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Immigration Issues/L1B extension and H1B for 2012 filing

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QUESTION: Hi
My L1B expired a month ago. My current employer applied for L1B extension and I have got RFE from USCIS. Currently I am answering the questions in RFE. I should send my respose to USCIS by april-2012 end. The L1B result (approve/reject) can come after 4-5 weeks after april(i.e June 2nd week latest).

Situation is: I found a new employer who wants to process my H1B for 2012 and this new employer wants to file on 1st Apri itself.

1. Please advice if I can respond to RFE for my L1B extension and also my new employer can file H1B visa on april 1st.

2. Can there be 2 petitions that I can apply to ?

3. I understood from some of my friends that this H1B is for 2012 and it starts work eligibility from October 2012 only, I can do both. Please advice.

4. What happens if USCIS approves/rejects my L1B and then approve my H1B. Can you please explain.

5. Please add anything if you feel will help me in this situation.

Thank you so much
Sarah

ANSWER: Hi,

A response to both the L1B RFE and an H1B petition can be filed. You can remain legally in the U.S. while the RFE is pending with the USCIS.

The H1B approval notice will take effect on Oct. 01, 2012 due to visa cap. If the L1B is denied prior to Oct. 01, you must depart the U.S., but can obtain an H1B visa stamp to enter the U.S. and start working for the H1B employer.

If the USCIS approves the L1B petition, but also approves the H1B petition granting you change of status to H1B effective Oct. 01, then you will automatically be in H1B status on Oct. 01 and will no longer be in L1B status.

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

QUESTION: Thank you so much Ajay for the fast response.
You clarified everything in a very lucid manner. Just one more question - If my H1B gets approved first and then L1B, does my H1B gets affected? I mean do I still have H1B and can start work for my H1B employer from 1st Oct and till 1st october I can be with my L1B employer.

Thank you so much
sarah

Answer
Hi,

If your H1B is approved, then you will be in H1B status effective Oct. 01 (assuming that you are also granted change of status to H1B by the USCIS, which is routine). If the L1B is approved after Oct. 01, then you will automatically be back in L1B status from H1B, as this will have been the "latest action" by the USCIS and you can hold only one visa status at a time in the U.S. In this latter situation, you can revert back to H1B status by going outside the U.S., obtaining H1B visa stamp, and then entering the U.S. showing the H1B visa stamp so that the I-94 issued at the port of entry states H1B. Alternatively, your H1B employer can file another H1B petition requesting change  of status from L1B to H1B.

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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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