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  • Emergency- Need to travel - please advise

    I am working in the USA as an L1B employee. I changed status from within the USA so I don't have the visa stamped in my passport, but I do have a multiple entry B1/B2 visa. My husband applied to have his status changed from H2B to that of dependent of L1. He received his work authorization a couple of months ago, but he hasn't yet received approval for the I-539 (change of status). His receipt notice is dated Oct. 2003 and TSC are currently processing Jan. 2004, so he should surely have received something by now?

    We now have an emergency situation. His brother is seriously ill in his home country, and my husband and I may need to return to see him. Our concern is re-entry into the USA. Will we be allowed back into the country without having the visa's stamped in our passports? If we do go to our home country we won't be able to visit a US Consulate, as there isn't one anywhere near his family. Would it be possible to get the visa's stamped in our passports by the Depart. of State visa office before leaving the USA, and if so can the process be expedited in an emergency?

  • #2
    I am working in the USA as an L1B employee. I changed status from within the USA so I don't have the visa stamped in my passport, but I do have a multiple entry B1/B2 visa. My husband applied to have his status changed from H2B to that of dependent of L1. He received his work authorization a couple of months ago, but he hasn't yet received approval for the I-539 (change of status). His receipt notice is dated Oct. 2003 and TSC are currently processing Jan. 2004, so he should surely have received something by now?

    We now have an emergency situation. His brother is seriously ill in his home country, and my husband and I may need to return to see him. Our concern is re-entry into the USA. Will we be allowed back into the country without having the visa's stamped in our passports? If we do go to our home country we won't be able to visit a US Consulate, as there isn't one anywhere near his family. Would it be possible to get the visa's stamped in our passports by the Depart. of State visa office before leaving the USA, and if so can the process be expedited in an emergency?

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    • #3
      nt



      http://www.immigrate2us.net

      [This message was edited by xandtrick on February 18, 2004 at 08:25 PM.]
      I am not a lawyer nor do I claim to be one so please double-check any information given by me, or anyone else for that matter, with a certified (immigration)lawyer before you take any further steps.

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      • #4
        You can always get permission during any kind of Emergency. Go to you Service Center with proof of your brothers illness, , they will issue a letter. Re-Entery Permit is issued to LPR's only.

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        • #5
          Thank you for your responses. Neither my husband nor I have ever been out of status or overstayed. We only have L1 status, are not LPR - would it still be possible to get emergency travel documents, bearing in mind that we changed to L1 while in the USA. We do not have L1 visa's in our passports.

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          • #6
            I'm curious with sab34's answer. What kind of letter will the service center issue on this matter? Besides, visa issuance is the jurisdiction of State Dept, not USCIS. I don't think there's an official letter for such matter. There's emergency AP, but thats only for AOS adjustee.

            You can try revalidating your L visa in the Missouri Center. Problem is, it took 10-12 weeks (if not longer) for it to get back, and I'm not sure whether the fact that you never had a L visa stamped in your passport will hinder the process or not. Also, if you're coming from one of the country thats part of NSEERS/Special Registration, its almost guarantee your husband visa revalidation will be denied.

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            • #7
              Thanks Marmaduk. My husbands EAD is valid for another 18 months. However, I read somewhere that if you leave the country after you have adjusted status within the US, then you lose that status and cannot return to the US and "resume" it without having the visa stamped in your passport. His application to change to L2 was filed in Texas, but although he has received permission to work, he hasn't yet received the L2 Approval Notice. (I think it should really only be a formality, as he is an L1 spouse.) TSC are supposed to be currently processing a date way past his receipt date, but I couldn't get any information from the Customer Service people. Without an approval notice I really don't know what we should do. Any ideas?

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              • #8
                Can anyone offer any more information? Time may be of the essence here, if my brother-in-laws condition deteriorates further.

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                • #9
                  Its not that you lose your status. Its just that you might not be able to revalidate a new visa while still inside the US.
                  The I-539 and I-765 have different approval queue is my guess for the irregularities concerning your husband approval (doesn't make sense since the EAD is contigent to L2 status, but TSC never makes any sense).

                  Is there no possibility whatsoever to take 1-2 days in your home country to visit the US consulate?

                  Alternatively, you can try scheduling a short vacation trip to Canada or Mexico and get the visa stamped in either US consulates.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Marmaduk. In the event of my husband having to make an emergency trip, I guess he will just have to try to make some sort of arrangement to get to the Consulate - although I have heard there are very long waits for interviews.

                    I didn't know it was possible to go to a US Consulate other than one in the home country, to have a visa validated. Is there any possibility that if we made a trip to Canada or Mexico, they could refuse to validate the visa and we would not be permitted to re-enter the USA?

                    I recently read an article that said it is possible for non-immigrants in H, L, O or P status to "apply for visa reissuance through the DOS visa office by mailing the application without having to leave the USA". Do you know if this is an option, and how we would go about it?

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                    • #11
                      There's always a possibility they might refuse to validate visa in any US consulate, regardless of countries. I think another cause of problem is the mandatory FBI background check required for visa applicants. It can cause who-knows-how-long delay to the unlucky applicants. I think for the Toronto consulate, you can schedule an appointment with them before hand, quite handy when you planning the trip.

                      As for the revalidation in US, it is what I refer earlier with regard to the Missouri Center. Again, my concern is since you never had the L visa stamped in your passport.
                      You can view the requirements at:
                      http://travel.state.gov/hlop.html

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                      • #12
                        Marmaduk, thank you again. I have just taken a look at the information at the link you provided. Gosh, what a procedure. It seems that if you adjust status from within the USA you are stuck here until it is time to return to your home country!

                        Apart from the emergency situation I am dealing with now, it appears that even an International business trip is going to be a problem. Neither my employer nor I were aware of this. We thought that after all the endless information, paperwork, proof and time that was required to get the change of status to L1 approved, the approval notice would make the issuing of a visa more or less mandatory.

                        It seems more than possible that a Consulate could just decide that they disagree with the approval and not issue the visa. What would happen to us then! We have been working here (legally) for 18 months, have numerous commitments including rented property, car payments, telephone and electricity accounts etc. etc. We own furniture, pets and so on - not to mention our obligations to our employers. Could we really be expected to just abandon all of our responsibilities if we were unfortunate enough to be interviewed by a consular officer having a bad day!

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                        • #13
                          Unfortunately, visa issuance is nowhere near guaranteed, regardless of supporting documents/evidence (they called a privilege, not a right). Its always fall to the mercy of the consular officer to grant or deny the visa. In some country, I heard its really worse when it comes to visa denial (country such as china,etc).

                          Some liken the plight of immigrants here as "slaves", until you can obtained the freedom by obtaining that pink card called gc.

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