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. Question on L1 A Individual to H1

    Hello,

    Need your help in understanding how the process works. Can you please let me know the following:

    1. Currently I am working with an Indian firm on L1 A Individual. Planning to convert to H1. When do I need to start / Is it already late for this year ?

    2. I may want to continue to work with my current employer with L1A and want to take other good opportunity when I have one. For how long can I want and change ? Is there a dead line. I may choose to continue to work with my current employer even if my H1 Petition (if picked from CAP) is expired and renew once i get good opportunity.

    3. Mean time, while my H1 is in process, I want to apply EAD for my wife who is on L2 so that she can work here in US. Is that possible? I know if i change to H1 her status changes to H4 but she may opt to stop working after some time / apply for her own H1 next year.

    Please suggest.

  2. Vanu

    Hi Saurabh,
    need your expert advice. I am planning to apply L1 to H1 (with COS) transfer under CAP this year. if I have to leave US while my H1B is pending for approval, how I can enter US with H1B status?
    i) what will happen with my H1B application?
    ii) do I need to apply for H1B from scratch (in CAP) again? or just need to go for stamping with the approved petition, before entering US?
    iii) how long it normally takes in stamping from India, is there any risk in that process?
    iv) is there any chance/possibility that my employer can withdraw/revoke my H1B application in that case?

    Please advise

  3. shankar

    Hi,

    I came on L1A with Company A and extended I-94 extension which have the validity till Sep’15 i.e., completion of 5 years. My employer A is not sponsporing GC, so if I go for L1A to H1B conversion in parallel with L1A extension for another couple of years, incase both are approved then how long can I stay in the USA and which one will be primary L1A or H1B ?

    1. L1A extension stay period of 7 years or H1B max stay 6 yrs ? Which one will be valid ?
    2. Shall I apply L1A extension and L1A to H1B conversion at the same period ?

    Need your valuable suggestion

    K Shankar

  4. Kumar

    I am working on L1B with I-94 valid till 10/2016. My current employer will keep me on rolls till May 2015. I have a B2 valid till 2019. I wish to apply for COS from L1–>H1B in 2015 and i dont want to go out of the country. Can i change my status to B2 until Oct and switch back to H1B once it is approved?. I have multiple sponsoers applying for H1B so pinning hopes that H1B will get through.

  5. Mayer Ben

    Hi ,

    I work for Company A with L1b visa and got my H1b approval with Company B on 6th of Nov 2014 . How long can I work with employer A before I come on employer B’s Payroll. My case is change of status.

    Thanks

  6. Praveen

    I have a question-
    My L1A (Individual) got approved and my Visa stamping is during Dec 3rd week. My Current company do not have projects and my Stamping will be a waste.
    1) Can I switch over to another company since its L1A Individual being in India?
    2) Should I travel to US FIRSt and then switch over?
    3) Can the current employer cancel my L1A if I leave the company so it becomes invalid (Just to take grudge on me).

    Again its not L1 Blanket…. Its Individual VISA where the petition is under my name and Petitioner is XXX Infomration services.

  7. SS

    Currently I am on L1 status with employer A and same company filed H1 B counsler petition and that is approved. now Can I transfer this H1 to company B , Do I need to go back to India for h1 stamping or company b can filed as COS , wht is probablity that COS will be approved.

  8. Ravi

    Hi,

    I have L1A visa from company A and it is valid till Oct 2016 but I resigned the company. Currently i am in India. is it possible to convert my L1A visa to H1B?

    Could you please provide details.

  9. Sunil

    Hi,

    I am currently working in USA on L1B and applied for H1b and approved .status change on Oct1.Now I don’t want to change the status from L1B to H1B is there any possibility?Please let me know.

    Note:- I submitted my old passport for my H1B process .Now I renewed my new passport and reenter in US last month to extend my I-94

    1. D Panda

      Hey Sunil,

      Your case is complected.
      You can ask your employer about your interested in no visa status change.
      It is hard. But, I know a case where one changed from H1 to L1.

      I would suggest you to seek immigrant lawyer help.

  10. Sandy

    Hi There,

    I am on L1b visa now and my visa is for 3 years. It will expire on 1st March 2015. My company will process the renewal around 15th Jan 2015. If the renewal is rejected, what is the alternative to remain in US instead of going to India on 1st March.

