Immigration Issues/L1 to H1B COS

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,

I am working on L1 visa with company A. Company B has applied for my H1B (premium processing) with change of status starting from 1st Oct. My H1B petition has not been approved yet. I have a couple of queries.

1. If I do not want to take up the job with company B in Oct, then is there a way to keep my L1 visa from becoming invalid?

2. If my current employer applies for my Green Card, then will there be any implication on my Green Card processing due to this H1 petition filed by the other employer?

Thanks,
V

ANSWER: Hi,

If Co. B requested "change of status" on the H1B petition, then you will automatically be in H1B status on Oct. 01, and since you can only hold one visa status at a time, you will no longer be in L1 status on Oct. 01. To remedy this situation, you should depart the U.S. at some point and then enter the U.S. on Oct. 01 or very shortly thereafter. At time of entry, show your unexpired L1 visa stamp so that the I-94 issued to you at the port-of-entry indicates L1 status.

The H1B filing will not interfere with Co. A's green card process, assuming that you intend to work for Co. A in the future.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for the response. I have a follow-up query.

My H1 petition is still pending approval. If I leave the country now for a
vacation with the H1 approval pending and then re-enter on my valid L1 visa then what will happen;

Would my H1 get disapproved? Or is it that, my H1 might get approved but my status would not automatically change to H1 on 1st of Oct?

Answer
If you depart the U.S. while the H1B petition is pending, it is approvable by the USCIS, but when the petition is approved, it will state consular processing instead of change of status. Therefore, you will not automatically be in H1B status on Oct. 01. To obtain H1B status based on the H1B approval with consular processing, you must first obtain H1B visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate (normally in your home country) and then enter the U.S. by showing the H1B visa stamp so that the I-94 issued to you at the port-of-entry indicates H1B status.

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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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