Can I transfer jobs on a L1B-I visa?


I have a valid L1B-Individual visa (not the L1B- Blanket visa) which is valid till August 2012. I am right now with employer A on this visa. Now I am planning to switch jobs from employer A to employer B. What are my options open given that the H1-B quota for this fiscal year has been filled up.

  1. Can I transfer jobs on a L1B-I visa i.e. can the same visa be transferred from employer A to B? If not, then can company B apply for a fresh L1B visa for me while I am with company A in US itself. P.S. Company B is a US based company. Once they have the visa, I will then quit company A and join B.

  2. Can I transfer my L1B-I to a H1-B, given the fact that the quota for this fiscal has been reached? But here too I dont know whether my existing employer A would do that for me. They are infact applying for my L1B extension now since it is going to expire in another 3 months.

What are my options left to join the new employer B now?

An early reply would really help me in my decision.

No. You cannot. L1 is for intra company transfers. But If an employer sponsers H1 for u, u can change your status from L1 to H1. If your H1 is applied via COS(change of status) you can start working for differnet company once your H1 is approved. If its not COS and if it is CP(through consular process), you can either go back to India and get your stamping done or you can fiel pettion for amendement saying you are laready in US on L1 status and want to change to H1 in which case it depends on the USCIS whetehr to grant COS or not. For your information: This year’s H1 quota is already full and if your Company B the H-1B petitioning employer is cap-exempt then they can apply an H1 for you now also.

One clarification needed:

When you say “if an employer sponsers H1 for you”, you mean to say the new employer, right? Because in my case, the existing employer may not agree to sponsor a H1 for me. They are going to file an extension for me on L1B itself…

Which way is better: applying H1 through COS or through CP? I guess applying through COS sounds better but is there a catch in it? How will the new employer B know that it has to apply through a COS?

If i get a H1 visa, then it would be for the tenure of 6 yrs minus the period I already stayed in US on L1-B?

Finally, how do i know whether the new company B, the H1B petitioning employer is cap exempt? Is there a list of such companies published somewhere? Does USCIS provide this information on its website?


If suppose the company B decides to sponsor a H1 for me now i.e. my status will change from L1 to H1, will this H1 count in the quota of 65,000 or is it outside the purview of that?

As the quota is done for the year, no one can sponsor H-1 for you. Any employer can sponsor H-1 next fiscal year (April 2013).