Immigration Issues/H1 Extension

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Question
Hi,

I was in USA on L1 visa for about 1 year. Then I got H1B visa for 2 years, not sure why I was given a visa for 2 years. After completing 2 years (I stayed is USA during this time) I got 3 years extension.  Shortly (about 2 months) after I got extension, I left United States and lived in India for 1.5 years for personal reasons. Now I came back to USA on same H1 visa and have validity till December 2006. I am about to apply for extension as I stayed outside USA for 1.5 years. Will I get extension for 1.5 years or 2.5 years? A friend of mine said that 1 year I spent on L1 will not be counted while considering extension as I had a break for more than one year outside USA.

Greatly appreciate your response for this.

Thank you

Answer
Hi,

Since you were outside the U.S. for more than one year, you can obtain another full six years in H-1B status. However, you will be subject to the visa cap again...and the H-1B can therefore be filed only in April, 2007 requesting start date of October 01, 2007.

The above is the technical answer. If you want a practical answer, request extension of H-1B status and do not mention your one year outside the U.S. You can be granted a total of six years aggregate, and this includes time spent in L-1A status. Sorry, but I an unwilling to be more specific other than the above general rules.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.H1B1.com  

Immigration Issues

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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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