L1 in RFE, H1 petition approved, I-94 expired

Hi Saurabh,

Thanks for posting useful information. The site is very useful.

I have a query related to my case. My I-94 for L1-B is expired two months back. Before I-94 expiry, extension was filed for L1B. It came as an RFE, which has last date to reply as 30th Nov’12. Meanwhile, H1B was filed for me (without COS). H1B petition is now approved. Both L1B extn and H1B are from the same employer. Following are the queries:
(a) The current plan is to travel out of US, get H1 stamped and come back on H1B without responding to RFE. Am I bound to respond to RFE. If not, will it make my current stay (fromI-94 expiry till date) as “out of status” or “illegal”?
(b) If we respond to RFE for L1 as normal, and if there is approva, I may not go for H1 stamped. What is the validity of petition of H1 (for future)
© If we respond to RFE for L1 as normal, and if there is denial, I need to leave US immediately. Will there be any “out of status” or ”illegal” status on my case. Will that impact the H1 stamping?

I checked many forums including redbus, and found queries related to similar case. But there is no clear answer. Please suggest the best way forward.

  1. You are not bound to respond to the RFE. You will not be considered “out of status” as your extension was timely filed and one is allowed to stay back while it is under process.

  2. H-1 would remain valid based on its validity dates. You can move to this H-1 later either by filing COS or entering US on stamped H-1 visa.

  3. Once your L-1 is denied, you need to leave US ASAP. Time beyond L-1 denial date gets counted as illegal stay.