s your status (determined by your I-94) that tells whether you are on H1 or L1. So you can very well get L1 stamped, enter US on L1 and work for your L1 employer. Later when the market is right and the H1 employer has real projects/work for you, they can apply for Change of Status (COS) from L1 to H1. You don’t need to go outside of US for this, and it’s not necessary to have unexpired H1 stamp in your passport for this to get approved.

      Do let me know if you have additional questions.

  25. Anish

    I have been in USA since 2008 in Company A on L1 Visa
    I have company B willling to file my H1B

    If my petition gets approved in oct 2010 can i join comany A without joining company B

    Regards,
    Anish

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Your H1 visa is being filed w/ company B. If it is being filed along w/ COS, then you need to join company B once it gets approved. Once COS is approved, you can no longer work for company A.

            If you still want to work for company A, then here are the options:
            1) file H1 w/o COS
            2) file H1 through company A
            3) file H1 through company B, then file H1 transfer to company A

            If the ultimate goal is to work for company A on H1, then option (2) is the best followed by (1) and then (3), which will be most expensive.

  26. vijikar

    Hi kumar, Thanks for your reply,
    I have one more doubt, if he goes ther after a month and after a month he gets the interview date for H1b, what shall we do, can we change the appointment date as per our convinence or we should attend the interview on the date, will there be any problem in that?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      There is no interview for H1B approval. You will get the approval and then it is upto you to decide when to go for visa stamping.

  27. vijikar

    Hi Kumar,

    My husband company is planning to send him to Netherlands oly, but we are interested to go to USA, but they want him to go to netherlands, we are confused and don know what to do as, can we apply H1b through any consultancies in chennai and switch over to some other company once we get H1b? is that a good deal. He has 7 years of exp in IT field.
    Can he apply for H1b this year?Next month he is going to Netherlands , can he apply for H1b while he is working there, will there be any problem?
    If he applies for H1b this year , when will he get the H1b visa?
    While applying through consultancies, can he apply for dependants also?
    Will the consultancies guide us properly?
    If you know any good consultancies means, can you please suggest them, we are in chennai.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Vijikar,
      can we apply H1b through any consultancies in chennai and switch over to some other company once we get H1b? is that a good deal.
      Yes you can do that. Many people do that to come to US. Be careful Unless you know the consulting company or someone in that company it is a risky bet.

      Can he apply for H1b this year?Next month he is going to Netherlands , can he apply for H1b while he is working there, will there be any problem?
      Yes, he can. No problem.

      If he applies for H1b this year , when will he get the H1b visa?
      While applying through consultancies, can he apply for dependants also?
      Yes, approval notice depends on case. 2 to 6 months.

      If you know any good consultancies means, can you please suggest them, we are in chennai.
      I do not recommend anyone. You have to know someone in the company or else it is hard and risky.

  28. Jay

    My brother is in India and is applying for L1 (Business) visa. Once he arrives here, can he apply for a H1B visa? The company applying his L1 in India says they will help get visa converted to H1B. My question is that his speciality is in yoga & massage theraphy. Can H1B be obtained based on these skills?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jay, Honestly, I do not know anyone who got H1B for massage therapy and yoga. I do not want to give you wrong info. If the company knows it can be done, he is good. I think he might need US state license or certifications….

    2. Jay

      Kumar, I really appreciate your reply. My precise questionaire:
      1. He does not have any Bachelor’s Degree.
      2. He has a certification of massage therapy from India.
      3. My mom is US Citizen and has applied in Aug 2006 for his immigration visa. If he applies for Tourist OR Business visa, will it affect the immigration file?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        1. Well, the requirements say you need a bachelors
        2. I am not sure about massage therapy in US, there are so many rules…
        3. I don’t think so.

          1. Jay

            Kumar,

            Who (which entity Immigration Attorney OR H1B processessors) should I contact to find out whether following certifiactes obtained from India can be transcripted equivalent to graduation. Want to make sure my brother can be eligible for appying for H1B. The following are obtained from Gujarat State:

            1. Doctor of Naturopathy Society of India (AMDNSI)
            2. Doctor of Naturopathy Science (N.D.Sc.)
            3. Regisered Naturotheraphy Practitioner (R.N.P.)

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Look for credible agencies that do educational evaluation. They can evaluate his educational qualifications and can let you know what level US of education they are equal to.

