First of all, H4 visa holders are NOT permitted to work in U.S. As you know, an H-4 visa is a visa issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders. The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to TEMPORARILY employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Remember that as a spouse you will accompany a legally employed person in the United States on a dependent visa. Do you hold a H-1B visa?
On the other hand, an L-1 visa is a visa document used to enter the United States for the purpose of work in L-1 status. It is a non-immigrant visa, and is valid for a relatively short amount of time, generally three years. L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad. The visa allows such foreign workers to relocate to the corporation's US office after having worked abroad for the company for at least one year prior to being granted L-1 status. The US office must be a parent company, child company, or sister company to the foreign company. The L-1B visa can be extended up to a duration of 5 years; and the L-1A up to 7 years.
After the expiration of the 7 or 5 years respectively, the person(foreigner) must leave the United States for an aggregate of 365 days, and must work for a parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch of the U.S. company during that time before becoming eligible to reapply for an L-1 visa.
That being said, why would you choose to travel to the United States under an H4 Visa when your wife has a "valid L1-B visa?" The question does not make sense, especially since spouses of L-1 visa holders are allowed to work without restriction in the US (using an L-2 visa), and the L-1 visa may legally be used as a stepping stone to a green card under the doctrine of dual intent.
Please be advised that an L-1 status may be renewed and extended WITHIN the United States. Except in the case of blanket petitions, a new I-129 petition must be filed. Renewal in the United States applies to status only, not the actual visa in the passport. For visa renewal, the applicant must go to a U.S. consulate or embassy OUTSIDE the United States. An alien cannot leave the United States and then reenter without a valid L-1 visa, and must appear personally before a consular officer for visa issuance. Also, the fees have increased considerably under Public Law 111-230.
I hope this helps.
Drew Allan Cicconi
Attorney at Law
Disclaimer: This is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. This is not intended to be legal advice in your specific case. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website. You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information in your case.
She can if she changes her status back to L-1
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Only if the company files for a change of status back to L-1B or she leaves the US and reenters with an L-1B visa stamp.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
I agree with my colleagues. Good luck.
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