L-1 Visa FAQs

Visa Stamping for L-2

Authored on: Tue, 09/21/2021 - 05:30


I am on an L-1 visa, and I am working in the U.S.. My wife is outside the U.S. Her L-2 visa has expired. We want to get an appointment somewhere to get visa stamping together. I cannot travel without an appointment, or else I will be stuck and will not return to the U.S. without visa stamping. The embassy has not opened for more than a year now, and she is stuck, so how can we get appointments? Can this be an emergency appointment case?



We do not have enough information about your case, but generically, it appears that your wife may have the option to go through the dropbox process. Please look into that. Also, emergency appointments are just that: reserved for an emergency. Most consulates are not likely to entertain such a request unless there is a real emergency. Delay alone is not considered to be an emergency.


Note: For the NRI readers, The Economic Times has started an immigration helpdesk. A team of experts which includes Rajiv S. Khanna will address the most pressing issues. Please see the link below.


Covid Coronavirus Question from Employers about Payroll for H-1B and others L-1, E, etc. employees

Authored on: Thu, 04/30/2020 - 01:39


We are looking at various measures of safety and expense control. First and foremost everyone is working from home for their on safety and wellness. For expense control one idea that we were discussing was a potential pay rate reduction for a short period of time.


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Covid Coronavirus Question from

 Employers about Payroll for H-1B and others L-1, E, etc. employees

Video Transcript

If you look at the Department of Labor regulations they say that the employer cannot stop paying a salary or the right amount of salary for anything that the employer does. So if you don’t have a project that's your problem. If by law or by local order you cannot open offices and you cannot work, would you as an employer be allowed to pay a lesser salary and that might be something to look at because rather than laying off all the people that your concerned about I would have you to think about other alternatives. FAQ in detail...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Loss of job/laid off during Covid/Coronavirus times

Authored on: Sun, 04/26/2020 - 01:39


I lost job and my last date of employment with the employer is March 20, 2020. This employer sponsored H1B and also had ported GC AOS in 2018.:

1. After my last date of employment (March 20, 2020), how much time do I have to transfer H1B and I-487 to a new employer?

2. Will losing the job affect the EAD renewal in processing?

3. How would it affect I-487 application, which can become current any time soon?


Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Loss of job/laid off during Covid/coronavirus times


Video Transcript:


First of all you are in a good situation because if you have a I-485 pending then you can continue to stay even if you lose your H-1B or L-1 or any status because I-485 allows you to stay here. EAD that comes with I-485 allows you to work here and advance parole that comes with the I-485 allows you to travel. Keep in mind that all these are additional benefits to being able to stay.

1. You have 60 days or the time remaing in on I-94 whichever is sorted so in this case probably 60 days.

2. It will not.

3. By the time you are ready to deal with the I-485 you should get another employment or at least an employment offer. More...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

What to do after an H-1B (or L-1) denial

Authored on: Sun, 03/15/2020 - 01:39


I got my H-1B denial on 02/20/2020. H1B expired date : 1/31/2020. I-94 expired date: 2/10/2020. H1B extension denial date: 02/20/2020. H1B filed date: 12/07/2019. H1B RFE date: 12/27/2019. H1B RFE replied date: 02/02/2020. How long can I stay ?


Watch the Video on this FAQ:

What to do after an H-1B (or L-1) denial

Video Transcript:


The fact is that you are accruing unlawful presence beginning February 20th. So if you stay in the US 180 days after that you will be barred from entering the USA for 3 years. FAQ in detail...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Must we maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending?

Authored on: Thu, 01/23/2020 - 04:55


Is it mandatory to maintain non-immigrant status (H1B) until the I-485 application is approved (a green card is issued)? I am not sure whether USCIS will send an RFE and/or call for an interview when my PD becomes current.


Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Must we maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending?

