The L1 visa is a valuable pathway for intracompany transferees to work in the United States. The L1-A is designed for managers and executives, while the L1-B is intended for employees with specialized knowledge. Both visas enable qualified individuals to work for a U.S.-based company with a related entity abroad. Upon meeting certain eligibility requirements, L1 visa holders may pursue adjustment of status to obtain lawful permanent resident status, commonly referred to as a green card.
Travel Considerations During the Adjustment of Status Process
When an individual with an L1-A or L1-B visa applies for adjustment of status, the pending application introduces unique considerations related to international travel. Departing the United States while the adjustment of status application is pending can have significant implications on the processing of the application and the individual's ability to reenter the country.
If you plan to travel internationally during this period, it’s critical to do so with careful consideration and a thorough understanding of the associated regulations and implications. Regardless of the circumstances, it is always in your best interest to seek legal counsel from an experienced immigration attorney if you plan to travel outside the United States.
A person who is in valid L or H status, who has a valid H or L stamp in their passport, is able to travel while an adjustment of status application is pending without the need for advance parole. Doing so will not jeopardize the pending adjustment of status (I-485) application. See USICS Policy Memo, Cronin, Acting Assoc. Comm., Office of Programs HQADJ 70/2.8.6, 2.8.12, 10.18 (May 16, 2000).
Traveling with Advance Parole
Another option for individuals with pending adjustment of status applications is to seek advance parole before traveling internationally. Advance parole, also known as a travel document, enables individuals with pending adjustment of status applications to depart the United States for temporary travel and return without abandoning their application. Someone with a valid L or H stamp is not required to obtain advance parole before traveling.
It is also important to note that if you depart the United States and re-enter with advance parole, you will be admitted into the United States as a parolee, and you will not retain the H or L status you previously had. This may add complications if you do not have a separate employment authorization document authorization (EAD).
Obtaining advance parole typically allows individuals to travel internationally while their adjustment of status is pending, without jeopardizing the progress of their application or their ability to return to the United States. However, even advance parole carries some risks. It is important to discuss travel with your immigration lawyer.
Talk to an Irvine, California Immigration Lawyer Today
Given the complexities and potential repercussions associated with international travel during the adjustment of status process, seeking the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney is imperative. At Yekrangi & Associates, our knowledgeable legal team will provide you with comprehensive insight into the regulatory requirements, advise on the optimal course of action, and assist in securing advance parole to facilitate international travel while the adjustment of status application is pending. Contact Yekrangi & Associates today for more information and to receive personalized support as you navigate the adjustment of status process and travel considerations.