Immigration Issues/B1/2 to H1B

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Question
I was previously on a F1 visa that expires in 2013 but my I20 has lapsed since I am not currently enrolled full-time in a school (degree completed). I am currently outside the US. I want to go back to the US to work.
Can I go to the US to visit family for about three months and interview for a position that can sponsor a H1B for me?
Will I be able to change status from B2 to H1B without leaving the country? Can I just stamp my passport the next time I am in my home country?
If I get a job in early 2011, will I still have to wait till Oct 2011 to start the job (assuming non-university job)? Or has that changed since the H1B quota no longer gets filled?

Thanks very much.  

Answer
Hi,

As the intention of your entry will be to visit rather than study, you cannot enter the U.S. on existing F1 visa stamp. You must apply for an receive B2 visa stamp from a U.S. Consulate to enter the U.S.

If you enter on B2 visa stamp, an H1B petition can be filed for you by your employer requesting change of status(we recommend waiting at least 2 months after entry before changing visa status) and change of status granted to H1B within the U.S.

Incidentally, you are not required to be present in the U.S. for an employer to file H1B petition for you. When the petition is approved by the USCIS, you will apply for H1B visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate in your home country. As the visa cap is not reached, and will probably not be reached for at least the next couple of months, the start date can be immediate. Once the visa cap is reached, then (unless exempt from the visa cap) the earliest that the H1B petition can be filed is April 01, 2011 with employment start date of Oct. 01, 2011.

Immigration Issues

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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