Video Transcript:

Yes, you SHOULD maintain H-1 or L-1 status while I-485 is pending, because these days, especially the government can create odd problems with your I-485. FAQ in detail...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

The Impact of the NTA Memo

Authored on: Tue, 08/21/2018 - 23:47


Under new deportation and denial policy 2018, I have following questions if I want to renew green card after 10 years. Can green card renewal I 90 be denied because of some common errors like forgot to submit copy of old green card, or any court document ( removal proceedings canceled without prejudice). Will I get deported if GC is denied due to minor administrative error?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: The impact of the NTA memo

Video Script

Green card renewals have been pretty much an administrative process. It is like renewing your drivers licence. If your green card is denied due to a minor administrative process can you be deported? Well, even under NTA if they put you in deportation your lawyers can walk over the evidence of the error to the court. Right now USCIS has postponed implementing its NTA policy until further notice. Even if it gets implemented chances are that as and when the NTA policy get implemented, it would be more reasonable than the way they had announced. More...

Visit the blog section to read more about this policy: https://www.immigration.com/blogs/deportation-and-denial-policy-2018-ju…


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.




Travel Outside The USA When A Case Is Pending

Authored on: Thu, 08/16/2018 - 08:26


1. I moved from client A to client B in June. My employer filed an amendment for me now. I have my current H-1B till September 2020 when I'm with client A but my visa stamping expired last year. Can I travel while my H-1B amendment is pending?<br>
2. As my visa got expired, I have to get it stamped again. For that, should I have to go for interview again or can I do it by Dropbox?<br>
3. What will be the case if my amendment is still pending. What will be the case If my amendment is approved by then​.


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Travel outside the USA when a case is pending

Video Transcript

1. Yes, you can travel.

2. I don't know the exact local rules, but you have to go for visa stamping.

3. You should not go until the amendment is actually approved. More...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Effect of Salary Variations During L-1A Visa

Authored on: Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:29


I came here on L1A. At the time of petition, my offer letter from my employer had a salary of $120K annually. This is $10,000 monthly. I want to know if running my payroll for less money will affect my GC process which I am planning to apply next year.

Considering following situations, Will it affect my GC process which I am planning to apply after 1 year from my arrival date?
1) If my payroll is run for lesser salary e.g. in the range of $6000 to $8000?
2) If my payroll is run with (salary + bonus) to make it a total of $10,000/month (120K annually). For example salary = $6000/month and bonus = $4000/month


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Effect of salary variations during L-1A visa

Video Transcript

Ideally, you should be paid what is indicated on the L-1 paperwork, but there's certainly no law that I can point to that mandates that result. It is just a general sense of uneasiness because it could go into eligibility. Also, if your payroll is run with salary plus bonus I think then you should be ok although I haven't researched this issue. Have your lawyers look into it. More...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Filing EB-1C, International Managers or Executives Green Card

Authored on: Thu, 12/14/2017 - 02:55


I entered the US in 2014 on L1A, then changed employer mid-2015 on H1(previously held petition). In 2017 again changed employer in a role equivalent to International Manager. Can my current employer file my Green Card under EB1 category?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Filing EB-1C, International Managers or Executives green card

Video Transcript

No, because EB-1C category depends upon the relationship between the companies the one that you used to work for outside the USA and the one that you are that is applying for you in the United States. More...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Current Immigration/Visa Options for Entrepreneurs

Authored on: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 08:31


What are the requirements to get a visa and green card as an international entrepreneur? Is the start-up visa effective?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Current immigration/visa options for entrepreneurs

Video Transcript

A few options for Entrepreneurial Visas:

You could come in on E visa, H visa, O visa or TN visa and eventually get a green card based upon various other options including EB-1A if you are extraordinary qualified individual or EB-5 if you are making the required amount of investment and creating the jobs necessary under the rule. 

