Immigration Issues/Reg L1-H1B COS

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Question
Hi, I am currently on L1 in USA through an X employer and I have an H1B approval which was applied in 2008 and got approved through a Y consultancy. I didnt get H1 stamping in India due to recession and came to USA in 2010 on L1 through X employer. Now I wanted to move to H1 from L1 and my Y consultancy applied for an H1 amendment + Change of status from L1-H1. I got an RFE for a missing client location. My Y consultancy has responded for that RFE. They have asked me to join the company with just the receipt number. But I resisted that and told them that I could work only upon the approval of COS. So they have threatened to file a law suit against me. Since I feel insecure to join the consultancy, I have decided to stay in my current company on L1.
Now I have the following questions.
I want to stay in my L1 job for X employer now. If my L1-H1 COS gets approved, Can I stay in my current L1 job?
Will my status gets changed to H1B after approval even without my H1 Consultancy not running the payroll for me?
Should I go to Canada/Mexico and come back on L1 to retain my L1 status? If so is it safe?
Can my employer/ myself withdraw the COS petition before approval?
How long does it take to withdraw a petition?
Thanks

Answer
Hi,

If H1B petition is approved granting you change of status, you will automatically be in H1B status at that point and no longer have L1 status as the change of status will have been the "latest action" by the USCIS.

If granted change of status to H1B, and you do not want to work for the H1B employer, then I suggest that you depart the U.S. (Canada or Mexico may or may not be OK, as you are not always issued new I-94 upon entry to the U.S.) after H1B approval granting change of status. Upon entry to the U.S. through unexpired L1 visa stamp in your passport, the I-94 issued at port-of-entry states L1, which will reinstate you in L1 status.

Your H1B employer can withdraw the H1B petition, but you cannot do so.

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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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