How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Judith Ludwic Your Own Question
Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 29023
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
12467490
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Judith Ludwic is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm currently working in the US holding a L1A visa. I'm not

Customer Question

Hi there,
I'm currently working in the US holding a L1A visa. I'm not getting the first renewal from my company, so it will expire by the end of November.
I have several employers interested in hiring me, but the issue I'm facing is that since the cap for the H1B was filled in April, they can't transfer the L1A to a H1B till the new window opens in April 2016.
Now, what I heard and read, is that something that can be done is a COS (change of status) that would allow me to start working with the "new sponsor" as early as October 2015 and then have this company applying for a H1B in April 2015 (BTW, my I94 is valid till the end of 2017).
I've been checking the information related to the COS in the USCIS website, but the content is so ambiguous that I'm not quite sure if what I told above is 100% valid.
Can you please confirm it and orient me about my possibilities about getting transferred to a H1B at this stage of the year?
Thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the request!

I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

Please give me the link to the website you read that says you can do a COS and work while waiting to file next April and begin work next Oct 1st?

It is completely false.

"Now, what I heard and read, is that something that can be done is a COS (change of status) that would allow me to start working with the "new sponsor" as early as October 2015 and then have this company applying for a H1B in April 2015 (BTW, my I94 is valid till the end of 2017)."

Often workers change status to a visitor visa which is for a maximum of 6 months before their status expires but they cannot work on that status. They request the COS for time to wrap up their personal affairs and to do sightseeing adventures before returning home. You will not get a year and you need 11 months before your H1B would go into effect 10/16.

If you get a job offer from a university or an affiliate of a university you could be cap exempt and get an H1B immediately.

That is your only option unless you want to become a student and enroll in an advanced degree. Sometimes you can get CPT = curriculum practical training in lieu of going to classes if it is directly related to the degree program and the program director recommends it and the school international office goes along with the recommendation.

Maybe you are confusing this F1 CPT option with a general COS.

I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face, but more importantly, I want you to come back to the site for all your answers from over a 100 categories of experts!
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your reply.So in order to have it clear. At this point of the year, even if an employer wants to hire me they won't be able to do it since my L1A can't be trasnferred neither process the COS into a H1B. What basically means that the company will have to wait till April 2016 to file it and then make it effective in October 2016.And what about getting a J1 visa as a trainee in something specific related to management? Is it true that in order to get this kind of visa you need to have finished your degree 1.5 years ago?Thanks!
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 2 years ago.

At this point of the year, even if an employer wants to hire me they won't be able to do it since my L1A can't be trasnferred neither process the COS into a H1B. What basically means that the company will have to wait till April 2016 to file it and then make it effective in October 2016.

That is precisely correct.

And what about getting a J1 visa as a trainee in something specific related to management? Is it true that in order to get this kind of visa you need to have finished your degree 1.5 years ago?

No incorrect.

However, the purpose of the J1 program is cultural exchange. Since you have had work experience in the US one year immediately preceding your request to participate in the J1 program you are excluded.

A trainee must be a foreign national who:

  • Has a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in his or her occupational field outside the United States; or
  • Has five years of work experience outside the United States in the occupational field in which they are seeking training

http://j1visa.state.gov/programs/trainee/

I had given the J consideration before I answered you and ruled it out.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith