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H-1B Frequently Asked Questions L-1 Frequently Asked Questions

H-IB Visa

  1. What is the difference between an I-94 card and a Consular Visa?
  2. How do I begin the H-1B process?
  3. What should I do if my degree was received outside the US?
  4. What are the initial steps before my Company's H-1B Petition can be filed on my behalf?
  5. Do I need to get a new prevailing wage and a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) if I am transferring H-1B employers or extending status?
  6. How long does it take to receive a Labor Condition Application (LCA) approval from the Department of Labor (DOL)?
  7. Can an H-1B Petition be filed without a Labor Condition Application (LCA)?
  8. How soon after we receive the Labor Condition Application (LCA) can we file the H-1B petition?
  9. Once an H-1B Petition is filed, how long before we can expect a receipt from the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)?
  10. Once the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) sends the filing receipt notice, how long before my H-1B is approved?
  11. If I am an H-1B transfer or extention rather than a new H-1B, will my petition be adjudicated faster?
  12. May my Company or I pay to expedite the H-1B process?
  13. What is the difference between a petition for a new H-1B and a transfer of employer H-1B?
  14. May I check on the status of the H-1B Application?
  15. May I call the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to check the status of my H-1B?
  16. May I switch employers once we have a filing Receipt Notice?
  17. May I travel internationally while my H-1B application is pending and when I have not yet changed employers?
  18. Once I receive the new H-1B approval, can I travel on my previous H-1B visa?
  19. What do I do about my H-4 Dependents?
  20. Do my dependents need a new Consular Visa to travel in and out of the US?
  21. Can an H-4 Nonimmigrant Dependent work?
  22. Can my H-4 Nonimmigrant Spouse change status?
  23. What is H-1B Portability?
  24. What should I do if I need to travel to another work site?
  25. What effect, if any, will my lay-off or termination have on my H-1B approval?
  26. Who pays the H-1B filing fees?

1. What is the difference between an I-94 card and a Consular Visa?

  • Answer: Description of Documents:

    The I-94 Card is the white admission card that is stamped by an immigration Inspection Officer and given to you each time an entry is made into the United States. This card is the key document for determining your admission status category (and permitted purpose or activity), when your status expires and, in the event of a conflict, takes precedence over the Visa expiration date.

    The Consular Visa is the laminated stamp in your passport that was placed there by the US Consulate or Embassy abroad. It determines eligibility to enter initially and to reenter the US, after any subsequent departure from the US. We generally recommend that clients not re-enter the US within twenty (20) days of the Visa's expiration date without obtaining a new Visa from the US Consulate. While the Visa must be current in order to make an entry into the US, it is not required to be current once legally admitted in order to maintain lawful status in the US (Canadian Citizens are Visa exempt and possess only I-94 cards).

2. How do I begin the H-1B process?

  • Answer: Gather all the documents described on the English & van Horne, P.C. H-1B data required list.

    Once the information from the Company (usually from the Corporate Recruiting activity) and your H-1B information is received, the initial steps towards completion of the H-1B petition filing are initiated, including securing the Prevailing Wage, Labor Conditions Applications (LCA), etc.

3. What should I do if my degree was received outside the US?

  • Answer: Please provide our office with copies of your Diploma (including translation), transcripts, certificates and any other relevant supporting documents. If you have a full 4 year degree, from a Canadian University, then we may file that as is. However, if your degree was not obtained from a US or Canadian University, then we will need to secure an expert US degree equivalency, stating that your course work is equivalent to a US Degree in a similar field. If you already secured a degree equivalency, please provide that to our office.

4. What are the initial steps before my Company's H-1B Petition can be filed on my behalf?

  • Answer: Once we receive the Company's detailed information regarding the position, we secure a prevailing wage determination. The prevailing wage provides the Department of Labor (DOL) with a salary determination as to what US workers earn when workers performing similar duties, with similar training, experience and under similar employer described job responsibilities in the same geographic area.

    Once the prevailing wage is determined, the case moves to the second procedural step, the filing of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the DOL. If the DOL concurs with the prevailing wage, and determines that the employer is paying at least 95% of the prevailing wage, the LCA is issued.

5. Do I need to get a new prevailing wage and a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) if I am transferring H-1B employers or extending status?