  29. caroll

    My husband is on L1 visa for past 31/2yrs valid till Jan 2010 and he is a undergraduate, now his company wants him to stay here for few more yrs ,hence his co is planning to change his visa status from L1 to H1 provided he completes his graduation .Also note our green card process is on.
    My question : Is it possible to change the visa status without completing bachelors degree coz its not possible for him to complete the degree by next yr , also is there other option.

  30. vijikar

    Hi Kumar,

    My husbands L1 is getting processed and its in final stage, waiting for the appointment from USCIS, now his managers are urging him to apply for Netherlands Visa as they want him in their project, me and my husband are very much confused now, they are asking him first to come to Netherlands and then go to USA, if we get both the Visa at the same time, Shall we go to nethrlands and then after 1 year shall we go to USA or we shall opt for USA itself? Also i heard that dependant visa for Netherlands visa is tough process when compared to US dependants Visa process, also give us some opinion as which place would be better to get settled USA or Netherlands?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Vijikar, I am not very familiar with Netherlands. I cannot speak for it. US is a good place to work and may be settle down if you embrace everything. If you plan to live in US, it would be a good idea to come to US on L1 and get to know how everything works and may be then in future apply for H1B visa. Also, if your husband comes to US on L1, you get L2 visa. The good part is, you can work on L2 visa and get some experience too. Talk to someone about Netherlands and do a comparison and then decide.

  31. alvin

    Hi,
    I got a H1B petition approved by jun2009 and i got the approved petition copy. I worked 3 years in US in L1B visa and came to india by may2009 coz my project is over at that time. Now i am in india. Can i transfer my approved H1B petition to another employer in india by being in india. Is it possible to do that ?.

  32. Jahnavi

    I am on L1B Blanket visa, working for Company A. I am planning to apply for CoS from L1 to H1 through Company B.

    Once the status changes and effect from Oct 1st 2010, Can I transfer my H1 to Company A without joining Company B? Please advise..

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      When you say company A, is it the same company. My question is, Do you want to change from L1 to H1B status and remain in the same company ?

      1. Jahnavi

        Thanks Kumar for your prompt reply.

        Yes, My current employer will not process H1 B Visa. But if I get the H1B Processed from someone else and I resign, they will hire me back on H1 Transfer.

        Sometimes I don’t understand these corparate policies..

        It would be great help if you can answer my below questions:
        Employer A = Current Employer
        Employer B = H1B Sponser
        Employer C = Some Other Employer

        1. If an employer ‘B’ files H1 Petition for me, Can I join employer ‘C’ (or) current employer ‘A’ without joining the employer ‘B’ (H1 Sponser)?

        2. I have plans of vacation to India in Dec-10. Till the time I return from my vacation, I would like to be with the current employer ‘A’ on L1 visa (valid thru 2012). If my H1 petition gets approved and visa status still be L1 (as I will not apply for CoS), Can I enter the US without H1 Stamping in India?

        3. Will it be any problem if I delay my CoS after I had an approved H1 petition with Employer ‘B’?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          I am not an attorney, Here are my thoughts though.
          1. Well, I think it might be possible because logically speaking you never had H1B status, so you do not need to submit paystubs from employer B, and you were in legal status in US. Read this How to go about H1B transfer
          2. Yes, you can as long you have L1 visa validity.
          3. I think one of my friend said, you have to do it within a year or so(I am not sure ). He did similar stuff as you plan to do.

  33. Karviji

    Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for your reply, i have one more doubt, How long will it take to transfer from L1 to H1b if it is done through the company he is working, can he apply for H1b once he reaches to USA, he might be going at the end of september month?

    And i heard from one of my friend that even after H1b visa expiry , one year after green card processing is started, they can be in USA itself and if they want to come to India they can get Advance parole and come, is that true? if yes, let me know when is correct time to apply for Green card once i get H1b and also i need to know when can i apply for H1b too..?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      The processing times are same for anyone however you do it. If you do premium processing, you can get it done within 15 business days. Yes, thats true. The sooner the better, because it takes time for the process…

  34. Krishna

    My wife got a chance to go on H1B visa. My worry is if I travel on H4, I can’t work. So assuming we are in US by September/October 2010, how soon can I apply for H1B? Should I find an employer to sponser me for H1B? Is this a wise decision to quit my job in India and opt for this? What are the chances of getting a job as currently I’m into medical transcription.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You can apply even right after you come to US if the quota remains and if you find an H1B sponsor. Well, it is very difficult to say because it is a big risk with the economy…but, it is a personal decision, some are successful and some are not. You have to make the call.

