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Can I start working after receiving the email approval notice of COS from F2 to H1B?

New York, NY |

My new employer just got the email notification that my new H1B was approved. However, it would take a few more days before we receive the actual paper approval notice.

I was told that I could not start working until receiving the paper approval notice, because the I would not be I9ed without the paper approval. Is this correct?

If yes, why cannot I get the I9 done? What information do I need from the paper approval for I9? My understanding is that there is not much information on the approval notice anyway (I had h1b before).

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Attorney answers 3


The email is simply a courtesy. You have to wait until the company receives the official notice and only then can you start working from the date on the notice. It may only be from October unless it is an H1b transfer.



I don't need to wait until October because I am not subject to the quota. I know for H1B transfer, you can start working after you get the receipt from USCIS for your H1B application. Mine is change of status, so it's different. But really don't understand why we need to wait until the actual paper approval notice. Thanks.


You need to wait for the approval notice as that is the only way to know what the validity dates of the approval are.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


If the notification was official ( for example in premium processing you would recieve a fax first), yes.

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