If you currently hold an L1 visa and want to change your status to H1B visa, or if you are an employer who is planning to hire an L1 visa holder, these are the things you need to be aware of:
1. An L1 visa holder can change his/her status to H1B, but will still be subject to H1B CAP.
“Change of status” only means that the applicant does not need to travel to his/her home country to get a new H1B visa stamp. He/she can change status from L1 to H1B within the United States. But this is a different issue from H1B CAP. If the applicant never had an H1B before, he/she will still be subject to the CAP. So, what usually happens is that one currently works on L1B, on April 1, he/she files an H1B petition. If the petition is approved, the applicant will work on L1B until September 30, and switch to the H1B sponsor company on October 1. If the petition is denied or the applicant was not selected for the lottery, the L1 visa is still valid, provided that the applicant still works for the same employer. Therefore, he/she can try again next year for H1B or seek for alternatives to H1B. Continue reading