L1 Visa Extension

Dhiraj Raut

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Hello Attorneys,

My wife is working for a renowned CMMI-5 level company, and currently in USA on L1B visa.

Her visa and I94 are getting expired in Feb 2013. She is in USA from April 2010 and used 2.5 yrs of her 5 years max out period.

Her company wants her in USA for more time, but because recently there are lots of L1B visa rejections, her company has suggested one alternative.

They say -

a) We will send the passport to the USCIS thru our attorney to extend the I-94.

b) If (a) does not work, then you need to exit the US at least 1 month prior to the expiry of his L-1 Blanket visa and reenter the US (travel to Mexico / Canada) ,you will be issued an I-94 for a minimum period of 3 years, provided the following conditions are met :

I. You will have 3 years available from the 5 years permitted on an L-1 Blanket visa

II. There should be at least 3 years of validity available on the passport

Option (b) can be done only if option (a) has been attempted

c) If both option (a) & (b) do not work, then we will file for the extension of the L-1 visa.

d) If all of the above options do not work, then you need to return India to do a new L-1 Blanket.

Looking at the options like going through attorney to just extend I94 without L1 extension, though it looks like company wants to help in extending her stay in USA, we are getting some suspicious feeling as what can be implications she can face if she has to go to India for vacation during this period, if she will be able to return, what implications can happen in GC processing (or any other USA work visa processing) if we apply for it in future?

Any help regarding this issue will we greatly appreciated.

As additional information, I am also on work visa (H1B) and we are here with a 9 month kid who is US citizen.

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Her L1 visa was issued under the company's Blanket, and the visa is still valid? If so, a foreign national can generally leave the U.S. and be granted L1 status for 3 years (or the remaining amount of time left in L1 status) when he/she reenters. You may wish to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss this case in more depth, as I'm not sure about the advice you are receiving from the employer.

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