You can also come in through L-1A if you have a foreign company you have worked outside for that company for at least one year as an executive or managerial employee, you can start a company or buy a company in the United States and transfer yourself or your key managerial employees or employee to the USA. L-1 is the fastest way of getting a green card because L-1 is potentially processed within a few weeks because you can file premium processing and once you are in the USA you can file a EB-1 based green card which will get you seen through the process normally within a year, sometimes as little as three to five months. More ...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Rules for Counting 6 Years of H-1B

Authored on: Tue, 06/27/2017 - 04:28


I got H-1B approval in August 2013 valid from Oct 2013 to Sept 2016. After this, I traveled to the US in August 2014 on H-1B & I am here till now. My question is, till what time I can stay in the USA. I know for H-1B we get 6 years. But will this count my earlier stay on L-1B? For more than 2 years, I didn't enter to the US.

Will it be until August 2020 or ( August 2020 minus the L1B stay ) ?


Watch the Video on this FAQ: Rules for counting 6 years of H-1B

Video Transcript

Any time that you spend on H-1 and L-1 will be counted together. So if you spend two years on L-1B or L-1A you've got four years left on H-1. The second rule is if you go outside the USA for one year the entire period is reset so you could have six years of H-1 back. If you were here on L-1A for seven years, then you went back to your home country stayed there for one year, did not come to the USA and even if you did come for a brief visit and then you have to be out those extra days you came, for example: if you came for 10 days you have to be out for ten days for the clock to be reset. You got your six years of H-1 reset. One thing L-1 is counted towards your H-1 and second thing, if you are outside for one year the period is reset. The next thing you need to know is every day you are outside the USA on H-1 you can recapture every day that you are outside. If you are outside the USA more than six months you get the entire year back. More 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

The Proposed I-140 EAD Rule - FAQ's

Authored on: Mon, 01/11/2016 - 07:23



Question 1: Redo the PERM or just the I-140. If redoing the PERM again then what's new in this regulation? 

Answer: After 180 days, you can extend H-1 even if 140 is withdrawn.

Question 2: It seems that there is no easy provision for EAD/AP for approved 140 applicants. So is there any point in waiting for this rule or Should I consider Visa stamping is only option for traveling outside US? Please suggest as I waited for a year or long thought they are going to give AP.

Answer: Your observation about EAD/AP is correct- no easier. I will be surprised if USCIS changes these proposed rules in any significant manner when they finalize.

Question 3: If I have consumed my 6 years of H-1B and I have approved I-140. If I go to India and of some reason I got stuck in India. After a while I want some other employer to file my H-1B petition other then with approved I-140 employer. Do the new employer can apply for my new H1b cap exempt petition based on approved i-140 from my old employer. OR New H-1B petition from the new employer comes under H-1 cap count?

Answer: You have raised two separate issues. One, the I-140 can be used to extend your H-1 through ANY employer, if it is not withdrawn within 180 days of approval. Two, you are exempt from H-1 cap if your H-1 was approved any time within the last 6 years.

Question 4: Is there any provision for promotions internally within a company that filed the petition and the I-140 is approved more than 180 days previously?

Answer: These regs will only clarify (I am not sure they really do that) what "same or similar" jobs are. That concept is crucial when your I-140 has been approved and I-485 has been pending 180 days. At that time, you can accept a same or similar job anywhere, including within the same company, and NOT have to start your green card all over again. That comes under the topic of AC21 portability.

Question 5: Is direct portability of I-140 across multiple employers, ever possible. because I-140 is a property of the Employer and not the Employee (unlike 1-485) ?.Can we suggest any other creative options, of working around this legal hurdle. a. Can PERM be made portable across multiple employers. So employees donot have to go through the hassle of the PERM filing, repeatedly. This will save, almost 4 months of pre PERM filing effort and another 8-10 months of PERM processing window.

b. Or, can the I 140 be made an Employee’s property after 180 days it is approved. If that can be done then portability of the same may be legally possible across different Employers

Answer: The Priority date IS the "property" of the employee, NOT of the employer. So, an employee can port it to any job, anywhere, any number of times. But, I do not think they are excusing us from having to refile the PERM.

