L1 Transferred to H1B in Oct21, but L2 approval happened in Jan 22


  1. L1/L2 extension was filed in Jul 21 and L1/2 expired on Aug 21. We stayed on Receipt Notice.
    2)H1B lottery picked up in mar 2021, L-H conversion filed/approved effective from Oct21. MY current status is H1B.
    3)H4 approval not happened yet
    4)But I received L2 approved I-797 with new I-94 in Jan2022. This has the validity till Aug 2023
    question: Is this L2 a valid document for spouse ? Can Spouse consider renewing her EAD and can work in USA?

H4 & L2 are derivative status of primary H1B & L1. Once the primary switch the status from L1 to H1B, the dependent inherit the primary visa class. In your case your spouse is currently in a ‘period of authorized stay’ due to a pending L2 to H4 change of status application. Your spouse can’t go back to L2 status even if the L2 extension of status application was approved just because the primary is no more on L1 status. The L2 extension of status approval only serves the purpose of filling the gap between the L2 I-94 expiry in Aug’21 leading up to the change of status effective 1st Oct’21.

For the above reason your spouse also can’t use L2 EAD (now with new USCIS policy L2 I-94 will carry work authorization and no need for L2 to apply for separate EAD card).

Your spouse will need to wait till H4 is approved. If the primary H1B has a approved I-140, only then your H4 spouse can apply for H4 EAD, otherwise H4 can’t work in the US.

Thanks Kalpesh
If I travel to India and choose to get visa stamping for L1, and enter USA. I will be on L1 visa and my Wife can be on L2 visa. In that case how easy it will be to use my H1B approved petition in case I want to move out of any other job. Can I do that?


Yes, however your wife will also need L2 visa stamp if her past L2 visa has expired.

You will again need to do a change of status from L1 to H1B if you want to change employer.

Thanks for your reply. This really helps many like me in this situation. One last bit of clarification. When you say, again I have to apply L1 to H1B, 1) Does this mean my H1B visa petition approved I797 will no longer be valid and I will have to file for new one? 2) Is this subject to H1B cap for the year in which I am going to apply?


The change of status will be cap-exempt. Note that any time spent on L1 will be counted against the H1B term of 6 years and if you don’t have an approved I-140 you may not be able to extend your H1B term beyond 6 years, In such situation you will need to leave the US and return back after your I-140 is approved.

Make sure to consult a lawyer to plan the switch between different visa categories and the impact on your non-immigrant/immigrant statuses.