Doubts for L1B to H1 VISA Transfer with or without COS


Currently I am on L1B with Employer A - VISA getting expired on April-13 & I-94 getting expired on Sep-13.

There is a possibility that I might have to go back in June-13 as project is getting completed.

There are plenty of questions :slight_smile:

  1. Can you please suggest which type of H1B VISA should I go with - with COS or without COS?

  2. There is one consultancy which is ready to file H1B for me, but they are asking for client letter. However my current client for whom I am working on L1B, will not give that letter. Is there any possibility for that consultancy to proceed without client letter? or can that consultancy become client for me (I will be on payroll for that consultancy) and provide me letter? any other suggestion/work-around?

  3. If premium processing is done - and let say in May-13 I have got H1. Will I be on L1 VISA until 01-Oct-13 ?

  4. Can I start working for new employer from 1st Oct or does it depend on COS approval date?

  5. If my premium H1 processing is in progress and in mean time I have been asked to go back to India, will my VISA application become VOID? or it will continue on its own, and once approved I will have to get stamping and start working from 1st Oct?

  6. As my I-94 is getting expired in Sep-13 - I will have to surely go back to India and get the stamping done if I get the H1 approval, right?

  1. You can go w/ either. However, as you have to leave US in June, COS doesn’t serve any purpose as you will have to return to US only after getting H-1 visa stamped.

  2. USCIS wants to confirm that H-1 sponsoring firm has enough funds to pay you your salary. All these consulting companies rely on client contracts where they will place you as a contractor (you will be an employee of the H-1 firm and contractor of the client) and get billed accordingly. This is what USCIS wants to determine if the H-1 employer has the financial ability. My suggestion will be to go w/ companies that have established clients. If the company is asking you to get clients, then that means they don’t have direct clients and/or have poor marketing team. This may hurt your immigration prospects in the long run.

  3. No. Your H-1 I-94 will start from Oct 1, and you can remain in US until that time only if you continue your L-1 employment on valid L-1 I-94. So if L-1 employer asks you to leave in b/w or your L-1 I-94 expires, you have to oblige.

  4. It will depend upon COS approval date. Lets say your COS is approved w/ effective date of Nov 1, then you can start working from Nov 1. Typically for petitions approved prior to Oct 1, this is the start date of COS. For petitions approved after Oct 1, actual approval date is the COS effective date.

  5. Your H-1 will continue to be processed, but your COS will be abandoned. Once your petition gets approved, you can appear for H-1 visa stamping and then return to US on that visa.

  6. Yes. What is the exact L-1 I-94 expiration date?

For 6) L1 - I94 expiration date is 28th Sep 2013

Thanks a lot… I really appreciate your immediate reply…!!

So there would be a gap of 2 days. I think it would be ok to stay for those days if you already have H-1 approved to start from Oct 1. My logic is that if the person is outside US when H-1 is approved, they can enter at most 10 days prior to H-1 start date even if H-1 starts from Oct 1. Using same logic, you can stay for 2 days. You can check w/ your attorney about this logic, though.