Question 6: Does the 60 day grace period is accepted in this case; H-1 Ext filed before expiry of I-94, then Current H-1 and I-94 expired, then H-1 Ext denied. Can we use 60 day grace period for filing new H-1 with new employer? In what cases does this 10 day validity before and after petition dates is used. The 60-day grace period appears to apply only in those cases where an approved H-1 employment abruptly comes to an end. The proposed regs say, upto 60 days may be given: "on the basis of the cessation of the employment on which the alien’s classification was based".

Answer: The 10 days allow you enter (but, not work) upto 10 days before the date your "validity period" (approval of petition) begins, and another 10 days to leave the USA (but, not work), after that period ends.

Question 7: Emp A - I-140 Approved and Moved to Emp B. Got i-140 with Emp B and priority date retained. submitted Emp A Experience letter while fling PERM. Now I want to move to Emp C. Do I still need to get experience letter from Emp B? If I am not able to get experience letter from Emp B, Can Emp C file PERM. if so and filed new PERM and I-140 with Emp C, Can I still retain priority date even though if its not same or similar job?

Answer: There are two fundamental principles that you need to apply to your case:

1. Priority date transfer does NOT require that your jobs must be same or similar.

2. Experience letters are NOT required for priority date transfer or retention. 

Question 8: Now that it is clear that there is almost nothing much in the so called reform, how can the immigrant community represent themselves forcefully, while the public comment period is in place? I understand that each one of us can go and put our comments, but is your firm, or someone else, planning to represent us? For lack of proper words, these so called reforms are a piece of trash, and only done to pretend as if reforms are taking place. It could not be worse actually. 

Answer: There is a limit on what USCIS can do without action from the Congress. You can certainly write your comments and several organizations will place their comments on the record as well. NORMALLY, USCIS does not change the rules much once they have been proposed. I think US immigration policy in "skilled" immigration is distressingly short-sighted. Our adopted country does not recognize the value brought in by us.

Question 9: My I-140 already withdrawn/revoked after 180 days of initial approval date. Now after implements new rule, will it apply for my case to extend my H-1 beyond 6 years?

Answer: I cannot say for sure whether USCIS intends to apply these rules retroactively. I hope they do. 

Question 10: Can you comment on what date will this become effective ? Is it after the comment period is over?

Answer: The effective date is unpredictable. Usually, it is a few months after the comments are over. 

Question 11: I need to clarify regarding the I-140 EAD for H-4. If the principal applicant has I-140 approved but the priority date for that category and country in the visa bulletin is more than 10 years back, Can the dependents, such as H-4, apply for I-140 EAD without the documentation for compelling evidence? If no, what are the examples of compelling evidence?I think the regulation does very little incremental for the EB categories. As mentioned, it provides clarification rather than provide more flexibility to the household or family of EB categories. I am disappointed with the revisions that have been made.Also, the compelling evidence was not required till now. What happens to those H-4 EADs which were issued since USCIS started applications from May 27, 2015? How would those H-4 EADs which are approved on the basis of I-140 approval of principal applicant be dissolved?Also, if the spouse moves from H-4 to H-4 EAD. Can he/she move from H-4 EAD to H-1B or any other non-immigrant category? Does the form I-539 allows movement among all categories?

Answer: H-4 EAD does NOT require compelling evidence. That is a different rule: http://www.immigration.com/blogs/form-i-140-form-i-765/h-4-ead-rule-cont...

I-594 does allow movement between all categories. H-4 to H-1 is definitely no problem. I agree; I am not too thrilled with the regs. But there is a limit to what Pres. Obama can do, folks. 