    Regards,
    Sandy

    1. D Panda

      Hi Sandy,
      There are two things.
      1. L1 visa stamping – You can get stamping as many time till you reached your visa status.
      2. L1 visa status. – The status is for 5 years

      In your case, visa stamping expire in 2015 not the status. If your new visa stamping get rejected you should apply for I-94 extension by going to USCIS office or through your employer.

  11. Ahmed

    Hi Saurah,

    Have two queries.
    1. I have valid H1-B & currently in USA, even my family got H4(Dependent) recently but they are yet to travel to USA, mean while if i change org and join new one, do my family is eligible to travel on the visa (that got process by my old organization). or do i need to apply again for H4 with new firm?

    2. If i get them to USA before changing to new job, do i need to reapply for dependent visa again for my family?

  12. Anil

    Hi there,

    This is Anil. I’m working for an Indian IT company and I’m on L1-B visa in USA. I’m currently being paid my Indian salary and living allowances in US. I still get my US Paystubs, showing my US Salary. I’d like to convert my L1-B to H1-B visa. I’d like to do get it done this year, but my employer has NOT initiated this and I’d like to find another employer who can sponsor for my L1 to H1-B conversion. As I’m new to this, could you please tell me what the procedure involves, and If I can still apply for this year. I’ve been working in US for the past 6 months on my L1-B visa.

    Thanks,
    Anil.

    1. D Panda

      Hi Anil,

      I can understand your pain. You need to find any employer/ consultation firm to transfer you L1 to H1. You can not do the transfer this year as the quote is closed. You can try for 2015. To try for 2015, you need to find an employer/ consultation firm by Oct/ Nov 2014.

      Hope this helps.

  13. kapil

    Hi Saurabh!
    Read many of the quesiton/answer. Really appricaite.
    I would be having few of queries as on June 15’2014

    I am in US on L1B visa from Company A since 5 months.
    * What is the possibility to change the employeer i:e Company B in US. One company is ready to get me join in US. What is the legel options to change the job. If yes,
    * What is the proess for doing it.
    * What is approx duration it will take to coplete.
    * Do I need to go back India for visa stamping etc.
    *

  14. l1toh1

    Hi Saurabha,
    I am currently having valid L1B petition and visa from employer A. I am back to India . Now I am processing H1 from employer B. I would like know
    1. While stamping H1, is there any possiblity to cancel my L1 visa irrespective of stamping H1. Uuntill that time I will not resign from my employer A.
    2. If employer A is willing to transfer my H1. When it should be done?
    Please response. Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      l1toh1,
      1. Yes, there is a possibility. They can cancel L-1 w/o prejudice when approving the H-1.
      2. It can be done anytime after B’s petition has been approved.

  15. Gari

    Hi Saurabh,

    My company is applying for L1b for me and L2 for my spouse.
    I will not be paid in USD as in I will be paid my indian salary only.
    Just the travel and expenses of stay and food will be reimbursed by my company.
    Hence will not have any payslips in USD.

    My query is :
    1) I have an H1b sponsor for myself and my spouse. Will get to know the draw results in May or June 2014. Is it going to be fine that we travel on L visas now (May 2014) and when we get our H1B results we quit our current employer and start working for the new employer through H1B visa from Oct 1st ?
    2) when we go for the H1B interview before that we will have to quit the current employer and go, so will that be a problem ?
    3) Also since our L visas will be cancelled as we quit will H1b get affected by that ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Gari,
      1. Yes, you can travel on L-1/2 and once H-1 is approved, file COS from L-1/2 to H-1/4. You can start working on H-1 once COS is approved. The other option is to leave US, and return after getting H-1 visa stamped.
      2. When you appear for H-1 interview, it is not required to be working for H-1 employer. You can still be employed w/ L-1 employer and appear for H-1 interview. However, there is a possibility that they will cancel L-1 visa stamp when approving your H-1 visa.
      3. H-1 will not be effected by L-1 visa cancelation.

  16. L1b

    Hi,

    I have completed 5 years in L1 B in April 2014 and my employer applied GC process. since my 5 years is getting completed i need to leave the country, so is it possible i can apply H1b in cap exempt if the labor is approved?

  17. Akshat

    Hi,

    I am working on L1-B which expires on 17th March. My new employer is ready to apply L1B to H1B transfer. My question:-

    1. Can I start working with new Employer as soon as h1B is approved or I need to wait unti Oct’2014?
    2. Do I have to travel back if H1B transfer doesn’t approve by 17th March (Current expiry of my L1b VISA) or I can stay on basis of H1-B transfer reciept?
    3. What is approx cost of L1B to H1B transfer application?