  • Answer: Yes. All H-1B Petitions (new applications, employer transfers, and extensions) MUST have an approved LCA from the Department of Labor for the stated term of intended employment, the geographic area, area of employment, the position, and for the particular employer. Once the Prevailing Wage is secured, an LCA is drafted by our office and executed by the Company, and is then posted at the Company for 10 business days.

6. How long does it take to receive a Labor Condition Application (LCA) approval from the Department of Labor (DOL)?

  • Answer: There is a new LCA filing systems that is an online web based system with an almost immediate response time. Traditionally, attorneys and employers nationwide had experienced substantial difficulties in receiving LCA's within DOL Regulation time frames. Our office takes every action we can to minimize the delay.

7. Can an H-1B Petition be filed without a Labor Condition Application (LCA)?

  • Answer: Filing an H-1B Petition without an LCA, can cause unnecessary delays in a case. Moreover, it is our opinion, given US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) communications on this matter, H-1B portability (discussed below) provisions may not take effect with an H-1B filing, unless an approved LCA is attached. In order for a CIS Regional Service Center Adjudication Officer to adjudicate an H-1B Petition, it MUST have an approved LCA. If an H-1B application is submitted without an approved LCA, CIS issues a request for evidence which delays CIS processing.

8. How soon after we receive the Labor Condition Application (LCA) can we file the H-1B petition?

  • Answer: We usually file an H-1B petition as soon as practicable upon receipt of an approved LCA. Our office endeavors to file every H-1B as quickly as possible, while ensuring the highest levels of quality and professionalism in the filing itself.

9. Once an H-1B Petition is filed, how long before we can expect a receipt from the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)?

  • Answer: This depends totally on the CIS processing procedures at the Regional Processing Center. We have no control over this process. A Receipt Notice from the CIS usually reaches our office within 1 to 2 weeks, depending on CIS Regional Service Center backlogs.

10. Once the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) sends the filing receipt notice, how long before my H-1B is approved?

  • Answer: This is an internal CIS Regional Service Center (RSC) processing variable over which we have not control. Generally, it is governed by the number of available RSC Adjudication Officers and the backlog of cases in that generic case group. We see CIS processing times for H-1B's vary between 40 to 120 days for adjudication. Obviously, CIS requests for evidence delay the final approval time frame.

11. If I am an H-1B transfer or extention rather than a new H-1B, will my petition be adjudicated faster?

  • Answer: All H-1B's appear to be adjudicated through the same process.

12. May my Company or I pay to expedite the H-1B process?

  • Answer: A new $1,000.00 expedite fee (in addition to the regular filing fee) is available for all H-1B Petitions. The fee ensures a fifteen (15) day adjudication time. We have had success with this process. Once approved, either the employer or the individual may pay this expedite fee (this is an exception to the employee filing fee payment prohibition in the regulations).

13. What is the difference between a petition for a new H-1B and a transfer of employer H-1B?

  • Answer: A new H-1B Petition may be subject to the annual statutory cap or limit specified in the law, which is the quota according to the H-1B Law and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Regulations. Unlike a new H-1B petition, a transfer or extention of H-1B status is not subject to the annual quota. All H-1B Petitions must contain all the necessary documents listed in the CIS Regulations before final approval is given. See our comments below on H-1B quotas.

14. May I check on the status of the H-1B Application?

  • Answer: Yes, Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) now allows on line case status updates through its website. Persons inquiring only need the receipt number.

15. May I call the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to check the status of my H-1B?

  • Answer: It has been our experience that CIS Regional Service Centers (RSC) will not permit beneficiaries of an H-1B to speak to an officer or inquire about the H-1B status. The reason for this is that H-1B Petitions are employer sponsored, with the prospective employee as the beneficiary.

16. May I switch employers once we have a filing Receipt Notice?

  • Answer: Most companies are taking advantage of the new H-1B portability (employer switching) provision. Although H-1B portability is part of the new law passed in December, 2000, Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) has NOT as yet issued any formal Regulations or guidance on the way this provision will be interpreted. Please see our comments below on H-1B portability.

17. May I travel internationally while my H-1B application is pending and when I have not yet changed employers?

  • Answer: Generally, this is possible. You may travel on an international basis provided your I-94 Card, Visa and your passport are all valid. Traveling in and out of the country on a valid H-1B is permitted, while an H-1B application is pending, given a recent change in Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) policy. However, individuals must not have violated his/her status. See our notes below regarding H-1B portability when international travel is required. We recommend caution and securing advise of counsel before any travel is taken if H-1B portability is being used. Traveling is not permitted when a change of status is requested (e.g. F-1 to H-1B).

