I am German citizen and lived in the US from 2012 to Sep 2019 on F1 visa. Despite having nice job offers (via F1-OPT and H1B subsequently) after graduating from PhD, I decided to give up my F1 status and move to Canada. I am also married to a US citizen. Greencard is in progress (I-130 submitted in Nov).

Now I would like to move back to the US (with my wife). Assuming a job offer from a company like, say, Facebook, Google or Microsoft, when is the earliest date I could start working?

  • Unfortunately greencard will still take up to a year
  • H1B premium processing would work but as far as I understand the earliest possible start date would still be October 1st?
  • I found a theortical option via L visum which could be faster (in which case I would need to be employed by an outside-US office of the company I'd like to work, example over Google Canada)

Is there any theoretical way to start working in the US (ASAP but before Oct 1), assuming the company collaborates and helps?

  • 1
    L-1B needs you to have been an employee abroad for at least one year in the last three years. Do you meet that requirement for any of your potential employers? Mar 5, 2020 at 4:25
  • No, unfortunately, so L-1B is no option ...
    – divB
    Mar 5, 2020 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


I believe, that the only way to expedite the H1B process (and also guarantee your visa) is if you were applying to work for an university. My understanding is that because they're cap-exempt you may start working as soon as your visa is granted.

Other than that, your best shot would be to contact the local US Consulate and check if they would be willing to accept an direct application for your IR petition. They can process and and approve your application in a matter of days. I heard of cases likes this before when the applicant or USC has a job offer back in the US, however, this case was back in Asia.

  • what do you mean by "direct application for yout IR petition"? Do you have any references or suggestions where I could find anything formal on this? One of the "Big Five" tech companies is willing to give me a job offer and work together with the consulate for such an arrangement but I need to provide them with information how this would help.
    – divB
    Mar 16, 2020 at 19:18
  • 1
    @divB What I mean is a process called "Direct Consular Filing" in which you file the I-130 at the Consulate instead of a lockbox in the U.S. I don't know the details of this process, check this discussion board for more information: visajourney.com/forums/forum/… I hope it helps!
    – IanDan
    Mar 16, 2020 at 21:47

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