Once I'm in the US with a B2 visa, how long will it take to change it into a working visa? 7 Answers as of January 10, 2011

I live in Italy and I received a job offer from my cousin who lives in the US (MA). I'd like to leave as soon as possible, but getting a B2 visa takes at least a month only to receive the approval form I-797 from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (after sending the I-129 petition). Only at this point I could apply for a working visa. So I thought that I could save time by applying for a B2 visa and then change it while I'm in the US. The only problem is that I don't have the permission to work till I have the right visa, so I was wondering how long this would take. Thanks in advance!

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
The Petition for working can be filed while you are in Italy and I would strongly recommend doing this as they are running out fast. You can apply for premium processing so you can then enter directly on the working visa - H-1B.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
If you have a professional job offer and apply for H-1b work visa by regular processing = 3 months in the US.

If you have a professoinal job offer and apply for H-1b work visa by premium processing = 1 months.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
The Vega Law Firm
The Vega Law Firm | Linda Vega
You may enter the U.S. with your B-2 Visa and Change your status to that of a Non-immigrant visa that will then allow you to work. The length of time depends on the type of Non-immigrant Visa you are seeking.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/6/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
If you prepare the right package, you can get H1B within a matter of 15 days!! But be sure to prepare the approvable petition. Any mistake or ignorance cost money. If you need professional assistance, please feel free to contact us.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/6/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
If you enter the US on a B2 visa knowing that you will change status once here, that is visa fraud and can cause you a lot of trouble. Instead you can apply directly for the underlying business visa. If it is an H-1B, you can use the premium processing system, where DHS adjudicates your case in two weeks. I am happy to consult with you on this case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/6/2011
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
    Applying for a B1/B2 Visitor visa with the intent to apply for an H1B after arriving in the U.S. could result in the H1B being denied, and also your being removed from the U.S. due to fraud or misrepresentation. The proper method is to apply for an H1B visa in Italy. This requires your potential employer to file an H1B petition in the U.S. The process can take from 2 to 6 months. Also, please note that they are only a limited amount of H1B visas available and the USCIS is running out of them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2011
    Pauly P.A.
    Pauly P.A. | Clemens W. Pauly
    Your facts are not complete and confusing. Generally speaking, your future employer must first apply for a temporary work visa for you on form I-129 and after approval you need to apply for that work visa at a US Consulate before you can enter the US and begin your employment.

    If you happen to have a B2 tourist visa and you are asking if your tourist status can be changed to a work visa status in the US then the answer is generally yes and the time it takes to change your status in the US depends on the type of work visa you qualify for. This can take anywhere from 15 days to several months and you are right that you cannot begin your employment until your visa status has been changed to a work visa status.

    Your employer and you should consult with an immigration lawyer before any petitions or applications are filed in order to fully advise you of the timing and possibilities.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/5/2011
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