This is my first post, so please be patient.
After reading lot of articles on Red Bus Forums and other internet forums, I am confused with answers from Users and Immigration Lawyers.
I have question related to Petition Expiration Date vs Visa Expiration Date vs i94 Expiration Date. I am already in US and have been working on L1 Status since 2014.
Currently, here are the dates:
Petition End Date (on VISA): 16th June 2019
VISA Expiration Date: 15th December 2019
i94 Expiration Date: 23rd December 2021.
Entered US - April 2014
I was out of US for almost 8 months due to unavoidable circumstances.
- Can I still work on L1 VISA till 15th December 2019 or I will be out of status after 16th June 2019?
- is VISA expiration date of any importance?
- For 8 months outside US, can my company file recapture process or new L1 Extension Process?
Please let me know as June is nearby and I dont want to overstay.
I will try to give you a piece of general information which may throw some light on your confusion.
- Petition means what? Petition means a bunch of papers that you have FILED for a benefit (in your case its a visa application). That has nothing to do with your expiration etc. Its just an applicaiton.
- Notice of action: I-797: This is a piece of paper that USCIS would send to petitioner when they want to communicate an action during the process of the above petition. If this notice is indicating any action(like approval etc), there may be some details of the time period of such approval(from which date to which date). Also an approval type of action notice would have an I-94 copy at the bottom of the I-797.
- Visa which was stamped on your passport: This is only the entry ticket into a country. It doesnt give the ticket to LIVE in the country. Using this entry ticket, once you entered into a country, the Immigration Officer at the Port of Entry(POE) would decide on how long you can live under which class of eligibility(visa category). Once you are inside a country, the passport stamped visa is IMMATERIAL.
Summary: Pull our your latest I-797 (notice of approval), check if here is an I-94 at the bottom of it, check its Validity end date, that is the date till when you can legally live in US provided that you are maintaining the terms and conditions of such visa class.
From your question details, it sounds like you can live till your current/latest/valid I-94 date which is 23rd Dec 2021.
As I have mentioned above, once you enter into US, your passport-stamped visa has no meaning.
As per Immigration team and Website, L1 Blanket Visa is only Valid for 5 Years. So If I have got the Visa in April 2014, that completes by 5 years as per petition date of 16th June 2019. How did the officer at Port Of Entry gave I94 till 12/23/2021?
Can that be small mistake thinking that Visa started in 2016?
One can work on L1 visa a max of 5 yers in a stretch(they have to get out of the country for an year to continue to work beyond 5 years) if the current visa is expired, you can extend it so that you can avail a total of 5 years L1 status.
If this is not helping you to get enough clarification, consult your lawyer.