  35. Karviji

    Hi,
    My husband is going to us in L1B Blanket visa, i hope it is valid for 3 years and 2 years extension, totally we can stay in US for 5 years, my question is if we want to stay in US for more than 5 years what should i do, should i ask him to apply for green card, if so how long will it take to get the green card and will i be able to be in US even for more than 5 years? Or else i heard some people tellng that if we change the visa type to H1B we can stay in US itself by just renewing in US itself. Is that true? can some one tell me exactly what to do if i want to stay in USA itself?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, the best bet is to change to H1B visa within first couple years and then do the green card processing.

  36. Ramesh Kumar

    Hi,

    I had my H1 visa petition approved from last years quota in 2009-2010 while I was in India. Now I am US on L1 visa from a different company and my employer who had originally filed my H1 has filed for my change of status to H1. My change of status got approved yesterday i.e. June 29th 2010.

    My question is:

    1) Is my current employment on L1 now illegal as my status has now changed to H1 to the new employer?
    2) What is the grace period for me to give the notice to my current employer on L1 and join the new employer on H1?
    3) Are there any legal concerns or any issues when I go back to India for stamping later?

    Please help ASAP.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ramesh,
      I am not a lawyer…please double check with others.
      1) Is my current employment on L1 now illegal as my status has now changed to H1 to the new employer?

      I do not know if it is illegal. I have read somewhere that you cannot work on L1 after your COS approval and it may create future issues. Do not know exactly the issues though.

      2) What is the grace period for me to give the notice to my current employer on L1 and join the new employer on H1?

      I do not know exactly. My understanding is, as soon as COS is approved, you are in different status per USCIS because you have a new I94.

      3) Are there any legal concerns or any issues when I go back to India for stamping later?
      I do not know. Typically, most people recommend to switch over to H1B right away after COS approval.

      1. Ramesh Kumar

        Thanks Kumar. So how do people who change the status from L1B to H1B give notice to their current employer. Is there anyone who has done this and can share their experience.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Typically, most of the people start H1B on Oct 1st. As they know they will start H1B from Oct 1st, they give prior notice.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Although law says you need to start working immediately for H1 employer, you may still serve reasonable notice period at the old employer. Notice period is a concept more w/ Indian companies. W/ US companies it’s employment at will, and either employer or the employee can terminate the relationship within a day. So if the notice period is couple of weeks, it is still ok, but anything running into months may not go well with USCIS.
            .
            It will also depend upon how your attorney presents this whole situation when this question arises in future (if ever).

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      1) Is my current employment on L1 now illegal as my status has now changed to H1 to the new employer?
      Yes it is. You should start working for the H1 employer on the basis of approved COS.
      .
      2) What is the grace period for me to give the notice to my current employer on L1 and join the new employer on H1?
      There is no grace period, but USCIS may give you reasonable time, say to serve notice period at L1 employer.
      .
      3) Are there any legal concerns or any issues when I go back to India for stamping later?
      If you start working on H1 and get regularly paid, I don’t see any issues.

      1. Ramesh Kumar

        Thanks Saurabh, this was extremely helpful. Just one more question, do I need to inform USCIS now, that I am serving 1 month notice to my L1 employer or is it only when the question is asked.

        Thanks.

  37. Kanth

    I’m on L1 and I’m looking for sponsors for H1B. Where can I find the companies sponsoring H1B? Appreciate if you can send me information

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kanth, you would have to do your own research. You may find the list if you search on internet. But, the reality is, you have to know someone in the company..otherwise you may have issues in future.

  38. Praveen

    Hi,

    I’m on L1 visa valid till Nov 30, 2010 and my company is processing my H1 (L1 to H1 CoS I think). Now I’ve to attend a family function in July back in India, so is it safe to travel during the conversion process is in progress?

    If I go in July, I will come back on my L1 itself with a new I-94 till Nov 30, 2010. But will it anyway void/affect my H1?

    Thanks
    Praveen

      1. Praveen

        Thanks for the quick response,

        The reason for the question was that I’d been told (of course – by friends – no lawyers) that the CoS is tied to my current I-94 and once I re-enter on my existing L1, its a new I-94 and thus it invalidates/voids my current H1 filing/approval.

