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Immigration Issues/Death of the Visa Holder


My friend is an L1B Visa Holder and brought his family to the US. Unfortunately, he met an accident while working offshore San Diego. Will his dependents be allowed to stay while the case is in progress and what options can they take to remain in the US.

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Stephen,

First of all, condolences to you and your friend's surviving family.  It sounds like a very sad situation, and if he was working offshore as an L-1B person of specialized knowledge, I gather he was developing or working on something important to our nation, be it in support of our natural resources or other offshore projects.  I'm sorry to hear of this loss.

Unfortunately, his dependents would not be allowed to stay. Their visa statuses do depend on the primary's status.  Without him, they would have to find an independent grounds to stay on their own merits.  The children might be able to get F-1 status as students, but that means they'll probably have to find a private, tuition-based  school.  His wife, if she is at all eligible for another type of work visa would then have to find an employer to sponsor her.

If his wife can find another status to stand on, *on her own qualifications,* then of course, the children can would be her dependents and there would be no need for them to be on student status.  I mention the student status idea above in that if the mother could not find a status of her own, then the children could try to stay as foreign students on their own (without her).  Not sure that's the best idea if the family is in grieving, but as far as immigration options, those are my initial thoughts.

If the family has follow up questions, please continue to post.

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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