    Thanks,

    1. Samvat

      If you are applying for a fresh H1b, then you will have to go back and wait till Oct 2014.

      H1b application fees, whether new or renewal, range from $ 2000 – $ 4500 + all applicable lawyer fees. Application fees should be paid by the employer ONLY! and lawyer fees can be paid by u or employer.

  18. Saba

    Hi,

    I’m in US on L1-B Visa. I’m paid in per-diem (daily allowance) and Indian salary. I don’t have any payslips from US company.

    (a) Is it legal to transfer my L1-B to H1B?
    (b) For resigning process, i have to come back to India. So is it possible to do a transfer?

    Thanks,
    Saba

  19. Ved

    Hi ,
    My name is Ved , I am a software developer with 6 years of experience.
    At present I am on L1 visa working in united states , My L1 visa is valid till Jun2015 and I want to continue working in United states . I was searching for H1 sponsor and got recruited in one company , they are ready to initiate my H1 visa , but they also want me to start working with them from April 2014 .

    now my understanding is , being on L1 visa I can not work for other employer , and i can not start working on H1 before October.
    so is there any way I could join new employer in April, who is ready to initiate my H1.

    Could you please suggest me options i should be following .

    Thanks
    Ved

    1. umaMahesh

      you can not work for them from April 2014 for sure. if your payroll is not running on with current employer from April , you are out of status from that time which will create lot of problem in future. best is to avoid. you can work for your employer on apporved h1 b from it’s effective date.

  20. Kamal

    Hi Saurabh,
    I’m working as a delivery manager with a large Indian IT company in LA. I’m n L1A visa that had one renewal last year. So, I’m good until Mar 2015 and can technically go for another extension.
    My question is that I don’t have the technical skills nor I have the engineering/comp science degree. I have 14 yrs experience with 12 yrs spent in sales / pre sales / solution designing and 2 yrs in delivery functions. In total 4 yrs onsite (2 yrs in sales and 2 yrs in delivery). Do you think L1A to H1B visa transfer can be done based on my background?

  21. L1 cancelled but hv approvd extn petition

    Hi Saurabh,
    I hold L1A visa that got expired in 2013 but I have an approved extension petition. Based on this I have been traveling to Canada for work purposes – using the auto-reval whereby a New Visa stamping is Not needed as long as I have an approved petition. However, in my last visit to Canada they wrote something across on my (expired) visa which I was later informed means Cancelled. Now they told me in order to reenter US I need to get new stamping (that can also be done in Toronto, Canada)

    Can you please advise:
    1. Does the Cancellation of the expired L1 Visa mean anything negative for my immigration records OR for applying for a new H1B ?
    2. I’ve heard that its better to get the new L1 stamping done in India. Any idea hows the stamping process in Toronto for L1A visas?

    Thanks and Regards

  22. Shiv

    Hi Saurabh,

    Currently i am on L1B , my visa is going to expire on March 30 2014 , visa extension wont be applied due to company policy. I am looking out for consultancy to file H1B. If some consultancy accepts to file my H1 and after that if i have to go to India. How valid it will be ?

    Please let me your suggestions

  23. sreeni

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am planning to apply H1b with COS this current year.
    Presently i am on L1b valid till 2015 sept.

    1)In case H1b got approved and i still want to work on L1b. when should i go and come back,so that my L1b is valid.

    2) In case my L1b got valid after my trip. The H1b applied under COS will be converted to without COS and can be used for stamping once i go out of country ?.

    Thamks
    Sreenivas

  24. Sant

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am on L1b with employer A. I got L1 visa extension until sep 2015.I am planning to apply H1B through consulting firm (employer B) this April 2014. If my H1B approved and I did not get a proper job by Employer B with in October 1st2014. My doubt is can I withdraw H1 and still continue on L1B (employer A)??? In future can I resign employer A and again activate my H1b???please kindly reply.

    Thanks
    Sant

  25. sow

    Hi Saurabh,
    Iwill be completing my 5 years on l1b in may 2014… If my current employer applies for h1 conversion in april 2014….. Will i be able to stay in the US till october 2014

    Thanks in advance….

    1. Sai Venkat Damodar

      Hi Saurabh,

      Typically the answer would be “NO” the reason is you would reach physical stay limit as per L1B so, as soon as you reach physical limit for L1B which is for 5 years, you are required to travel OUTSIDE USA and re enter after cooling off period of one year, hope this suffice.

