L to H Visa Conversion: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re currently in the United States on an L1 visa, there may come a time when you want to change your visa status to an H1B. The L1 is a non-immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to work in the US for up to seven years, while the H1B is a temporary work visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations. This guide will provide you with all the information you’ll need to know about the L to H visa conversion process, including the legal and procedural aspects of the conversion process.

Key Takeaways

  • An L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the US for up to seven years, while an H1B is a temporary work visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations.
  • The L to H visa conversion process requires an employer to file an H1B petition on behalf of the L1 visa holder, which must be approved by USCIS.
  • The L to H visa conversion process can be complex, and it’s essential to follow the legal requirements and procedures to ensure a successful conversion.

Qualifications for the H1B Visa

To qualify for an H1B visa, you must:

  • Have a job offer from a US employer.
  • Work in a specialty occupation, which means you must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field related to the job.
  • Be paid at least the prevailing wage.

Process for Converting from L to H Visa

The process for converting from L to H visa is as follows:

  1. Employer Files H1B Petition: The employer who is offering you the job must file an H1B petition on your behalf. This petition must be filed with USCIS and should include all the necessary documentation, including copies of your L1 visa and passport, your educational credentials, and your job offer letter.

  2. H1B Petition is Approved: If your H1B petition is approved, you will be issued an H1B visa. You can start working on the date specified on the H1B approval notice.

  3. Apply for Change of Status: If you are already in the US on an L1 visa, you must file an application with USCIS to change your status from L1 to H1B. This application should be filed concurrently with the H1B petition.

  4. Leave the US If the L1 Visa Expires: If your L1 visa expires before your H1B visa is approved, you must leave the US and wait until your H1B visa is approved before returning to the US to work.

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Legal and Procedural Aspects of the L to H Visa Conversion Process

The legal and procedural aspects of the L to H visa conversion process can be complex, and it’s essential to follow the correct procedures to ensure your application is approved.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • The employer who is offering the job must file an H1B petition on your behalf. This petition must be filed with USCIS, and it should include all the necessary documentation, including copies of your L1 visa and passport, your educational credentials, and your job offer letter.
  • USCIS will review the H1B petition and determine whether you meet the requirements for an H1B visa. If your petition is approved, you will be issued an H1B visa.
  • If you are already in the US on an L1 visa, you must file an application with USCIS to change your status from L1 to H1B. This application should be filed concurrently with the H1B petition.
  • If your L1 visa expires before your H1B visa is approved, you must leave the US and wait until your H1B visa is approved before returning to the US to work.

Conclusion

Overall, the L to H visa conversion process can be complex, but if you follow the correct procedures, it’s possible to successfully change your visa status. Remember to ensure that you meet all the qualifications for an H1B visa, and work closely with your employer and an experienced immigration attorney to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

FAQ

Q. Do I need to have a job offer to apply for an H1B visa?A. Yes, you must have a job offer from a US employer to apply for an H1B visa.

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Q. Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree to qualify for an H1B visa?A. Yes, you must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field related to the job to qualify for an H1B visa.

Q. How long can I work on an H1B visa?A. You can work on an H1B visa for up to six years, but you can extend your H1B visa beyond six years in certain circumstances.

About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

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