18. Once I receive the new H-1B I-94 card approval, can I travel on my previous H-1B visa?

  • Answer: Yes you may. However, the immigration Officer may, upon your entry and inspection into the US, only issue your I-94 Admission Card for the validity of your previous Visa. That could require the premature need for an I-94 Card extension. On your next international trip, we strongly recommend you plan to get a new consular visa reflecting the change of employers. We encourage you to check with immigration counsel to obtain current information and advice before departure.

19. What do I do about my H-4 Dependents?

  • Answer: Spouses and children of H-1B status holders do need to affirmatively file to extend status and visas. Always be sure their status is valid.

20. Do my dependents need a new Consular Visa to travel in and out of the US?

  • Answer: Usually, if an H-4's visa is valid, there may be no need to get a new visa until it is scheduled to expire. H-4's are tied to the H-1B spouse, not the H-1B's employer. This is also true of the H-4 Consular Visa.

21. Can an H-4 Nonimmigrant Dependent work?

  • Answer: H-4 visa holders are specifically prohibited from working in the US as long as the individual remains in H-4 dependent status. Schooling is permitted on an H-4. H-4's are permitted for spouses, and children under the age of 21.

22. Can my H-4 Nonimmigrant Spouse change status?

  • Answer: Yes, an H-4 Nonimmigrant with appropriate educational, professional or experience credentials may seek to change status while in the US. An H-4 can acquire a new working status through a Company's sponsorship, attend a University, and may volunteer part-time for philanthropic duties with traditional philanthropic organizations (Red Cross, etc). Feel free to contact our office for details.

23. What is H-1B Portability?

  • Answer: In late 2000, US Immigration laws were passed which increased the flexibility of employees, where the employee is currently working in the US on an H-1B temporary nonimmigrant worker Visa for an employer, and who wishes to change employers. This does not, however, negate the need to file and receive approvals for the new employer, prove that the Company is paying at least the minimum prevailing wage or salary for the professional employee in that field, etc. US employers may now hire H-1B employees with another employer after the new employer files an H-1B Petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Regional Service Center (RSC) having jurisdiction over its geographic area.

    Given recent CIS policy opinion letters, guidance memos, and our discussion of procedures being utilized by other Companies around the US, we believe we can now provide some clarity and guidance to individuals and companies to ensure more time effective hiring of H-1B employees.

    In furtherance of this new policy, we recommend that the following steps be taken for all H-1B portability cases.

    • H-1B portability is ONLY available for employees currently in the US on a valid H-1B with another H-1B approved employer, and will be transferring to another H-1B. In all other cases (TN to H-1B, F-1 to H-1B, etc.), the individual MUST wait until the new H-1B is actually approved and issued by the CIS Regional Service Center (RSC) before employers can be changed.
    • We recommend that the candidate's H-1B with the current employer should continue to be valid for at least 120 days from the date of the new company's H-1B filing.
    • The H-1B candidate may be hired by the new company only after the complete H-1B Petition has been formally filed with the CIS Regional Service Center-RSC (with all necessary attachments, including copies of degrees, degree equivalencies, a certified LCA, etc.) and only AFTER the written confirmation of the filing is received through a formal fee receipt. These receipts frequently take 1 to 2 weeks from actual CIS filing.
    • The employer's I-9 Employment Verification Form record MUST have a copy of the H-1B Fee Receipt attached to it at the time the employee is hired.
    • At the time the H-1B is approved, the I-9 MUST be updated to reflect the new H-1B expiration date.
    • All cases in which this provision is intended to be utilized should be reviewed by immigration counsel. Some interim restrictions on international travel may be recommended.

24. What should I do if I need to travel to another work site?

  • Answer: New Department of Labor Regulations (DOL) have added some clarity, and a great deal of complexity to this field of law. Be sure to contact immigration counsel before utilizing any of these provisions before work is begun at a new location.

    The new Labor Condition Application (LCA) may need to be filed, and accordingly a new H-1B Petition may need to be filed, if the employee leaves the original designed geographic "place of employment". This is a complex multi-tiered inquiry that needs to be evaluated immediately every time an employee's duties/work location changes significantly. These can be classified into three groups.