  26. Sailaja

    Hi,

    I am working for X company on L1B Visa my visa expired on 13-Feb-2013 and I129S To date also refers the same date.
    My petition I797 – shows as petition valid indefinitely and i94 is valid till 13-Aug-2014.

    My question is i didn’t apply for L1B extension, so is it valid to work in USA with the same company X. At present i m in USA only.

    Thanks,
    Sailaja

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sailaja,
      On L-1, it is ok to work on the basis of your I-94. Your L-1 extension needs to be applied before your I-94 expires. You can confirm this w/ your attorney as well.

  27. Sathish

    Hi Saurabh,

    Appreciate your suggestion and guidence for every one.

    I want simple reply from you about the process of L1B to H1B conversion.
    I am presently working in USA for 1year with L1B. I want to convert to H1B.

    My question is that ,

    1. Is my new employer has to sponsor/submit the H1B petition or I have to do it by my self?

    2. How much is going to cost for this conversion approx?

    3. Can you help me the process flow chart for L1B to H1B please ?

    Thank you.

    Sathish

    1. Sai Venkat Damodar

      Hi Sathish,

      I would like to take an opportunity to answer your questions.

      1. Yes the company who try to file your H1 Transfer will sponsor your H1 B transfer, eventually they would have to bare all the cost involved, however rarely it varies from company to company depending on employee and employer understanding.

      2. The cost of H1 Transfer would be $4325 which is similar to Fresh H1B cost.

      3. As soon as you apply for H1B you can resign the current organization and once your H1 Transfer is approved you can go ahead and start working with sponsored company and documentation would remain same as fresh H1B, will provide the list of documents up on request.

      Hope this suffice.

  28. Rishabh

    Hello Saurabh,

    I wish I had known the answere after reading so many posts and a lot of forums. But the more I read, the more I seem to be confused. Please help..

    I work for an MNC in India which is based out of US. I’m here in US on a L1B visa working for a client. Both the client and the firm are OK with me transferring to the client payrolls. My visa is valid till Aug-2014.

    1. Can my parent company for a L1B COS at this time?
    2. Can this be done by the client firm who I intent to join?
    3. Is this COS transfer CAP exempt?
    4. While the COS is being adjudicated, can I work on the Client payrolls?

    Thanks a lot for any advice,
    Rishabh

  29. AJ

    Hi,
    I am currently on L1B with Company A. Company A and Company B filed H1B and Company B’s application is approved while Company A’s application is under RFE. I have resigned from Company A and will be joining Company B on 1st Oct. Meanwhile, I have an offer from Company C.
    1) Can Company C file for H1b transfer immidately, lets say on 5th Oct? At this point I will not have any paystubs from Company B.
    2) If no, do I have to wait for 2 months to join Company C?
    3) What happens when Company A’s H1b petition gets approved? Do I immidately become an employee of Company A?

    Thanks,
    AJ

  30. Indoubt

    Hi Saurabh,
    I got my COS from L1 to H1 done earlier this year through premium processing, which goes into effect from October 1st. My last day with my current employer would be 30th September and my start date with my new employer would be 2nd October.
    My question is, will there be any kind of problem if I ‘m not working on October 1st?

  31. Anju

    Hi Saurabh
    I am on L1B through company A, I have completed 4 years on L1B by Oct 2013( company A said will not file L1B extension), I have change my visa status from L1B to H1B through one IT consulting company.. got next 2 years of H1B , looking to the recent future immigration reformation plan of US, staying with which type of company will be good for next 2 years (if GC filed then may be more) , Kindly suggest

    1. Work & stay with current IT consulting company will be good.?
    2. Immediate change to any Indian big company will be good.?
    3. Change to purely American product based company will be good.?

    Could you please suggest

  32. Preeti

    Hi Saurabh,

    I was in the US on an L1 from September 1999 to September 2002. Now I am back on in the US on another L1 since January 2013. Do you think my previous stay count towards the six year limit?

  33. AX

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am currently in L1B status. I travelled to India in June’13 and got my visa stamped with validity until next year and received a new electronic i-94 number also with validity until end of next year on my re-entry into US in August’13.
    My Employer had also filed for H1b visa for October 2013 quota and it was approved in August’13; I believe it was filed as COS as it has an attached i-94 along with it however it is the old i-94 number which I had received in my previous entry into US in 2012.

    Question
    A): I wanted to know if I will still come under H1 B status from October 1st or will continue to be under L1B status until next year based on my current/new i-94
    B) I will be travelling to India again at the end of this year ‘ 2013, would I be able to enter in US on my L1B visa or do I have to get my H1B visa stamped? My current L1 Visa expires end of 2014.

  34. kiran prasad

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have couple of questions. Please do needful.

    1) I am right now on L1-B and this year my company processed H1 B and its been approved as of last week. I have my I-797 document handy. The situation is I cleared interview with Company B and that company want to start my h1 transfer immediately. Can the company B make h1 transfer before 1st oct ? If yes What are the documents that I need to submit my company B?
    2) Can the company B initiates H1 B transfer on Oct 1st with A’s recent payslipts(Sept month which are on L1-B)?? or I have to wait for a month to get the
    Latest payslips from company A on H1-B for the company H1-B transfer??

  35. Gagan

    Hi,

    I am on L1B right now with company A. Company B has filed for H1B with COS & my H1B is approved. Company A wants me to send back to India on Sep 25 and call me back on Oct 5.

    Do company B needs to file for COS again now? if yes how much time it takes to process. When can I join company B?

    1. L1B TO H1

      Gagan,

      Why does your company want to send back from Sep25th – oct 5th.. Does they know that you applied H1 outside ? Your H1 COS will abandon if you are not in US on OCT 1st

  36. Rakesh

    Hello Saurabh,

    I was with L1B visa for last 3 years and this year its been converted to H1B status. My question is about the period of stay in US. Will i be getting 6 more years as I converted to H1B or will the 3 years in L1 visa will be added to it and will get only 3 years. Please clarify.

    Thanks
    Rakesh

  37. AJ

    I have couple of questions

    Situation – A) I am right now on L1-B and this year my company processed H1 B and its been approved as of last week. I have my I-797 document handy. The situation is I cleared interview with Company B and that company want to start my h1 transfer immediately.

    1st que: Can the company B make h1 transfer before 1st oct ? If yes What are the documents that I need to submit my company B?

    Situation -B) I am on L1 B with company A and Company A and Company B both applied my H1 Visas and both visas were picked up in lottery and Company A H1 visa has been approved , Company B visa is still in initial review and sure when this will be completed. I would like to be on Company A pay rolls and don’t want to be on Company B as this is not standard company.

    1st Que: Is there a chance that company B will know about my Company’s A H1 visa thing after october ? If yes what are the challanges that i will see from company B can they sue me ? How can i escape smartly.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      AJ,
      A. Yes, they can file the cap-exempt petition now. You will need copy of A’s approval notice for this.

      B.B will not know about A’s petition but may infer the same based upon your reluctance to join them. Yes, they can ask for reasonable business losses. A labor attorney can look at the correspondence and agreement (if any) b/w you two to guide you better about the damages (if any).

      1. Aj

        Thanks for the update. From Point A in your answer. Approval notice from Company A means I-797 document or anything else.

        Please confirm….

  38. BA

    Hi,

    I am on L1B Blanket with company A and want to file my H1 petition with company B in 2014. Now if my H1 gets approved in Oct 2014 and I still want to stay with company A, what are the ways I can do that?
    1. Is that possible that I do not join company B and transfer my H1 to comany A? If yes, what I/or company A will have to do for that?
    2. Is that possible I stay with comany A on L1 only and do use the H1?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      BA,
      You can B to file the petition w/ consular processing i.e. w/o COS. This way your status will remain L-1 even after H-1 is approved. You can move to H-1 at a later date either by entering US on stamped H-1 visa or filing COS.

  39. Rajesh Das

    I have my L1 processed and my wife is going on dependent visa.She would be working with a US firm.In few years time I am planning to look for firms who can process my transfer from L1 to H1.If that goes through ,what will be the status of my wife’s visa?She also has to look for a H1 sponsor or she can continue working ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rajesh Das,
      She will have to move to H-4, which is the dependent visa for H-1 holders. This doesn’t allow her to work. The other option is that she finds an employer who files H-1 for her as well.

  40. Srikanth

    Hi Saurabh,

    Need your valuable suggestion. The current company I am working for has filed H1B, it got selected in lottery and its still in initial review. Recently I got job offer from other company which is ready to process L1.