Correcting dates on I-94

Authored on: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 05:04


My current visa H-4 VISA is valid till Nov 25 2016.<br>
- I had applied for an change of status/extension of stay (I539) for H-4 status to July 4 2018 (through underlying H-1 extension).<br>
- I had to travel to India while it was pending. USCIS issued an I-797 - Approval for the extension of stay without abandoning it.<br>
- At the port of entry, the I-94 expiry was marked as Dec 25 2016.<br>
- The expiry date does not jive with the original VISA expiry date Nov 25, 2016 that was presented at the time of arrival. Nor does it reflect the I-539 extended date of July 4 2018 (that was not presented at port of entry).<br>

Please advise -<br>
a) What action would I required to correct I-94 expiry date? Who do I contact to correct it?<br>
b) I am filing for a I-485 adjustment as a spouse of EB-3, The forms require to put the status expiry date. Is it OK to use the more conservative Nov 25 2016 date even though I-539 has been erroneously approved till July 4 2018?


See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  


FAQ Transcript:

This is a recurring issue, so first of all I want to address the problem and the possible solutions or the lack of solutions. Often times we have a case, we have a case working on right now actually. This lady entered the US on H-4 visa which was good for let’s say till 2017 but her passport was expiring in 2016 or 2015 She comes in and Customs and Border Protection gives her  I-94 only till the date of her passport approval. And sometimes they do that; they will give it to the extent of visa approval, which is incorrect. Your visa could be expiring earlier than your approval. They should still give you the I-94 all the way to your approval not till your visa. In this case they gave it  only till 2015 and she is been here over a year now in unlawful presence not realizing that she has been given less stay than 2017.

So, this is a very complicated issue or problematic issue. They will correct the mistakes they have made.  If they have made a mistake giving you a wrong date or giving you the date till visa not the approval date, you can actually go back to the CBP at the airport or any of their offices or nearby posts. They have lists of them at www.cbp.gov website and you can ask your I-94 to be corrected.

But there are certain things they don't consider them as errors, such as approval till the passport expiration that cannot be corrected. Then the question is what do you do then?

You have two choices; either you can do the extension of status or current status by filing the form I- 539 or I-129, if you are H-1, L-1 holder. For H-1, L-1 they do it all over again as new case. For H-4 it’s less complicated or simple or you can step outside USA, showing your visa and comeback  and receive your I-94 approval. But if your I-94 is already expired, you must speak with your lawyer before you leave. You could very well subject to the bar which comes from the unlawfully present.

So, in this case what happened is the person who has the above question traveled to India while change of status for H-1 to H-4 was pending.

Now USCIS should have declined change of status because they left US, came back received I-94 good till December 2016. The visa expiration date is November 2016, which is what I gave at the airport he says. 

What action would I required to correct I-94 expiration date?

Look you can go back to the CBP, make your case that you have made an error, I don’t see the error. If anything they have given you is more time not less and because you traveled abroad while your change of status was pending , that approval is really not  worth anything. That’s the mistaken approval.

I am filing for a I-485 adjustment as a spouse of EB3, The forms require to put the status expiry date. Is it OK to use the more conservative Nov 25 2016 date even though I-539 has been erroneously approved till July 4 2018?

I would use the date which they have given you in I - 94 and I would attach an explanation saying that this date maybe incorrect but you don't know. According to your calculation it should have been November 2016.

I always like to make full disclosure to the government, so that they don't come back and create a problem with the discrepancy. 

Dual Intent Visas and Filing green Card in Multiple Categories Simultaneously

Authored on: Thu, 04/16/2015 - 08:30


My sister is a naturalized US citizen and she is planning on applying for my GC. I have 2 questions:
1. If my company decides to sponsor my L1-A visa (after my GC application is submitted) will my L1-A be denied because of my GC application?. I have a multiple entry 10 year tourist visa that will expire in 2017. If I apply for a new tourist visa in 2017, will that be denied?
2. Furthermore, my father's GC (consular processing) is being processed currently. Once he becomes a GC holder, can he apply for my GC (I am single over 21 years of age) in such cases Processing time is also much less. If my father can sponsor my GC, what happens to my application in the unfortunate event of my father's demise during this period?


