from B-2 to H-1B
B-2 tourist visa is a popular visa used to enter the U.S. to visit
and tour. Since it is valid for up to six months, individuals on
this visa may, during their visit here, develop a desire to stay
longer. Two of the more popular reasons to stay longer are to study
as an F-1 student or to work as an H-1B specialty occupation worker.
Such a change of visa is permitted; however, changing visa status
can be tricky and careful consideration must be taken to ensure that
further problems do not develop.
is vital that foreign nationals here in the U.S. under the B-2 visa
understand that they are expected to be in the U.S. only for a
short, temporary visit.
To obtain a B-2 visa from a U.S. consulate
or embassy overseas, the foreign national made statements to the
consular officer regarding the recreational purposes of the trip and
its temporary duration. At the end of the B-2 duration, they are
expected to leave the U.S.
can arise when the foreign national seeks a change of his visa
status immediately after entering the U.S. on a B-2. In such a
situation, an application to the INS for a change of status to H-1B
may be approved, but the problem can rear its head when the foreign
national goes abroad and seeks a new H-1B visa stamp in his
that time, a consular officer may examine the previous B-2 visa
stamp. He may note that the foreign national now has H-1B status and
then assume that foreign national, when applying for the B-2,
intended all along that he would change his status. The officer may
assume that the foreign national never intended to return home at
the end of the B-2 duration. The officer may claim that the foreign
national acted fraudulently and then deny the application for an
H-1B visa stamp leaving the H-1B foreign national stranded overseas.
avoid this, it is important that when a foreign national applies for
a B-2 tourist visa, he understands and fully intends to return home
at the end of the visa period. The foreign national planning to work
or study in the U.S., should not use the B-2 tourist visa as an
initial way to enter the U.S. Rather, it is much less risky to
obtain the I-20 paperwork from the school or approved H-1B I-797
approval notice and apply for a F-1 or H-1B at the outset, prior to
enter the U.S. By doing
this, the foreign national can then be more assured that he will be
able to enter and exit the U.S. under these statuses with less
legitimate change of heart can be accepted by the consular officer.
Persons who came in on a B-2 visa and then changed his status can
obtain H-1B and F-1 visa stamps when applying for them overseas.
However, given the possibility of being charged with fraudulent
conduct the foreign national should consult with his attorney before
leaving the country.