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Conversion of L1 to H1 or possibility of using an expired H1 petition

Charlotte, NC |
Filed under: Immigration US visas

I am currently in L1 visa (valid till 2013) with company A. I am planning to move to Company B. Kindly let me know if I could make use any of the below 2 options
1) Convert my L1 to H1. If it is possible to convert this, can I do this without the agreement of company A. How long does this process take?
2) I earlier had an H1 petition from company A (visa also stamped on passport) but got expired on Feb 2009. I did not make use of that H1 i.e I didn't travel with that visa to US. Please let me know if I can still make use of this H1 by renewing it to work with Company B. If yes, please let me know how long it would take for me to start working with company B

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Unless your H-1B petition for company B is still valid, company B needs to submit a new H-1B petition on your behalf and apply for a change of status at the same time. Company A does not need to know about this. If you use "premium processing", the H-1B petition and change of status can be approved in 15 days or less.

    Please see


  2. You may apply for change of status to H1B, it will in essence be a new application.

    You will not be able to utilize the old H1B at this time since it has expired. Consider premium processing.

    Hopefully your company has a lawyer to represent you or retain one.

    Goodluck.

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