    Traveling Employees - No new LCA is required. The employee has to attend other work sites on a "peripatetic" nature, with the majority of the work spent at 1 location, with occasional infrequent job duties at other sites on a casual de minimus short-term basis, limited to 10 consecutive workdays. Short-term seminars and training are acceptable. The employer is required to pay travel expenses to the employee.

    New Place of Employment, Local - Travel for the employee is within the same area of intended employment (metropolitan work area), then the current LCA must be posted at the work site within that area on or before the date the employee reports for work at that new location.

    New Place of Employment, Not Local - If travel for the employee is outside the area of intended employment (metropolitan work area), then a new LCA must be filed before the travel can take place.

    There are 2 minor exceptions through which the employee can delay filing a new LCA under this last place of employment determination. The first is called "short-term placement". Employees can work at a new site for 60 days during a 1 year period as long as the employee maintains a work office at the permanent (original) work site and still has a home in the area of the permanent work site. The employer must pay employee's actual costs for travel, lodging, meals, and incidental workdays missed traveling.

    However, no short-term placement is permitted where the employer has H-1B employees in the same occupational classification. This may be an infrequently used exception, since there is usually an active LCA at an employer's other locations.

    The other exception is by having multiple unused listing on LCA's (LCA's can be used for more than 1 employee, in the same location, in the same field, at a similar skill level). The employee would then accept a "slot" on a multiple worker LCA that was posted for that work site.

25. What effect, if any, will my lay-off or termination have on my H-1B approval?

  • Answer: The Labor Condition Application (LCA) and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) H-1B approvals are premised on the representation that the employer will pay the stated wage to the employee. A termination automatically voids the H-1B approval as of the time of termination.

    Temporary lay-offs come under the category of "Benching" - - placing H-1B individuals on a series of short term job assignments which end by each job's own description. The individual is then placed on non-pay waiting status, "benching", waiting for a new job assignment within his/her overall approved job description. Both CIS and DOL have issued interpretative statements that this practice is not permissible and that it violates the requirement that the employer employ that individual and pay them the stated wage. An exception to this rule is short term employee requested leaves (unpaid vacation, travel, medical/illness leave) which is for the sole benefit of the employee.

26. Who pays the H-1B filing fees?

  • Answer: Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and DOL Regulations clearly specify that the employee beneficiary can not pay any filing fees (with the exception of the $1000.00 expedited processing fee). Having the employee pay these fees could raise a question whether the employer was fully paying the required prevailing wage.

L1 Visa

  1. What is the difference between an I-94 card and a Consular Visa?
  2. How do I begin the L-1 process?
  3. What are the basic requirements for securing an L-1 Visa?
  4. What are the initial steps before my Company's L-1 Petition can be filed on my behalf?
  5. What is the difference between a Regular and a Blanket L-1 Visa?
  6. What is the difference between an L-1A and an L-1B Visa?
  7. What should I do if my degree was received outside the US?
  8. What should I do if my work duties or work location for my L-1 employer change within the U.S.?
  9. Are my spouse or dependant children permitted to work in the U.S. while I am on assignment?
  10. If I change employers, will I be able to keep my L-1?
  11. If I am applying for a regular L-1 Visa, can we pay to expedite the process?
  12. How do I extend my L-1 Visa?
  13. May I travel internationally while my L-1 extension petition is pending?
  14. What do I do about Visa extensions/revalidations for my L-2 Dependents?
  15. If I entered on an L-1B Visa, but later I am promoted to a Manager, may I change status to an L-1A Manager?
  16. What effect, if any, will a lay-off or termination have on my L-1 status?
  17. When can I come back to the U.S., if I have used up all of my L-1 Visa eligibility?
  18. May I check on the status of the L-1 Application

1. What is the difference between an I-94 card and a Consular Visa?

  • Answer: Description of Documents:

    The I-94 card is the white admission card stamped by a US immigration Inspection Officer at an arrival port, which is given each time an entry is made into the United States. This card is the key document for determining your admission status (and permitted purpose or activity), when status expires and, in the event of a conflict, takes precedence over the Visa expiration date.

