Legal Question in Immigration Law in Washington

Currently on an L-1 with company A, can I have another company (B) file an H-1 for me this season - and if approved, I have no obligation to change my status to an H-1, and just hold on to it? Should I choose to change jobs (which I can't on an L-1B alone), I can just transfer my H-1 from company B to new employer company C.

Thank you in advance.

Asked on 2/09/14, 7:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Marlene Hemmings Marlene Hemmings, Attorney at Law

You can change status from L-1A/B to H-1B. However, if approved, you should not necessarily "hang onto" the H-1B. Since you would be subject to the H-1B cap, you would be taking away a visa number from someone who actually could use it immediately.

Also, keep in mind that you can only have 6 years cumulatively in L-1A and H-1B status combined. (5 years for L-1B and H-1B).

You cannot transfer H-1B employers until you are actually employed by the first H-1B employer. Moreover, since you would be subject to the H-1B cap, the petitioner cannot file your case until 04/01/2014, for a 10/01/2014 start date. And, that is assuming your case is chosen out of the well over 65,000 cases that are filed each April 1st, and approved.

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Answered on 2/10/14, 10:02 am

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