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Immigration Issues/Fresh L1A Individual after L1B blanket visa expiry

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QUESTION: I am currently in US on L1-B Blanket visa expiring in May this year. I have to return back to India after visa expiry. Can my company file for a fresh L1A individual visa sometime in June-July this year as I am eligible for L1A?

Can you please let me know if there is a cool off period of 365 days required between L1-B expiry and L1-A fresh visa filing?

ANSWER: Hi,

There is no minimum waiting period after L1B expiration for the L1A petition to be filed. The advantage of L1A is that it is valid for an aggregate of 7 years, whereas L1B is valid for only 5 years. However, the 5 years is counted towards the maximum of 7 years allowed in L1A status (unless you remain continuously outside the U.S. for one year, which completely resets the clock).

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QUESTION: My spouse who is on L2-EAD has a valid I-94 and EAD till July.Also,though my 5 years physical stay ends in May, I have a valid I-94 till July as well.She has still not met 5 years physical stay limit in US.

Is it okay for her to stay back here and continue working, and if it happens that I apply for a new L1A VISA and goes for a stamping in India before coming back to the US, what happens to her status over here. Can she still stay and continue to work.

In this case should she also have to apply for a new visa or the existing L2 will continue to hold good as I will still remain on the L1 visa even though I get converted from a L1B to L1A visa.

Answer
Hi,

Since your I-94 ends in July, and does not appear to be based on USCIS error (normally the I-94 would expire in May, when your 5 year in L1B expires, but perhaps your employer requested "recapture" of time spent abroad while in L1B status), your spouse can remain legally in the U.S. in L2 status until July, esp. since there is no a significant period of time between May and July. She must depart the U.S. in July, unless you enter the U.S. on L1A visa stamp no later than July, which will allow her to extend her L2 status with the USCIS through the filng of an application requesting extension of L2 status, without having to depart 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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