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Immigration Issues/H1B approval when on vacation on L1

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QUESTION: Hi Ajay

I went on vacation with my l1 which was valid till march 2013. During that time my company had also applied for H1  cos. When i was in INDIA i got the info that h1 is approved too. But by that time my l1 stamping was over at the chennai consulate and i returned to US with l1 and got i94 at port of entry based on that. Then i received the approval document of h1 with i94 . The max date was march 2014.
H1 start date oct 30 2011 and L1 i94 port of date is Nov 14 2011.

Also after coming back i moved to Atlanta and so i had to get my new drivers license. For which they told me wait for a week to know the status of my H1 so that they can give the validity date on my license till to match my H1 validity. so that I don't have to come for renewal very soon. Then they got back and said H1 is good and they gave me the license till that date.

Please let me know is that still a problem . thanks in advance.

ANSWER: Hi,

You are actually currently in L1 status, since you entered the U.S. through L1 visa after H1B approval granting change of status with start date of Oct. 30.

In any event, you can rely on the driver's license. It remains valid even if issued based on H1B as opposed to L1 status, since those technical details are not noted anywhere on the driver's license.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you very much for the immediate reply. I really appreciate. Actually my question is about my status . What would happen once L1 is expired on march 2013. Will the h1 get valid or i have to take some steps? I gave the driver license example to tell that H1 status is recorded as valid in the federal department but still people keep telling me that I have either get h1 stamped by going out of US or get a new COS.

Answer
Hi,

To activate H1B status, you will either have to depart the U.S. and enter the U.S. using unexpired H1B visa stamp. This is normally issued by a U.S. Consulate in your home country based on the H1B approval notice issued by the USCIS.

Alternatively, any employer can file an H1B petition for you with the USCIS requesting "change of status" from L1 go H1B. Either of these actions must be taken no later than your I-94 expiration date of March 2013.

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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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