L1 to H4 conversion without COS. Is this possible?


I am currently working in US on L1B. My wife is working on L2.

My wife’s employer has applied for her H1b. If approved she will be on H1b from Oct 1st 2012.

My question is can I apply for L1b to H4 without changing my status?

So that I can continue working on my L1 visa till I complete 5 years and after that apply for COS from L1 to H4.

Please let me know.

Going from L1 to H4 is changing your status ;-). You don’t have to change your L1 status at all, your status and your wife’s are independent since they’re for different jobs. Also, why would you want to change to H4? You are not allowed to work on H4 so changing to that makes no sense if you want to continue to work in the US.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes I cannot work on H4, but here’s the thing,

  1. My wife’s employer will apply for her GC in 6 months. So if she has H1 + GC applied even the dependants of H1 (i.e., H4) can apply for EAD - AP. This is my understanding.

  2. If I stay on L1, I will have to go back to my home country after completing 5 years of stay in US, as my employer is not willing apply a GC.

  3. If I continue on L1, I am not a dependant of my wife (H1b holder).
    So my question is will USCIS accept my application for I-485 as a spouse of principle GC applicant who is on H1??


Yes, they can apply for EAD after I-485 has been filed. However, depending upon which country you both were born in and EB category, it may take few to several years for this to happen.

When her I-485 is about to be filed, they can include you as the dependent. You don’t need to be on H-4 for that. In b/w if your 5 year L-1 term is about to end, one option would be to file L-1 to H-4 COS and become her dependent.

Thanks Saurabh,

So now I understand. Let me summarize my understanding,

  1. Until I-485 can be applied I cannot get EAD. Well then it will surely take looong time in my case. EB2-I. Atleast 3-4 years.
    Thats disheartning … :frowning:

  2. I can be on any visa L1, H1 or H4 to be included as a dependant applicant for I-485.

  3. Only option is I can have my employer apply for a H1 for me next year so that I will get 1 more year. After that … hmmm H4 or home country.

Anyways Thanks a lot guys and Saurabh you are doing a great job.

That is correct, but a slight correction. If the employer files H-1 for you and also applies for GC, then you may be eligible for H-1 extensions beyond the 6 year term. To be eligible for 7th year H-1 extension, either the PERM should be pending for 365 days, or I-140 should be pending for 365 days or I-140 should be approved but priority date is not current.

You can talk to your employer/attorney on how to time it so that you can continue working on H-1 beyond the 6th year.