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October 11, 2022

Changing B-1/B-2 Status To H-1B Visa- PART 1

Many people find it difficult to secure an H-1B sponsor from abroad. They often inquire as to  how they can transfer their visa status from B-1 or B-2 to H-1B while being present in the U.S. B-1 and B-2 visas are nonimmigrant visas that are provided to foreigners wanting to come to the U.S. on a short term basis such as business, tourism, or medical treatment which is usually for 3 to 6 months.


What Are B-1 And B-2 Visas?

A B-1 visa is a temporary business visitor visa. This visa is issued to people who are taking part in commercial or professional business activity. Whereas a B-2 visa is a temporary visa given to people who want to temporarily come to the U.S for a vacation or for leisure.

Currently, an individual is allowed to stay in the U.S. on any one trip for a maximum of 1 year, including the period for visa extension. Compared to the initial application for B-1 and B-2 visas, it is hard to obtain extensions of up to 1 year and requires comprehensive and detailed paperwork.

B-1 and B-2 visa bearers are not permitted to apply for any job within the U.S. They also cannot earn credit for any studies completed in the country. But, they can have an employer file a petition for them to shift to H-1B status if the conditions are fulfilled.


Requirements For An H-1B Visa

There are several advantages of having an H-1B visa. Comparatively, it has fewer requirements which can easily be fulfilled. Plus this visa is highly portable and you can stay for up to six years in the U.S. including extensions. Portability refers to the ability to work full or part-time, working for multiple employers at the same time and the ability to switch jobs.


Other conditions are as follows:

  • You must have a job invitation from a U.S.-based employer for a ‘Speciality’ position
  • You must at least have a bachelor’s degree that is needed for your position

The important thing to know is that you must prove that you and your employer have a legitimate employer-employee relationship,  which means that you cannot be your own employer and file an application for yourself. Additionally, you must make it clear that your job position is deemed as a ‘Specialty Occupation’ which requires your degree.

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