    I am not sure what should I do now. Please suggest me, should I wait till my H1B gets clear or should I go with L1 ?

    Thanks for your help!!

      1. Patil M

        Hi, I’m L1A & had applied for H1B for 2014 through a company, who now says he has applied for COS which I don’t want.

        Current status is, I have received the receipt & H1B petition is in RFE mode as per USCIS website.

        How do I avoid this COS so that I can continue on my L1A or go for consular process while H1B application is in progress?

  41. m

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’m in L1B visa now. I got an L1b extension last year and it is valid till Aug 2014. I know that L1B visa is for 5 years (3+2).

    But in my case I didn’t utilized all my five years. Even If stay for until Aug 2014, still it could be 38 months (3 years 2 months)

    Question:
    1) Is it possible for me to apply L1B extension as I didn’t utilized all 5 years?
    2) What are the other possibilities to continue in USA?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      M,
      1. Yes, it can filed to recapture that time.
      2. You can move to another visa like H-1 or have green card filed by your employer.

      1. Manoj

        Hi Saurabh,

        I am on L1B status (valid till Aug 2015) and my company has filed for GC and i-140 petition is pending. Can i continue my stay in US as the i-140 is pending or i should compulsorily move out as I dont have a H1 ? In other words, i-140 applied and pending is not good enough unless i have an H1B ?

        Regards,
        -Manoj

  42. ajaj

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have quick question… I have a H1b approved for this year 2013 with employer A, but i realized recently that employer A is not cooperating well in any case and they are not going to provide my approved copy till october 1 st week. So i am planning to apply h1 transfer

    1. can i do that before joining ?, currently im in valid l1 status
    2. what is the probabilty of approval if possible.

    I have an employer b ready to do transfer for me. Please provide your suggesion in this case?
    Or i should work with the employer a for some time and transfer?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ajaj,
      1. B can file for cap-exempt petition using A’s approved petition as reference even prior to Oct 1.
      2. Chances vary from case to case and there is no concrete answer to this question.

  43. Stan

    Hello,

    I filed my H1B petition with COS in April 2013. I am currently on L1B.
    1. Can I choose to stay with my current employer on L1B? Will it create any problems?
    2. Can my current employer file Cap Exempt H1B?
    3. Do I have to cancel my H1B COS once it is approved?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Stan,
      1. You cannot work on L-1 once COS gets approved.
      2. Yes, they can after your first H-1 petition has been approved.
      3. If you want to work on L-1, then you need to take an action (leap-frog) to invalidate the H-1 COS. This involves travelling out of US while COS is pending, or leaving US soon after COS goes into effect and return on L-1.

      1. Ravi Ankola

        Dear Saurabh

        I got a H1 Approved this year without COS.

        I want to make sure that is indeed the case. How can I make sure it is?

        Earlier I know the I-94 used to be stapled and I do not have anything stapled.

        I want to understand how the staple works for the electronic i-94 (newprocess)

        Thanks
        Ravi

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ravi Ankola,
          Even w/ the new process, the new 797 should have an I-94 attached to the bottom of it. If that is not present, then it was w/o COS.

      2. Stan

        Thanks Saurabh, I am planning to exit US on Sep 30 and return on Oct 7 on my L1B so that the H1B COS will be effectively cancelled (Assuming that it is apprived effective Oct 01).

        1. Can you please let me know what are the chances are my H1B petition approving after October 1?
        2. If my petition is approved post October 1, do I get a grace period to move to H1B because it will take sometime to receive the approval notice etc.
        3. If I pursuade my H1B petitioner to cancel my H1B petition before it is approved, when will it be effective and what impact does it have on my current L1B Status.

        Thanks a lot for your help

        Stan.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Stan,
          1. It depends upon the work load and where your petition is their queue.
          2. You will not get grace period. However, if you would have left US while H-1 COS was pending, then COS will be abandoned. H-1 will be approved w/o COS and you can continue to stay and work on L-1.
          3. If H-1 is withdraw before its approval, then it will be just like H-1 was never filed. You can continue to work on L-1 and will need to go through cap again in future.

  44. QIAN JIANG

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks a lot for the guidance, lets say Jul 17, if my H1B transfer was approved on Jul 17 filed by B from A(sponsored L1B for me), but I am not done with the current project managed by A, upon the date of H1B transfer approved, I need to give one month long to A as notification period, so will continue to work for A till 08/30, is that okay if I just submit the pay stubs obtaining from A for C’s filing? If C wants to file my H1B, I cannot provide pay stubs processed by B (07/17-08/30) as I am still working for A during that notification period. Am I legal to work for A till 08/30 after L1B to H1B transfer is approved on 07/17?

