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L-1 to H-1B Change of Status – October Approaching

August 26, 2011

As October 1 is approaching, it is important to note that those of you that are currently in L-1 visa status in the United States and have applied for a change of visa status to H-1B and received H-1B approval or are awaiting approval of the H-1B – that you are aware of the following:

1) Be informed of your H-1B start date indicated on your H-1B approval notice.  Typically, H-1B sponsoring employers request October 1 as start date.

2) Make sure that the H-1B approval notice has an I-94 at the bottom.  This confirms that your H-1B sponsoring employer indeed requested for a change of status to H-1B.

3) Once you become aware of your H-1B start date, and that your H-1B sponsoring employer has indicated to you that it has requested a change of status to H-1B, you must cease working for L-1 employer as of the start date on your H-1B.  Continuing to work for L-1 employer beyond the start date of H-1B (mentioned on the approval notice) means such employment is unauthorized.  This is because the immigration records/database will show that your visa status effectively changed from the start date of your H-1B and there is a presumption that you would start working for H-1B employer from that date.

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