    The Consular Visa is the official laminated stamp in your passport issued by a US Consulate or Embassy abroad. It determines your eligibility or opportunity period to enter the US and/or to reenter the US. We generally recommend that clients not re-enter the US within twenty (20) days of the Visa's expiration date without first obtaining a new Visa from the appropriate US Consulate. The Visa must be valid in order to make an entry into the US. It is not, however, required to be current once legally admitted, in order to maintain lawful status in the US (Canadian Citizens are Visa exempt and only possess I-94 cards).

2. How do I begin the L-1 process?

  • Answer: Gather and submit all the documents described on the English & van Horne L-1 data required list.

    Once the information from the Company (usually from the Corporate Recruiting/Human Resource activity) and your information is received, the initial steps towards completion of the L-1 petition filing are initiated, including securing signed paperwork, etc.

3. What are the basic requirements for securing an L-1 Visa?

  • Answer: Generally, to be eligible for an L-1 Visa, a candidate must have 1 year out of the immediate prior three years working abroad for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or joint venture of the sponsoring US company, and be coming to work in similar capacity for the US sponsor. The connection between the foreign and US company must be a majority ownership, or in the case of a joint venture, a 50/50 ownership structure, with some element of control by one of the entities. The candidate must be coming to the US as an executive, manager, or as someone with key specialized knowledge.

    A law passed in January 2002 now allows Blanket L-1's to be issued for employees who have only 6 months out of the last 3 years with a qualifying entity. However, this 6 month provision may not provide any benefit as it relates to Resident Alien "green card" processing. (See discussion on Employment Based Immigrant Visas.)

4. What are the initial steps before my Company's L-1 Petition can be filed on my behalf?

  • Answer: Once we receive the Company's detailed information regarding the position, and we have your information, we can initiate drafting the key legal advocacy documents necessary for an L-1 petition. Once those documents are signed, we can begin the process of securing L-1 status. The timing of this is contingent upon whether the sponsoring Company has Blanket L-1 Visa authorization pre-approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

5. What is the difference between a Regular and a Blanket L-1 Visa?

  • Answer: Any US Company with the requisite relationship to a foreign company may sponsor a qualified employee for regular L-1 Visa. The regular L-1 paperwork is filed with the Regional Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Center that has jurisdiction over the US geographic area where the candidate will be working. Processing times usually have been between 30 and 60 days. Once the L-1 paperwork is approved, the candidate then applies to secure a Visa from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate that has jurisdiction over the candidate's foreign residence. Once the Visa is approved, the candidate may apply for entry at a US port for admission to the US to work for the sponsoring employer. For Canadian citizens, regular and blanket L-1 status may be processed on a walk-in basis directly at a US border port-of-entry.

    Blanket L-1 Visas are permitted only for companies that have petitioned and secured prior CIS authorization for streamlined L-1 approval. Blanket L-1 paperwork is approved and executed by the US Company, and then the paperwork is sent to the candidate, for processing by him/her directly at the US Embassy/Consulate that has jurisdiction over the candidate's residence abroad. Departure to begin the US assignment is determined by processing times at the Consular/Embassy (generally a few weeks). Once the Visa is approved, the candidate may then present the Visa (together with derivative family Visas) at US port-of-entry to apply for admission into the US to work for the sponsoring employer.

6. What is the difference between an L-1A and an L-1B Visa?

  • Answer: L-1A Visas are for multi-national managers and executives, who have at least 1 year (6 months for blanket authorization) working abroad for the related entity, in a Manager or Executive capacity. L-1A Visas can be extended for a maximum period of 7 years.

    L-1B Visas are for other persons with key specialized knowledge, who will be utilizing that knowledge in the US, who have at least 1 year (6 months for blanket authorization) working abroad for the related entity. L-1B Visas can be extended for a maximum period of 5 years.

7. What should I do if my degree was received outside the US?

  • Answer: Please provide our office with copies of your diploma, transcripts, certificates and any other relevant supporting documents (including translations). If you already secured a US expert degree equivalency opinion, please provide that to our office. In some cases, it may not be necessary to have a university degree to secure an L-1.

8. What should I do if my work duties or work location for my L-1 employer change within the U.S.?

  • Answer: Persons who have a regular L-1 must notify through formal filing (usually amended petition) the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the new US work site. This must be done prior to commencement of new employment. Once the L-1 change is approved, the new employment may begin.

    Blanket L-1 employees are permitted to change locations without applying for prior CIS approval. However, if there are substantial changes in the US duties, the then same rule applies, as is set forth above.