    Can you see any risks from my case? It seems to me too complicated and really don’t know how to handle this case. Even I cannot tell A now for I am leaving, because if COS from L1B to H1b cannot be approved due to some reasons, just in case, I can continue to work for A. It is safe for me to stay in the US.

    Thanks a lot!

    Regards/David

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      David,
      Once B’s petition is approved w/ COS, you are considered on H-1 status. You need to submit H-1 payslips from that day on and not L-1.

  45. Ajaya Barik

    Hi Sourabh
    I am from Company-A, my L1B is for AUG-15 -2013, and I-94 is uptoJan 2015, now my company is saying I can stay and work on I94 , I no need go for L1B extension at this moment, I can file my extension just before of my I94 expire of Jan 2015

    1.Can I stay and work on I 94 till 2015
    2. if I will apply my L1B extension just before I94 jan-2015, will USCIS will consider my extension case
    4. Am I eligible to file L1B to H1B transfer(through company-B) for year 2015 , and apply on April 1st of 2014
    3. Am I eligible for L1B to L1A transfer( if my company is agree) during the period of AUG-2013 to Jan 2015 ( on which I have only I94 is valid)

    Kindly help on these queries

    Thanks
    Ajaya

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Ajaya,
      1. Yes
      2. Yes
      3. Yes as you have valid I-94. You still need to qualify for the H-1 position
      4. Yes as you have valid I-94. You still need to qualify for the L-1A position

      You will also be subject to 6 year H-1 + L-1 cap.

  46. M

    Hi Saurabh,
    I applied for L1B blanket visa extension and got extension approval for 2 years. Now I’m planning to India for Vacation and I need to go for Stamping. Is any possibility of rejection during Stamping? What are the documents required while I go for Stamping? Please advise.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      M,
      Yes, there is always chance of denial/rejection during stamping. You need to carry same set of documents like your first L-1 stamping. In addition, you need copy of your most recent I-94, current L-1 extension, previous L-1, recent payslips and W-2 (if any).

  47. raveendrakumar pisini

    Hi,

    I am currently in working for A company in L1 visa and validity until OCT 2014. i-94 given until oct 2015. My H1 visa got approved and i can work form 10/0/2013. Here my question is my company asking me to go back on 09/17/2013 (strictly including taking vacation). If i am in US for another 13 days i can convert H1 and do the Job. But is there way i can stay for 13 days on I-94 even L1 visa cancelled ( after i put the paper) .

    Please provide details

    Thanks,
    Ravee

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      raveendrakumar pisini,
      You are considered on L-1 until Oct 1. So you cannot stay in US on L-1 if the L-1 employer doesn’t want you here.

      1. H1B0201

        If your H1B is approved then you are eligible to stay in the US from 10 days before the starting date which comes out to be 20-Sep-2013 considering your starting date as 01-Oct-2013.

        If you put the papers on 17-Sep-2013 , I am not sure if an employer can revoke L1 visa in 3 days or not but I am pretty sure that L1 grace period is 10 days.

        I think you have nothing to worry about but being new to the immigration things.. I would suggest you to confirm the facts once again… Saurabh is the best person, I know.
        Avvo.com would be another help. Otherwise go to an attorney..

      2. Ravee

        Thanks for providing the details

        I am going to back india on July 2nd. Company giving 1 month trip from sept 23rd to oct 22nd.

        As my H1 got approved and coming to us on Sept 22nd. Can i transfer to H1B on oct 1st with Job. Will it be any issues?

        I won’t get us salary for one month trip and only india salary will come?

        Please provide the details.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Ravee,
          So your L-1 employer will call you back in US in Sep, and your H-1 was approved w/ COS. In that case, you can enter US on L-1 and still be on H-1 from Oct 1 automatically. This is b/c your H-1 approved COS has an effective date of Oct 1 and as long as you are inside US on that day, it will go into effect. You should start working for H-1 employer from Oct 1. It is ok to get paid outside US when on L-1 for that 1 month.

          1. ravee

            Hi Saruabh,

            Thanks for providing the details.

