L1 to H1 conversion while L2 to H1 in progress.. Please advise...

I am currently in L1B visa. Me and my spouse are working for the same employer. My employer is applying for L2 to H1B conversion for my spouse. My current L1B petition end date is 23 September 2016 and i-94 end date is 2 Jan 2018. I had an approved H1B before I applied for L1B and my I-140 is approved. Please help me with the below questions.

  1. Is it possible for me to convert my L1B to my old H1B any time within 6 years of H1B approval date ?

2.Will my conversion from L1B to H1B affect my spouse petition for L2 to H1 conversion ?

  1. Do I need to wait until my spouse H1B is approved before I can apply for L1B to H1B conversion ?

  2. I heard that filling for an L1B extension faces lot of rejection. In that case, is it possible for me to stay and work after my petion end date as I have an extended I-94 ?

I am so much confused. Please help me with these questions.

  1. Yes, cap-exempt H-1 petition can be filed using prior H-1 approval notice provided you it was approved less than 6 years ago. What about 6 year H-1 + L-1 cap? How close are you to that? I assume you would use approved I-140 to file extensions beyond 6th year.

  2. It all comes down to timing. Her L-2 is dependent on your L-1 and once you move to H-1, her L-2 will cease to exist. If her H-1 gets denied, then you will be in a fix.

  3. Even though this is not required, it will take care of the issues highlighted in (2)

  4. Yes, L-1 extension can run into issues as they are closely scrutinized. Typically, you can work on L-1 until I-94 expiration date.

Another option is for you to move to H-1, and your spouse can move to H-4 EAD in case her H-1 gets denied.

Thanks a lot Saurabh!!!

I have almost near 4 years completion (both H1B+L1B) in US. If I file my H1B conversion a bit delayed(may be in first week of August) and my conversion is not yet approved by Sep 23, do I need to leave US as my L1B petition ends on Sep 23 ?

You can still stay and work on L-1 on the basis of L-1 I-94.

Just make sure you don’t stay inside US for more than 5 years on L-1. Even approved I-140 doesn’t allow for extensions beyond 5th year L-1. You have to move to H-1 before you complete 5th year on L-1.