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Change status B2 to H1B

Eure, NC |

If I enter in the US with a visa B2 and then I find a company that wants to sponsor me for the H1B, is it legally allowed apply for change status from B2 to H1B where I am in the US? And what is the processing time for change status?
Or I have to come back in my country for apply for H1B?
Which one of these situation is better?
Another question: if I want to stay in the US for tourist for 79 days, is it better to apply for the B2 or under the Visa Waiver Program?
Thank you very much.

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Attorney answers 2


Actually there are at least two questions there but I will answer them one by one:

1. Yes you can change from B2 to H1B however, there are few problems with this. One is that H1B is not available right now, you can only apply on April 1, 2010. If you make it through the possible lottery, you will need an approval. Once approved it will kick in only on Oct 1. During this entire time you have to maintain status to reach October 1. If you don't only consular processing is possible. Therefore it is logical to do a consular processing.
2. The B2 will give you more assurance of entry and you can always file for a possible change of status while the VWP is often easier, it does not allow change of status except adjustment under marriage.

Good Luck
Shah Peerally
Founder and Managing Attorney of Shah Peerally Law Group PC
Law Firm Deals in Immigration law, Bankruptcy & Debt Relief
37600 Central Ct, Ste 201,
Newark CA 94560

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I agree with my colleague's reply. I would only clarify a couple of issues with regard to the H-1B.

You don't mention your field, nationality, or whether you have recently had an H-1B before. Some employers - universities and certain affiliates of universities - are exempt from the numerical limitation (even if you don't work in an educational role), and so you can still get an H-1B working for such an employer in the near term even though the cap has been reached (otherwise delaying the earliest H-1B start date to October 1 as stated).

Individuals from Singapore or Chile have H-1Bs reserved for them outside of the cap by treaty, while individuals from Australia have an almost identical visa - the E-3 - reserved by treaty and statute. Individuals from Mexico and Canada may have access to TNs for certain professions.

If you have had an H-1B recently and have not spent a full year abroad yet, you can still get the remainder of that H-1B without again being subject to the cap.