Immigration Issues/L1 visa and marriage


Hi Ms. Eileen! I'm in the Philippines, I have heard that my company is currently processing my L1 visa, I donít know how far theyíve gone with it or if they really have started the application process (company won't disclose). The problem is Ií m getting married within the months of may to july ( I still donít know the exact date ). Now, since my company is processing the l1 visa while Iím on single status, is it possible to go to the US without changing my status yet even if I get married before or after the approval of my visa? Can I still get my husband? Will it work if I do my paperworks regarding change of status from single to married when I reach the US then petition my husband for L2?

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Hello Jas,

In your case, you can still apply for your visa after the L-1 petition gets approved.  If you are married at the time that you apply for the visa at the Embassy in Manila, then you can also apply for your husband's L-2 visa.  (And the great thing about the L-2 visa is that he can work in the US - but you must apply for a work permit after he enters the US).

It's puzzling to me that your company won't tell you what is going on with the application process, especially given that you are trying to schedule your wedding and your life!

By the way, no where in the initial petition for L-1 status is there any mention of your marital status.  It's irrelevant until you apply for your visa at the Embassy.  If you are single at that time, then tell them so.  If you are married, then submit an application for your husband's L-2.

Happy Kasal.  (My husband is Filipino)  I hope it all works out for you.

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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