Immigration Issues/L2 to H4 transfer


Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves  

My husband is on L1B visa and working for Company A. He got his H1B approved with Company B. Myself and our kid are both on L2 visa and our I-94 expires on Aug-2012. Now Company B wants my husband to travel to India and get his H1B stamped as he has not applied for COS along with his H1B petition. Should we also need to travel with him to get our H4 stamped or can we both(myself and kid) manage to get a Change Of Status(COS) being here in US once my husband returns from India in H1B visa status? If in that case will we be out of status for few days until my husband returns and Company B files our H4 visas. Is there any timeline of 180 days for this?

Seeking your expert advice.

Thanks in advance

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear RNair:

Good question and the answer  is this:

Yes, you (the adult dependent) and child (minor dependent) should travel back to India (assuming you are also Indian nationals) to get your H-4 visa stamps.  If your husband did not do a COS, then I am guessing whoever their representative was, did not also file a COS for you and child.

You would be considered out of status the moment your husband leaves the US, since you have no authorization to be in the US as L2s if he is in fact leaving L-1B status and returning to Indian for his H-1B.

If CIS does not take that view, they will certainly view that you and child as L-2s are out of status when he returns as H-1B and you are still L-2s.  

As far as the 180 count, it is possible, but the law is not clear on it.  If I were you, I would not chance it, especially if you have to return to India for your next visa.  As you know, the Embassy there is not very forgiving of even minor violations and/or overstays.

Good luck,
Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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