Change employer without working for H1B sponsoring employer? L1 to H1B


I am currently in US on L1B from Employer A (petition and I-94) valid till Feb 2021 and would have another 2 years to max out (Feb 2023).

My current employer is not supporting to file H1B, so I want to apply for H1B consular processing through another employer B this year, so that I can initiate PERM/I140 and secure an early priority date.

I understand that with consular processing approval, USCIS would give me I797-B (without I-94), which means I can continue to work for Employer B, till I re-enter US with H1B visa stamped on passport.

Assuming my H1B would be picked & approved in 2020 with 2-3 years validity, I have below few queries:


  1. Can my H1B (if approved for Employer B) be transferred to Employer A, while I continue to work for Employer A?

  2. How long can I wait (and continue working for Employer A on L1B), before going for H1B stamping and start working for Employer B (assuming Employer B would not revoke my H1B anytime soon).

  3. Can I change employer i.e., work for Employer C immediately after I get H1B stamping done?

  4. Suppose my current employer A initiates GC process based on L1B, would there be any challenges in PERM/I140 approval, if my current L1B petition is expired and under extension.

Thanks for your feedback.

  1. Yes
  2. No need to wait. It is all up to you. Employer B cannot revoke, they can only withdraw petition.
  3. You may, but you need h1B approval for them too.
  4. The PERM process is for a position and it does not matter. Talk to an attorney on this one to be sure.

Thanks for your response.

Let’s say H1B is approved under consular processing for 2-3 years validity and presuming employer B does not withdraw the petition ever.

  1. I want to understand, how many months/years can I continue working for Employer A on L1B, before I get a chance to go out of US and re-enter with H1B stamped on passport to activate H1B?

  2. Do I need to activate H1B visa by re-entering US with H1B visa stamped on passport, before another employer could file cap exempt H1B petition (COS) for me?

There is no limit as such. What they will do is look at your overall stay in US. The max out period to stay in US is 6 years for H1B and 5 years for L1…So, you need I-140 approval before that to get extensions.

You can file for COS as well, talk to your attorney.