Changing Status to H-1B in the U.S.

If you are already in the United States in another nonimmigrant status, you may be able to change status to H-1B while remaining in the US.

If you are currently in J-1 or J-2 status and are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, we will not be able to request a change of status on your behalf unless you have received a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.

If you are eligible to change status to H-1B while remaining in the US, then MUSCwill request the change of status on your behalf within the H-1B petition. You must be maintaining your current nonimmigrant status, or be in an authorized grace period, until the H-1B petition is adjudicated. Once the H-1B petition is approved and the H-1B approval notice has been received, your status will change to H-1B.

Traveling While H-1B Change of Status Petition is Pending

You are advised not to travel outside of the US while an H-1B change of status petition is pending with USCIS. If you travel outside of the US while your H-1B change of status petition is pending with USCIS, USCIS will consider that you have abandoned this petition, and it may be denied.

Please notify CGH immediately if you are planning on traveling at all in the coming months during the preparation of your H-1B petition. Your travel plans may have an impact on the timing of the filing of MUSC's H-1B petition.

I-94 Record & Visa

If you are already in the US and MUSC has requested a change of status to H-1B, a new I-94 record will be attached to the I-797 H-1B approval notice. This I-94 record will replace your previous I-94 record and will show your new nonimmigrant status (H-1B) and dates of valid status in the US. The eleven-digit I-94 number should be the same as the number you were given when you last entered the US.

Please note that the I-94 record on the US Customs and Border Protection website will not update unless you depart from the US and physically re-enter the US in H-1B status. This is why you have been issued a paper I-94 record along with the H-1B approval notice. You should use the paper I-94 record showing your status as H-1B if you are asked to provide your I-94 record.

If you change status to H-1B while in the US, this means that you may not have an H-1B visa stamp in your passport. You do not need an H-1B visa stamp in your passport in order to be in legal H-1B status in the US as long as you have your Form I-797A H-1B approval notice and your new I-94 record reflecting your H-1B status. You will only need to get an H-1B visa stamp in your passport if you travel outside of the US and need to re-enter the US in H-1B status.