Do I have time to apply for Greencard without going out of country?


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Hi Friends,


I have a very serious question. my case is confusing (I think) so need experts' advice.


1. I came to US in October, 2008 with L1 Blanket petition/visa which was valid till Sep, 2011

2. My project scraped because of Recession, so went back to India in April 2009, 

3. Again I got a project in US and came back with same Visa/petition in Sep, 2009.

4. I stayed till June 13, 2011 and thought of going back to India permanently, so went back to India on June 13, 2011

5. The L1 B VIsa expired in Sep 2011, I didnt bother to apply for extension.

6. I wanted to come back to US, so applied for new L1, a different blanket petition, I applied in May, 2012. Please note its May, 2012, I want to stress here - I will tell you the reason in short time.

7. Got the L1B approved/stamped on June 15, 2012 

8. I came back to US on July 9, 2012

9. Applied for H1 B through different employer in April, 2013

10. Got approval for H1 B on June 5, 2013 (approved through August, 2015) --> On a side note, I applied one more H1B through another employer got the approval for that too.. it was valid till Sep 2016. But I didnt take that. So that employer cancelled the VISA I see that in USCIS case status now. 

11. Worked in L1 B till Oct 25, 2013

12. Changed my status to H1 B on Oct 25, 2013 

13. And continuing from there with my new employer..



The questions are..


a. Is my 6 years stay in US going to end in Sep 2014 as I came to Us in Sep, 2008 for the first time?

b. If not how many years I have till I can apply for green card? meaning how many more years I can stay without applying for Greencard?

c. I heard that if I stay out of US for more than a year, the clock resets.. meaning my stay in US will start from 0 when I reenter. IN this case I clearly stayed out of US for 1 complete year. No payroll was run from July 2011 to June 2012.  So my clock is also reset on July 9, 2012 and I have till 2018 July or 2017 July to apply for Greencard?

d. I heard that its not just 1 yr out of US, that 1 yr is counted from the say I get out of US to the day I apply for the next petition(new one). Is this true? If this is the case Its just 11 months in my case... So I have prob? Now that Its Jan 2014, I cant apply for Greencard and leave the country in Sep 2014? 


Please help me understand all these... I just want to make sure I understand this clearly and action accordingly.


thanks so much in advance.

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1. Subtract your existing time here in L1 and H1 status from 6 years and that is your remaining time here available in H1 status.

2. What has the GC got to do with it? You may choose not to apply or get a sponsor to apply at any time.

3. The clock reset as you call it is not automatic. It applies when a new petition is filed one year after you leave and gets approved.

4. See 3.


In a matter presumably important to you should you consider getting appropriate input from a Lawyer? I leave it to you.

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Thanks so much for your response. 


I want to know more on point 3, so even if I stayed out of country for more than 1 year since I didnt apply for a new petition my previous stay in US is calculated in the 6 years, Is my understanding correct?


But one thing I wanna let you know is, my petition was a blanket one preapproved for my employer. Now in this case, the day my L1 B got approved should be considered to calculate the 1 year stay out of US? or not?


So bottom line my 6 yrs is started from July 2012, it started in Sep 2008 correct? Sorry, can you please confirm? I will check with Lawyer too. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

hi Mahendrannill


October, 2008  to  April 2009    = 7 months

Sep, 2009   to June 13, 2011 = 21 months

July 9, 2012  to  till today  = 19 months


your total stay in US is = 7+21+19 = 47 months which is 4 yrs , so you have another 2 yrs to reach 6 yrs of total stay.


You should calculate your physical stay in US with I-94 dates or Immigration admitted stamp dates In and out dates , which will give you the number of days you stayed in US. And this total stay when reaches 6yrs, then you cannot continue staying on H1 visa. 




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