See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 


FAQ Transcript

1. Normally when you have a green card application pending you have exhibited immigration intent. You’ve clearly told the government look I want to live in the US. So filing of a green card is exhibition of an immigration intention. However there are certain kind of nonimmigrant visas that are immuned from the poison of immigrant intent. Those visas are called dual intent visas. Dual intent visas even though they are nonimmigrant visas allow you to have a green card application either filed or almost approved or pending , is no problem at all. L-1 and L-2 are examples of dual intent visas as are H-1 and H-4. These are the visas were even if you have a green card going  there is absolutely no problem.

But tourist visas, student visas, exchange visitor visas like J visas, H-2B visas - these visas do not allow you to have an immigration intention. E-1 and E-2, E-3 are kind of ok. It is pretty complicated but overall they are pretty much to the level of dual intent visas. G visa which is for World Bank employees and international organization employees are also dual intent visas. K visas are dual intent visas. M visas are not dual intent visas. P and Q not dual intent. R probably is ok to have a green card going.

It is important to understand the distinction between dual intent visa which allows you to have a green card going and single intent visa which does not allow you to have a green card going.

So if you have a green card going and you apply for a tourist visa that can be denied. Not necessarily but can be denied. 

2. There are certain things that can be done and I think one is called survivor benefits and the other one is called humanitarian reinstatement. Sometimes those two things can be of use. Look that up if something is not clear. 

Can I postpone H-1 status

Authored on: Tue, 02/17/2015 - 01:44


Currently I'm on L-1A status and it expires in *** hence my employer is planning to file new H-1B this April not change of status. Here are my questions...<br>
1) If I get H-1B this April, is it mandatory to work on H-1B from Oct 01, 2015?<br>
2) Shall I continue with L-1A status until it expires and then can I change to H-1B?


See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  


FAQ Transcript:

The answer to the first question is it can be done. When you apply for an H-1 do not apply for a change of status. That’s up to you. You can tell the employer and make sure you talk to the lawyers. Just say you want an H-1 approval but I do not want change of status. Come October 1st you don’t automatically get on to H-1 but stay on L-1 and you can continue working on L-1 and whenever you are ready you can go outside get visa stamping and come back or apply for change of status within US to H-1 which is like doing the H-1 all over again but you are not subject to the quota. 

Traveling on a TN or L-1 Visa From Canada?

Authored on: Fri, 10/03/2014 - 07:43


1. What are TN and L nonimmigrant classifications?<br>
2. How can Canadian citizens obtain TN and L-1 classifications? <br>
3. I am a first time TN and L-1 applicant – am I required to go to a designated port of entry?<br>
4. Which ports of entry are designated for optimized processing?


1. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. The L-1 nonimmigrant classification - Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager – enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.  This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the U.S. with the purpose of establishing one.

2. Canadian citizens can continue to apply for TN and L classifications at U.S. ports of entry or U.S. preclearance facilities with the required documentation.

3. No, you may continue to go to any port of entry along the Canadian border for processing; however, we encourage you to go to one of the designated ports of entry where you will receive optimized processing.

4. Fourteen total ports are designated, to include 4 preclearance locations.

For more information please visit this page: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/canada-mexico-travel/t…

Sister Filed Petition

Authored on: Fri, 10/03/2014 - 07:29


My sister filed petition for me last year maybe I-130. I am an Indian and my wife is Italian, I am in California nowadays since last week. Can we stay here permanently under I-485 or AOS whatever?


That category takes 13-14 years. During the time you are waiting for your priority date to be current, you cannot stay in the USA just because your green card is pending. You can, however, stay or come to the USA under a visa independent of the green card such as L-1, H-1. You can also apply for a green card in several categories simultaneously.

my sister filed petition me last year maybe i-130,i am an indian and my wife is italian,i am in califonia nowdays since last week.can we stay here permanantly under i-485 or aos whatever? - See more at: http://www.immigration.com/comment/14928#comment-14928

How to Enter The USA to Start A Business And Then Continue

Authored on: Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:23


I am planning to start an IT company in USA which is registered in India. Currently I am planning to travel on B1/B2 visa for my company set up. Can I transfer my visa status from B1/B2 to L1 if required within USA? What are the possible chances of success? Kindly you please suggest me the best way.