9. Are my spouse or dependant children permitted to work in the U.S. while I am on assignment?

  • Answer: Under a law passed in January 2002, spouses of L-1 Visa holders (L-2 Visa holders) are now permitted, upon prior Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) approval, to work in the US for any employer. This requires prior petition to US CIS and approval, and is evidenced by CIS issuance of a work authorization card. Children are not permitted to work in the US in L-2 status.

10. If I change employers, will I be able to keep my L-1?

  • Answer: No. L-1's are like most temporary work visas and are employer, job, beneficiary, and geographically specific, meaning any substantial change in any of these could automatically cancel that visa authority. However, an L-1 Visa holder with appropriate educational and experience credentials may be permitted to secure an H-1B for a new employer if he/she will be working in a professional capacity and can meet the other requirements necessary for an H-1B Visa.

11. If I am applying for a regular L-1 Visa, can we pay to expedite the process?

  • Answer: A new $1,000.00 expedite fee (in addition to the regular filing fee) is available in appropriate cases, where on balance there is a need for urgent processing. The fee ensures a fifteen (15) day adjudication time for regular L-1 Petitions filed at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Regional Service Center. We have had success with this process. Either the employer or the individual may pay this expedite fee.

12. How do I extend my L-1 Visa?

  • Answer: Regular L-1 status must be extended through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the work location. That office extends the I-94 card. After the extension is approved a Consular Visa revalidation can be applied for, to permit international travel. Foreign travel during extension petition processing is not recommended, but may be possible in some cases.

    Blanket L-1 status can be extended either through the CIS Regional Service Center, or through the person's appropriate US Embassy/Consulate abroad. If extended abroad, this eliminates the need to file for an extension of the CIS I-94 card, as a new card is secured upon US entry.

13. May I travel internationally while my L-1 extension petition is pending?

  • Answer: Generally, this may be possible in certain cases. In cases where the Visa extension applicant has both a Consular Visa and passport which continue to be valid for the interim period, employees may travel on an international basis while the L-1 extension is pending. However, individuals must not have violated their L-1 status, during their previous period of authorized stay.

14. What do I do about Visa extensions/revalidations for my L-2 Dependents?

  • Answer: Derivative spouses and children of L-1 status holders need to affirmatively file to extend their individual status and visas. Always be sure their status is valid.

    Caveat: Be alert to the fact that derivative children and spouses frequently have different expiration dates on their I-94 admission cards, resulting from different dates on their last admission into the US. It is important to note and to manage any such situation.

15. If I entered on an L-1B Visa, but later I am promoted to a Manager, may I change status to an L-1A Manager?

  • Answer: If an L-1B employee has been working as a Manager in the US for at least 6 months, he/she may, under appropriate circumstances, be eligible for L-1A status. However, this does not entitle the new L-1A employee to a later Labor Certification exempt green card filing as an intracompany Manager/Executive. The individual would then not have the requisite 1 full year working abroad in a Managerial capacity. (See discussion on Employment Based Immigrant Visas.)

16. What effect, if any, will a lay-off or termination have on my L-1 status?

  • Answer: The Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) L-1 approvals are premised on the representation that the individual will be employed and that the employer will pay the stated wage to the employee. A termination, layoff, or voluntary quit automatically voids the L-1 approval as of the time of termination.

17. When can I come back to the U.S., if I have used up all of my L-1 Visa eligibility?

  • Answer: If an L-1A employee has used up all 7 years of eligibility, or if an L-1B employee has used up all 5 years of eligibility (without securing US Resident Alien "green card" status prior to expiration of the maximum period, or securing adjustment of status interim work authorization), he/she must depart the US and remain outside the U.S for 1 full year. This is a statutory maximum period which does not offer or allow any discretion for extension for any period. After working abroad for a qualifying entity outside the US for 1 year, a new L-1 may be secured. Any time in the US during that period will impact the subsequent petition and add to the time required to be spent abroad. Additionally, this one year abroad requirement appears to be true even though the law now permits only 6 months for Blanket L-1 Visa's. The 6 months necessary for a Blanket L-1 does not impact the required 1 year absence from the US.

18. May I check on the status of the L-1 Application?

  • Answer: Yes, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) now allows on line case status updates through its website. Persons inquiring only need the receipt number.

 
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