L1 to H1 change.., L1 expired, i-94 valid


My L1 Visa expired last year, but my I-94 is valid till next year. I know i can legally work on I-94. But my question is..
  1. Can i apply H-1 this year, with a new company, on COS or as a new H-1 (seperately)?

  2. If i apply H-1 seperately, can i stiil be on I-94 and work till my i-94 expires, with my old company, and then work on H-1?

Please let me know. Thanks in advance.

  • Vandana
  1. Yes

  2. I think you are referring to H-1 w/ consular processing (i.e. w/o COS). In this case, you can continue to work on L-1 until current I-94 expiration date. To work after that, you need to have COS approved from L-1 to H-1, or enter US on stamped H-1 visa. You need to file COS prior to I-94 expiring so that it gets approved in time for you to start working on H-1 once L-1 I-94 expires. If L-1 I-94 expires and your H-1 COS is not approved, then you cannot work for any employer until COS gets approved.

Thanks for the answer Saurabh.
But i didn’t totally understand your answer, am sorry .

  • So, even if i apply for H-1 w/ consular processing (i.e. w/o COS), i will have to file COS for working on H-1? or can i work on H-1 from october without COS?
  • What would you suggest - file H-1 with COS or H-1 w/ consular processing (i.e. w/o COS), considering my situation??

Thanks again Saurabh …

The chances of approval are the same in both cases.

If you want to start working on H-1 as early as possible, then have the H-1 filed w/ COS.

If you want to work on L-1 until it’s I-94 expiration date, then have H-1 filed w/o COS (i.e. consular processing). You can later file separate COS or enter US on stamped H-1 visa to start working on H-1. You cannot work on H-1 until either of these two are done.

Does that clarify?