There are several issues that should be examined before you can make an informed decision.

1.  B visa or ESTA does not allow you to “work:”

To enter the USA, a B-1 visa or ESTA (Visa Waiver Program) is a good option, but you need to remember, these visas do not allow you to actually engage in income generating business yourself.  There are several impediments to what you can do.  You are, of course, allowed to enter the USA, seek a business, negotiate and/or purchase the business.  You are also allowed to incorporate and/or start a new business, including, a US branch of your business in your home country.

Read about B (the same limitations exist for ESTA entries) visas: http://www.immigration.com/visa/b-visa/b-visa-overview


2.  Are you already a part of or own an established business in your home country?

(a)  Yes: Look at the following options:

                                                               i.      L-1 (Intra-company transferee – visas where you have or are starting a company related to your foreign company) http://www.immigration.com/visa/l-visa/l-visa-overview

                                                             ii.      E-1 and E-2 (Treaty trader and treaty investor visas – require a treaty between your home country and the USA.  India does not have any such treaties with the USA.  http://www.immigration.com/visa/e-visa/e-visa-overview

                                                            iii.      EB-5 (These are investment-based green cards requiring investment of $500,000 or $1 Million and creation/preservation of ten American jobs over two years) http://www.immigration.com/greencard/eb5-green-card/eb-5-investment-green-card

(b)  No: Look at E-1/E-2 and EB-5 visas (links are in the previous para).

3.  Should you convert from B visa to any other visa?

Generally speaking, that is a bad idea.  Watch this video:  http://youtu.be/es4SlhcXr9E

For more information related to B visas, you can watch videos from this play list: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL13184E6EA97A1593

4.  How do you start a business in the USA:

This matter should be addressed based upon the advice you receive from legal counsel in the State where you wish to start your business.  The incorporation of foreign business entities is regulated at the state level (as opposed to the federal or national level) in the United States. The application process will vary from state-to-state.  Here is a good resource page from SBA, Small Business Administration (SBA is a US Government agency) on the types of business entities you can form in the USA.  Generally speaking, you, as a B or ESTA visitor, should be able to form any of these entities:  http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business/choose-your-business-stru

Resigning Under L-1 Visa

Authored on: Tue, 10/29/2013 - 03:35


1. I am currently on an L-1 visa but I am thinking of resigning my job. I have an Australian passport, so if I do so could I just change my status to the Visa Waiver Program or would I need to physically exit and re-enter the country?

2. If I subsequently wish to stay longer than 90 days under the visa waiver program, am I able to simply exit and re-enter the country to restart the 90 day period?


1. You will have to exit and reenter OR apply for a change of status to USCIS.

2. This is not guaranteed to work. CBP can decline second entry if they wish.

L-1 to GC

Authored on: Wed, 06/19/2013 - 04:17


I am on L-1 visa until 2015, according to my employer's attorney the I-140 form was already approved, now my employer does not want to continue with the I-485 form process (because they don't want to pay attorney's fees) and will not release any information related to my case, do I have any chance to continue with the GC process by myself? Or will I be facing deportation at the L-1 visa expiration date?


There is no problem with you paying the I-485 fees. But the employer must be involved to the extent that they need to provide a (truthful) letter evidencing continuity of your employment.

Fresh H-1B After 6 Years

Authored on: Thu, 03/28/2013 - 07:52


I possess a US Master's Degree in Computer Science and also worked in the US for 7 yrs, 6 of them on H-1 which expired on May 31, 2012. I have since been in India and will complete 12 months of physical presence outside the US in early June 2013. I do have an employer ready to petition on my behalf on April 1st but could you please help shed some light on:

1. Given my past H-1 stay in US, am I subject to either cap of 65,000 or 20,000? If neither, can petition be filed anytime of year after 4/1? Since 12 mos. of physical stay in India will complete in June, can petition be filed on April 1st?

