One of our readers, Benny, who also shared his experience of Indian Passport renewal in USA, was kind enough to share his L1B Visa to H1B Visa experience. Thanks to Benny for taking time to write up his experience. In fact, many do not know the Advantages of L1 to H1B Visa COS in USA, it is one of the safest options for international professionals. Hope the below experience from Benny will help you all get good hope. You can share your experience here
Background Information – Travel to US on L1B :
I would like to share my experience of L1B Visa to H1B Visa transfer. In April 2011, I came from India to US on L1B visa. I was working in an MNC (not based out of India). I never thought of changing my visa and even didn’t know that it was possible and legal to change the visa status from L1 to H1. In fact one of the documents that I received from my employer while coming to US, said that it is illegal to change visa and they will take action against me if I did so. It was like an informative statement but not part of any contract or bond. That made me apprehensive and I went on doing my work.
Decision to Change from L1B to H1B visa in America
One day one of my friend who is a US citizen and runs a desi consultancy called me and informed me that it was legal to change the status and I cannot be bound by any contract of India in US. After that I started searching on the net about it. That was the first time I looked at redbus2us. It had very helpful and informative articles. After looking at the articles I learnt about L1 to H1 with Change of Status(COS). After doing all the research I was convinced that it is legal and right to change the visa.
Finding Job and Employer to Sponsor H1B Visa – L1B Employer Threatening
I didn’t want to join desi consultancy so I started looking for job in a bigger company and I did get the job. They offered to do my L1 to H1 visa transfer with COS. I was very happy to get the offer and went ahead with it. My H1B with COS was approved and then the time came to resign. That was the most painful process I have ever gone through in my entire career of 8 years. I resigned 15 days before the COS effective date. It was like I was giving them 15 days notice. There was a risk involved because if they fired me (or relieved me) on the day of resignation I would be out of status. But I knew that they needed me for at least 15 days hence they did not relieve me. After I resigned I was threatened by the team management here in US and even in India. They said they will file a case against me. All the time I tried to exit peacefully and didn’t say much. After all the screaming and threatening the last day came and they could not do much and I left the organisation. They did not give me relieving letter and experience letter. But I had all the salary slips with me.
Joining new company on H1B Visa – Spouse L2 to H4 with COS
Joining the new company was very smooth. Now I am here in US on H1B visa and also have my family with me. They are on H4 and for them also my new employer did L2 visa to H4 visa with COS. Its more than 6 months and I hope to get my experience letter and want to settle all matters with my previous company.
My Experience – Decision to change from L1 to H1B Visa – Pay Stubs importance
Based on my experience I would say that it is legal and right to change visa from L1 to H1B in US. Also it is a smooth process. Some organisation may have a bond and make you sign that you won’t change the visa. If you have a bond then its up to you to break it and deal with the consequences. In my case there was no bond so I didn’t have problem with that. Keep copies of all your pay slips that is very important in US. Also see if you have a proper exit process in such case. If the process is not there then the employer will make it very painful. Time from resignation to exit will be stressful and to some extent scary. Stay calm and cool. Try to exit peacefully and not with bitter relationship. This was the advice of my mentor at my first job and I was always followed it.
Wishing you all the best.