Can I change my status from B-1/B-2 to H-1B, L-1, F-1?

Question details

I have worked in the U.S. under L-1\H-1B from June-2015 to March-2020. I have been in India since the last 2 and half years (Not working for any US based company). Now I have got Job offer from a US company and the H-1B I-797 petition is approved. I have a previous employer's H-1B Visa stamp (which expired last month) in my current passport, and B1/B2 Visa stamp(got in 2013 and valid till Sep-2023) in my older passport. I also have approved I-140 (EB2) from my previous employer.

My Question is due to the high wait time for Visa appointments, in worst case, if I can not secure a visa appointment anywhere close to joining date, can I travel to the US with a valid B-1/B-2 Visa and approved I-797 and later change status to H-1B and join the job? If yes, would it impact the GC process in future?

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FAQ Transcript

I would strongly recommend against it. I think you would do a lot better trying to get an H-1B Visa stamping in a third country. People are going to places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Maldives. Look around India and you might be able to make an appointment. 

Note: Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments, blog and community calls on Where transcribed from audio/video, a verbatim transcript is provided. Therefore, it may not conform to the written grammatical or syntactical form.

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