Immigration Issues/Duration of stay

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Question
QUESTION: Hi,

I have a quick question.I first came to US on L1B visa and stayed for 2 year and then I changed the employer and got H1B visa with them.My question is,how long can I stay on H1B status,does my previous visa status affect the total duration on H1B.

ANSWER: Hi,

The previous period of stay in L1B status (2 years) is counted towards the six years total allowed in H1B status. Thus, you are eligible for only 4 years in H1B status. You may be able to extend H1B status beyond 6 years if a PERM application is filed on a timely basis: www.h1b1.com/laborcert.htm

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QUESTION: And likewise for my spouse,she was on dependent visa (L2 n H4) but now on her own H1B,so here stay on those visa will also be counted towards H1b duration? and also,for my case, I was on l1 then moved to home country for couple of months,then came with other employer,so will it still count for the 6 yr duration?

Answer
Your spouse's earlier stay in L2 is counted towards the six years in H1B. However, there is a full six year clock for H4 (and previous period of stay in H1B do not count towards this clock), so someone, for example, can be in H4 status for 6 years and then H1B for another six years (total of 12 years) without having to depart the U.S. for at least one year (to reset the clock).

Your stay outside the U.S. was for less than one year, and therefore the 6 year clock was not reset. Your previous stay in L1 is counted towards the 6 years allowed in H1B. You can change to H4 once you reach 6 years in combined L1/H1B, but H4 status (up to 6 years) does not allow for employment in the U.S.

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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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