2. Does 12 month rule of physical stay outside the US apply if my current employer were to petition an L-1?


1. You will be subject to quota and USCIS will not accept the filing until one year is over.

2. Being outside for one year does give a fresh start on the L-1 times as well. And, L-1 are not subject to quota.

Blanket L visas and I-129S

Authored on: Tue, 11/13/2012 - 23:30


With the new guidance for L visas to be issued for the maximum reciprocity period, Blanket L visas have been issued for five years when an I-129S is certified for less time. How will beneficiaries be able to get a new I-129S approved by a consular officer if a visa application will not be required?


Upon expiration of the initial validity of the approved I-129S, a beneficiary may apply for an extension of his or her status with USCIS. If approved, the alien can continue to utilize his and her still valid visas for travel to the U.S. The approved extension of status application, not the initial I-129S, is proof to CBP of his or her eligibility for admission.

Have valid L-1 Visa, but I-94 expires

Authored on: Mon, 06/13/2011 - 07:00


I have valid visa till 2013. Last year when I came to US, my passport was about to expire in Dec'2011 and hence I got my I-94 till Dec'2011. Now I have renewed my passport. At the time of entry, the officials said I can apply for extension once I renew my passport. I saw your previous comments "legality of stay in USA is governed by your I-94, not the visa." So my question is how to do L-1 extension?


Two choices: Leave USA and reenter using your L-1 visa or re file your L-1 with USCIS for extension.

British citizen on L-1 visa

Authored on: Mon, 04/18/2011 - 15:57


I am a British citizen on L1 visa. My boyfriend is a US citizen and we intend to marry. If we seek the fiancé visa, will I have to go back to the UK for any time? And if I intend to relocate within the US to collocate with him (and therefore will need to find a new employer) what kind of working visa could I obtain?


You can just get married and apply for a green card directly while you are still in USA. You can continue working on L-1. In 90 days or so, you should also receive your EAD, if you apply.

L-1 visa from an affiliate

Authored on: Wed, 12/01/2010 - 00:09


I worked as Dept. Director at a Spanish Hotel from Jan 08-Jul 09. My employment was in the Hotel full-time, but was hired/paid through a consulting firm they employed (and still employ) to manage the operations of that department. I have now been offered a position (Dec 2010) in a similar Managerial/Director job within the Hotel's parent company in the USA but I have not got a US work permit, (I am Spanish). Can I qualify for the L1-blanket visa of the Company, based on my history with their consultant? Do I need to be employed by Hotel in Spain again prior to applying for the L1 visa?


Interesting situation. Not having researched this issue, I am guessing, the only way you can qualify for the L-1 is if you can establish that the hotel in Spain was your "true" employer in that they controlled you, even though your salary was paid by the consulting company.

L1A-Blanket petition

Authored on: Wed, 10/20/2010 - 23:36


I came to USA before 3 years and 6 months on L1B-Individual visa. I had 2 years of managerial experience before 3.5 years with the same employer, outside U.S.A. Now I got my L1A-Blanket petition approved and waiting for Personal Appearance with U.S.Consulate. My concern is that, I read in the conditions that the experience should be within the preceding three years....but I have managerial experience before 3.5 years. Will affect the chances?


There is an exemption of time for people who come to USA and continue working with the same group of companies in USA. Their 3 years are counted back from the date they enter USA.

Request Info for L1 visa to do business

Authored on: Tue, 02/23/2010 - 06:01


My parents are in Kenya and do business there. I want to have them shift to the states and do business here. Can my parents start a subway franschise on an L1 visa? My father owns supermarkets and a mall in kenya. I was wondering if he could get an L1 visa and start business here. What options does he have?
Can we start a fast food joint based on an L1 visa as well? Also, I would like to mention that my parents would like to keep the business in Kenya to continue and they would want to travel between the US and Kenya.


L-1 visas have progressively become more difficult for smaller companies. But I think it my be worth a try.