All the information here is not from professional legal advise, but most are based on actual student experience and research.
Here is an interesting comment about L-1 visa to H-1B visa transfer without the need for H-1B approval notice documents.
I am currently in the US on L-1, but i am also having an H-1B petition which was approved in Sept. 2006.
I have never used my H-1B, but now I am planning to shift to H-1 status.
At the same time i am planning to change my employer, i only have the EAD no and no documents apart from that.
Is it possible to change my employer and change my status from L-1 to H-1?
L-1 to H-1B transfer
Yes, you can transfer from L-1 visa to H-1B visa. If you have an H-1B approval notice, I-797 form and recent pay stubs, there shouldn’t be any problem.
For an H-1B transfer you will need recent pay stubs, H-1B approval notice and a few other documents. Without these, an H-1B transfer is not possible.
Looks like you don’t have an H-1B approval notice, so I think it will be hard. If you can get a copy of your approval notice, then you can apply for transfer.
You might want to talk to an immigration attorney who can help you with this kind of situation. This way, you should be able to get an additional copy of your H-1B approval notice.
However, I think that to get that, you might at least need to have the receipt number to track your case.
I’m not sure if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides duplicate copies of H-1B approval notices without showing an H-1B case receipt number.
Usually, you need recent pay slips from current employer who holds your H-1B visa. Since you are currently in L-1, I’m not sure how this situation will work.
I strongly recommend spending around $200 to $300 and get consultation with an immigration attorney, instead of just posting requests and trying to get help from forums and blogs.
If you are not willing to spend $300, then you are simply putting yourself into a big trouble.
In any case of H-1B transfer, you will some attorney who will send a petition to USCIS, but make sure your new employer knows that you still don’t have your H-1B approval notice with you.
I would recommend that you consult an immigration law attorney and get all possible options that you have for an L-1 to H-1B transfer.
Will an H-1B visa approved in 2006 still be active?
If your previous employer who had submitted your H-1B haven’t revoked the case, it should still be active and since you got approval once, you will not come under quota.
So the bottom line really is for you to get professional help from a good immigration lawyer. Good luck!