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Immigration Issues/L2 to L1B - physically return to home country for stamp?

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Question
Hi,

I had an L2 Visa stamp in my passport from the UK on the back of my wife's L1 Visa about a year ago. I now live in the US and in the last few months have received the I797A entitling me to stay in the US on my own L1B Visa which I applied for whilst here. This is great for staying here but as I understand it if I leave the US in the next 3 years I have to go to a US consulate to have the L1B stamp put into my passport for re-entry into the US.
Is there an option of sending my passport to the US Consulate in the UK to get the stamp without going personally? My fingerprints, personal details etc will already be on file for the L2 Visa and to go to the UK would mean at least a 3-4 week trip (off work) given processing times at the consulate before I can return - not to mention the cost of flights etc to go and have this done.

Is there an easier, more cost effective option in this unusual scenario?

Best regards,
Gary

Answer
Hi,

You do not require L1B visa stamp in passport if you continue to remain in the U.S. and were granted change of status to L2 status. However, if you depart the U.S., you require L2 visa stamp issued by a U.S. Consulate in the U.K. in order to enter the U.S., as the purpose of your entry would be employment with the L1B employer.

There is no shortcut. You must apply personally at the U.S. Consulate, go through all the procedures again, pay all application fees at the Consulate, etc.

There is no provision to obtain a visa stamp within the U.S.: http://travel.state.gov/pdf/Federal%20Register-6-23-04%20Reval.pdf

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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