            If i am in US on Oct 1st, i can transfer to H1B. Is there any time from Oct 1st to start working on if i get placed.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Ravee,
            You need to start working on H-1 from Oct 1 for the employer that has an approved petition for you, or for an employer who has filed H-1 transfer petition for you. There is no grace period.

  48. David Jiang

    Hi Saurabh,
    Appreciate your response above, just a quick question about the paper works for COS, the original H1 petitioning company was A, it changed its name to B, then B was acquired by C, B was gone, then C was merged by D, C was gone, now I am going to join in E, so what kind of documents do I need to prepare for this COS from L1B to H1B?

    Thanks a lot!

    David

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      David Jiang,
      E will have to submit their own documents just like for any regular H-1. In addition, they will need copy of A’s approved petition (to show that you are cap-exempt), copy of your current L-1 documents, payslips, W-2s and I-94 (to show that you are maintaining legal status).

      1. QIAN JIANG

        Hi Saurabh,

        my payroll is being thru the L1B company’s subsidiary in CN not in US, how can I provide the payslips? and what is W-2S?

        Thanks a lot!
        David

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          QIAN JIANG,
          It is ok to get paid outside US when on L-1. You can submit those payslips from CN. W-2 is the tax form issued by the employer for your earnings in the previous year.

          Did you file your tax returns in US until now?

          1. QIAN JIANG

            Hi Saurabh,

            Thanks for the response and sounds like it is good for me to provide the CN pay slips. Or, last option is that I can provide the International Assignment letter as the Job offer letter and the payment records for assignment allowances for residing in the US processed by the US headquarter as the compensation evidence, appreciate your suggestion.

            The payroll team in my company is processing W2 report then submit it to the E&Y for Tax return form, it was due so I am chasing them now. Is it risky if I cannot provide the W2 when filing my visa type change in USCIS? My case is very funny, because I am not getting US payroll but they are preparing the W2 based on the so-called compensation, how could it be? They know my payroll is being processed in CN and still working on paper works for my US compensation and W2. My concern is if USCIS will be asking for this kind of pay stubs and W2.

            Thanks/David

            Thanks/David

          2. QIAN JIANG

            Hi Saurabh,

            One urgent question, is that feasible for company E and F to file my L1B to H1B transfer case at the same time? Then I will pick up one of them as my US employer.
            In this case, I will be legally stay in the US if E cannot start up the filing within one month but F might be, as my L1B assignment is going to be expired within one month, so really cannot wait for E again though it is my most favorable employer.

            Thanks/David

          3. QIAN JIANG

            Hi Saurabh,
            My case is coming out of emergency, please take a look at my questions above when you get a chance today, really appreciate that.
            1-can 2 different employers to file my H1B transfer at the same time?
            2-In my case, do I stand a high risk getting rejected on the H1b transfer from L1B if I cannot provide W2?
            3-The HR said I cannot use my CN pay stubs, wandering if it is correct, USCIS designed L-B for Intra-company transfer but it is not mandatory the pay stubs have to be processed inside US. May I provide International Assignment letter as the Job Offer letter and bank payment records for assignment allowances as the pay stubs evidence?

            I do appreciate your help answering those questions in a timely manner, will submit the H1B filling for transfer tomorrow.

            Thanks/David

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            QIAN JIANG,
            1. Yes
            2. W-2 is required only if you were getting paid inside US on L-1. If your salary was in CN and no taxable income was generated in US then W-2 doesn’t come into play. Submission of W-2 is not mandatory and you can proceed w/o it and then wait to see if USCIS asks for it.
            3. There is no LCA and prevailing wage requirement for L-1. So they can be paid lower wages as well, and my understanding is that it is ok to paid outside US as well. You can check w/ another attorney about it. Or may be check w/ L-1 attorney and ask them if you are in status as you are getting paid in CN.

          5. QIAN JIANG

            Hi Saurabh,
            Do really appreciate your timely response, although my salary is in CN, but I am getting the Assignment Allowances via Expense Reimbursement like housing&utilities, vehicle Rental&gas, and Per Diem from US, that part should be generating tax, right? The International Assignment tax team is preparing the W2c recently based on these allowances.

            Thanks/David

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            QIAN JIANG,
            I don’t know if those are taxable allowances or not. You will have to check online or w/ a CPA.

      2. QIAN JIANG

        Hi Saurabh,

        my payroll is being thru the L1B company’s subsidiary in CN not in US, how can I provide the payslips? and what is W-2S?

        Thanks a lot!
        David

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