L1 to H1 transfer COS vs. Consular Notification

Hi - I am currently in US on L1B visa. My application got picked up in second H1B lottery and my lawyers are currently filing it. I had a question on whether I should apply using Consular Notification or Change of Status. My wife is also in the US and she was planning to apply for L2 to get a job here. So, I am thinking of applying for Consular Notification. My questions are:

  1. Is there any risk in applying for Consular Notification vs. Change of Status?

  2. Once approved for Consular, how much time do I have to activate my H1? My L1B visa’s first 3 years are ending in May 2021 and I was planning to file an L1 extension then

Read the difference here:

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@Anil.Gupta thank you so much for the reply. Given the current scenario, do you think USCIS will be more likely to approve COS compared to Consular?

Also, my wife is in US on L1 and needs to move to L2. Changing status in US is taking 8-9 months. Are US consulates in Canada or India currently processing L2 visas? And will she be allowed entry in US with valid L2?

Approval depends on your paperwork, what you request and not USCIS officer’s choice.

You can enter US if you have valid visa.

Hi @anil_am22,
I am on an L1B visa (valid until December 2021) but since my old passport is due to expire on 15 October 2020, my I-94 is also getting expired.

Also H1B lottery/petition was approved in 2019 but it is not “activated” yet.

Since I-94 is expiring, my employer’s attorney suggested that they will file for L1B to H1B COS along with I-129 extension of stay. That way COS will happen and extension of stay will happen too.

I asked them for the details of my currently approved H1B petition but they said they would only give the details (I-797, etc) after the extension petition is approved.

Should I take the risk of this extension petition or simply go to Mexico and update I-94 while retaining L1B?

My wife is working on L2 EAD - so if I change status to H1B successfully, she will lose her work permit right away.
If my H1B COS/petition is denied/rejected, I would need to leave the country immediately. Would L1B visa be void in this case after passport expiry OR I can go out of country and come back on L1B even after initial I-94 expiry?

Thanks in advance!

Hi @akashg

Its your choice to change over to H1B or stay on L1B.

L1B can be applied again and can be approved even if you change to H1B.

Thanks @anil_am22

I got H1B COS done and then travelled outside US and came back on L1B visa. This worked out fine.

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