        So,

        1.I was worried I would be back to square one with visa validity only till Nov 30, 2010.

        2. Moreover what happens if the H1 approval comes through while I’m on vacation and when I re-enter US in July end, what would be my status at the PoE – can I enter or wait till October for the effective date of H1?

        Thanks
        Praveen

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          I am no lawyer…this is my perspective. As long as you are back before Oct 1st, you must be fine. Logically speaking your H1B Change of status starts from October 1st. Your friends may be correct if you re-enter after October 1st. Seems a little complex to me here…. Why don’t you post your question in Immigrationvoice.org, you can get some free advice from lawyers there.

  39. Dev

    Similar question was asked by Amit but I did’nt see a reply for it.
    I was in the US on L1 visa for past 3.5 years. I have come back to India last month. If I apply for H1 visa this year, what is the maximum duration I can get the visa for. Do the 3.5 years spent in the US on L1 visa count against the max period I can stay in the US?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Based on my knowledge, L1 and H1 period of stay are counted for the 6 year time limit to stay in US. So, if you have used 3.5 years of L1, then you are eligible for only 2.5 years of H1B or L1. After that you need to have a 365 days break for the H1/L1 clock to reset.

  40. Neha

    Hi,

    I am currently on L1 and my company has filed for an L1-H1B conversion for me which would become active in Oct’2010. I am going to India in mid-oct for a vacation and will get my H1B visa stamped.

    If in Nov’2010, I change my company and join a new employer, I understand that I will have to apply for H1B conversion. Assuming I get the approval and then in April’2011, I go to India again for a personal visit. Do I need to go for H1B visa stamping again in April’2011?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Neha, You do not need to go to H1B visa stamping again if you change employers, provided the H1B visa stamped in your passport has not expired at the time you re-enter US.

  41. Srinivas

    This site is really helpful for people like me. If I take the 2nd route mentioned by Swapnil (under 3.2.1), what are the chances of COS getting rejected? Also can the COS be effective from a future date i.e. can I apply for COS in Dec’10 and say that I want the COS be effective from, say, Feb’11? If it is not possible, will the COS be effective from the day it is approved?

    Thanks in Advance.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, it is hard to guess. There are so many factors…You cannot request a future date for COS. Ideally, USCIS want you to do the COS after they send you the approval for COS. But, some people do skip for few months and change their status at a later date…

  42. Rahul

    I have a L1 Visa now. I heard that the H1 filing for 2011 has started since April 2010. What is the deadline within which i should apply for the H1 for 2010. From what i read, the 2011 H1 if approved, becomes effective from Oct 1 2010. But i did not see the deadline to apply? Also once i apply, when will i know the result whether it is approved or rejected.? Can anyone answer my questions

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Rahul, there is nothing like deadline. You can apply until the H1B quota is available for FY2011. Last year the quota lasted till Dec 22. Your H1B application decision takes 2 to 3 months if you apply using general quota.

      1. Rahul

        Kumar,
        Say for example, i am getting the H1 approval in another 3-4 months and i am going to India in Dec 2010. I am coming back again in March 2011. My L1 itself is valid until May 2011. So i can be in that visa itself until then and i have to switch to H1 right. This is my understanding. Now my question is for my wife. She is on L2 visa now and her visa is valid until May 2011. Now if we go back to india in Dec 2010 and if she planning to come back in July 2011, her L2 would have been expired. Can she go for a stamping for H4 and come here back. By then, i would have somehow settled in a job. How is the rejection rate for a H4 and can she go for a H4 because i wouldnt have stamping and i am the H1 petition? This is my question. If possible, can i have your number so that i can contact you directly on this and clarify my query.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          You do not have to wait until March 2011 to switch to H1B. If you want to stay in US after May 2011, you will have to change your status to H1B. About H4 visa for your wife, yes she can go for H4 visa stamping if she plans to come in July after L2 expiration. Honestly, I have not heard H4 visa rejections. If you think there is risk, a safer bet would be for your wife to come to US before L2 expires on L2 and then apply for H4 in US. If you have any questions post in Forum.

  43. Ram

    First thing first, you are doing an extraordinarily great job by hosting this website and providing people so much of valuable information. Hats of for that !
    Coming to my question, I am traveling on a L1 visa and would be present in the US for 3 months from June till August. If I crack the slim chance of converting my L1 into a H1B (remember I am not there till October 2010) and comeback to India by September 2010, will my H1B still be valid ? Can I go back sometime after October 2010 using this H1B and work for my sponsor ?

