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Old Mar 21st 2005, 9:42 pm   #1
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paulmcphillimy is an unknown quantity at this point
Exclamation L1 visa but want to change Jobs

I currently have a L1 visa and will be bringing my wife her on an L2 visa.

I have the oppurtunity to change jobs for a lot better package.

How can I go about changing visas, I guess I need a H visa?

Big Q, do I need ot leave the country to change visas or can I do it here in the US and when I quit my old job will my visa automatically become invalid and be forced to leave the country or is there a grace period.

any help will be very helpful. Will go to a visa lawyer if needed but hoped to save the xpense and get an idea before having to go for the actual applications etc...

Paul
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Old Mar 21st 2005, 11:22 pm   #2
jjf
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Default Re: L1 visa but want to change Jobs

paulmcphillimy wrote:
    > I currently have a L1 visa and will be bringing my wife her on an L2
    > visa.
    > I have the oppurtunity to change jobs for a lot better package.
    > How can I go about changing visas, I guess I need a H visa?
    > Big Q, do I need ot leave the country to change visas or can I do it
    > here in the US and when I quit my old job will my visa automatically
    > become invalid and be forced to leave the country or is there a
    > grace period.

Don't confuse the ideas of 'visa' and 'status'. A visa is a thing
stuck in your passport, and is only of any relevance at the time
you ask to enter the USA. Your status is the immigration category
under which you are currently in the USA.

If the new job qualifies for an H-1B, the new employer can apply
for H-1B authorisation for you and request to change your status
to H-1B so you can start working for him. Unless you are in certain
special categories, the earliest start date that will be authorized
for a new H-1B at the moment is 1 October 2005. You must carry on
working for your current employer until the H-1B start date, and
must start with the new employer on that date.

If you change to H-1B status and subsequently want to travel
outside the USA and return, you must get an H-1B visa in your
passport while you are out of the USA.

If your wife enters the USA to join you while you are still in L-1
status, she must use an L-2 visa. If she joins you after you've
changed to H-1B she must use an H-4 visa. If she joins you while
you are still an L-1 and you subsequently change to H-1B, she must
also file a change of status request from L-2 to H-4 to take effect
at the same time as your change. H-4s can't work, by the way.

If you quit your current job before the change-of-status approval
date, you go out of status and are required to leave the USA
immediately. Your L-1 visa does not become invalid, but it becomes
useless in practice - you can only use it to enter the USA in L-1
status, and if you no longer work for a company that has L-1
authorization for you then you can't enter in that status.
 
Old Mar 22nd 2005, 2:08 am   #3
Ingo Pakleppa
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Default Re: L1 visa but want to change Jobs

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paulmcphillimy wrote:
    | I currently have a L1 visa and will be bringing my wife her on an L2
    | visa.
    |
    | I have the oppurtunity to change jobs for a lot better package.
    |
    | How can I go about changing visas, I guess I need a H visa?

Probably, it depends on the new job, of course.

    | Big Q, do I need ot leave the country to change visas or can I do it
    | here in the US and when I quit my old job will my visa automatically
    | become invalid and be forced to leave the country or is there a
    | grace period.

I note that jjf already pointed you to the difference between status and
visa. My FAQ site at http://www.kkeane.com has more details about this.

In short, what you are primarily interested in is status, not visa. It
can probably be changed without leaving the USA. Your old status indeed
ends the day you quit the job. As long as the change of status has been
filed in time, that's not a problem.

Do note that there could be a snag in your plan. Since you would be
applying for an H-1B visa, the quota may become an issue. Currently, the
quota has not yet been reached, after an extra 20,000 slots have been
made available. But nobody knows how long this will last.

Also, do be aware that your wife would be allowed to work only if you
are an L-1. The wife of an H-1B is an H-4, and would not be able to work
(unless she can get an H-1B of her own).

    | any help will be very helpful. Will go to a visa lawyer if needed but
    | hoped to save the xpense and get an idea before having to go for the
    | actual applications etc...

Your employer, not you, will file all the paperwork, and probably also
hire an attorney and guide you. It is an excellent idea to educate
yourself first so you know what questions to ask.

Ingo

- --
Remember, I am strictly a layperson without any legal training. I
encourage everybody to seek competent legal counsel rather than
relying on usenet newsgroups.

Please visit my new FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com (always under
construction)

My email address in usenet posts is now invalid for Spam protection.
See my Web site for information on how to contact me.

Please feel free to enjoy some of my photographs at my Web site
http://www.ingopakleppa.com ! Comments are welcome.
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