Our firm often gets asked the question: which is better, consular processing or change of status? The answer usually depends on your situation and whether or not you are inside the U.S. If you are overseas, then you do not have a choice and must go through consular processing.
Ideally, most H1B applicants would want to change their status rather than go through consular processing. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators
This is because the change of status happens automatically once you begin your employment, requiring no further action from either you or your employer. Consular processing subjects you to the rules and waiting periods of the particular consulate or embassy that you use, which usually includes an H1B interview.
One main drawback to using consular processing is this: your visa could be denied regardless of whether or not your petition is approved.
The immigration officer in charge of your interview process has the authority to deny your visa and also to suspend a decision on your case for an indefinite amount of time. This can sometimes result in having your I-129 approval expire before the consulate makes a decision.
However, if you are in the U.S. you can opt for consular processing if you would like to have greater control over the validation start date of your visa. Here is an example to illustrate. Julio is in the U.S. under TN status and has an approved H-1B petition.
He wants to apply for a green card, but cannot do so under TN status. Therefore he opts for consular processing so that he can “activate” his H1B status as soon as he is ready to apply for a green card.
Some may consider attempting to enter the U.S. through a different visa status (such as B-2 or J-1) so that they can simply apply for a change of status to get an H1B visa. For H1B Visa Process Visit here
However, the B-2 only grants you a six-month stay, which is often not enough time to obtain an H1B. The J-1 visa holder must comply with the directors of his or her sponsoring program, and so can easily encounter unnecessary complications. Your immigration attorney will be able to guide you in this decision.