    1. editor
      Kumar

      Welcome Ram ! Yes, it will be be valid. If you get your H1B approval, you will go for H1B visa stamping in India and then re-enter US on H1B status and work for your sponsor.

  44. Indrakanta

    Can the company that sponsored L1 for the employee apply for change of status to H1? Also, when the change of status from L1 to H1 happens, does the I-94 get extended (as per the H1 petition and as per approval)? Finally, can a company apply/sponsor green card for an employee on L1-B?

  45. Amit

    What would be validity for H1 if I go for
    1) L1 to H1 with COS ( I believe L1 time + H1 time can be max 6 years)
    2) File for new H1 while on L1. Go to India for stamping when interested to join new company. ( Will H1 be valid for 6 years or will the same rule of L1+H1 max 6 years will apply

  46. Ekta

    I also have similar case. I am on L1 with approved H1. If i want to go on H1. I need file Change of Status. Can i do Change of Status ( L1 to H1) without leaving US and how much time does it take.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, you can change to H1 status without leaving US. As soon as October starts, once you start working and have pay stub running, H1B is considered active and you are on H1B visa status.

      1. Swapnil

        If you have H1b Approval from last year i.e. 2009-2010 quota , you can change status anytime till your H1B approval is valid.

        Typically a standard application takes 2 months time for decision while priority processing provides you result in max 15 days. ( I got it withing 5 days).

        If you have approval in this years quota then you can start work from 1st Oct

  47. Swapnil

    I have recently done L1 to H1 transfer. The process is really simple . In my case I got the H1B approval in july 2009 (filed by IT consulting company) while i was working on L1. I decided to be on L1 for sometime till i really find a very good project.In jan 2010 I finally found a good project and then started the change of status process in jan 2010 and got the approval.
    Its a safe bet , since you already know the people with whom you are going to work with on H1.
    Unless you get your change of status approved you can work on L1
    The other good thing is once your status is changed , you can’t legally work on your L1 visa and hence dont have to serve the notice period etc in your L1 company. 🙂
    You dont have to go for stamping and visa interview till you leave US .

    But one thing you should be careful about is the duration of your actual project mentioned on the client letter while filing change of status.
    Your visa exipiry date is the last project date mentioned in client letter. Looks like this new rule . When I got my H1 approval , the expiry date was after 3 years But when I actually did my change of status , the new expiry date is as per project duration.

    1. Bhavani

      Hi Swapnil,

      Do you know how to apply for H1b Visa for this year. FY 2011.
      I am on L1-Blanket Visa with a company now and willing to change the status and get another job.

      I am not exactly sure how to do this. can you please let me know hte process and steps. It would be really helpful in any tips etc.

      1. Swapnil

        Hi Bhavani,

        You should try and find if any company / consultant is ready to file your H1B. Since for this year , there are not many applications for H1B , you can get the H1B approval easily.

        You can start work only from 1st Oct. There are two ways for you to file your H1B .
        1) if you are sure that you will be in US till 1st Oct on L1 , then you can file H1b application as a change of status.

        2) You can file H1B ,get the approval and any time after 1st Oct when you get good opportunity, file for change of status .

        Let me know if you have any questions

        1. Maddy

          Hi Swapnil,

          Looks like mine is also same issue,
          am working on A company on L1 visa and B company is
          applying for COS H1b. but am confused while am here
          in USA can I ask B company to apply for new H1B
          instead of COS.., so that I can get sometime to intimate my A company (Notice Period) and look for some good projects? If company B applies COS then Automatic my status changes to H1 from Oct-2010 and i need to force myself to quit my job on L1 and start searching other.., please let me know what would be easily done way to go here?

          Appreciate your help on this…

          Thanks
          Maddy

        2. Suruchi

          Hi Swapnil
          Thanks for sharing your experience, please advise how do we apply for change of status from L1B to H1B – ourselves or the H1 employer has to do it for us? How long does the process take?

    2. Sandeep

      this is nice information. my question is that can we do the same thing with F1. If I apply F1 can I continue to work on L1 and if my company ask me to go back India then I will file change of status L1 to F1 for continue my stay in US.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, L1 visa holders planning to apply for H1B visa petition are considered towards cap count restriction of 65,000 visas.

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