Immigration Issues/J-1 to H1B transfer

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Question
Hi,

I am a French national currently working in the US under a J-1 visa expiring 8/31/13. I would like to know if I, or rather the company I work for, can file an application for an H1B visa for FY 2014 starting 10/1/13 while I am still in the US? If so, do I have to go back to France between 8/31 and 10/1 to have my visa approved and stamped?

I would like to point out that I am not subject to the two-year rule.

Thank you,
Jean-Charles.

Answer
Hi,

As you are not subject to the 2-year home country requirement, an H1B petition for fiscal year 2014 can be filed no earlier than April 01, 2013 with employment start date of Oct. 01, 2013. Since Oct. 01, 2013 is within the 30-day grace period applicable to J1 visa status, you can remain legally in the U.S. after Aug. 31, 2013, assuming that the H1B petition is approved with validity date of Oct. 01, 2013 and you have been granted "change of status" on that date. In this scenario, you will automatically be in H1B status on Oct. 01, 2013 and need not depart the U.S.

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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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