May an Individual in H/L Status Resume H/ L Status in the United States After Using an AP to Reenter the United States?

Under current USCIS guidance, individuals maintaining H or L status who travel outside the United States and reenter using valid AP documents may resume their H or L status pursuant to a valid H or L petition. This option may be preferred and more convenient for individuals in H or L status who would otherwise have to apply for and obtain a new H or L visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate abroad in order to reenter the U.S.

**CAVEAT: Pursuant to current U.S. immigration policy, if the Principal Applicant (H-1B, L-1A or L-1B) reenters the U.S. pursuant to a valid Advance Parole document, he/she will be paroled into the U.S. Any dependent family members with pending adjustment applications who had been maintaining H-4 or L-2 status will not be permitted to reenter the U.S. with a valid H-4 or L-2 visa stamp following travel outside of the U.S. Such dependent family members will be required to present valid Advance Parole documents in order to reenter the U.S. following travel abroad. However, p lease note that Principal Applicant’s entry to the U.S. pursuant to a valid Advance Parole document does not prevent the Principal Applicant from resuming employment pursuant to H-1B or L-1 status or obtaining an extension of such status. If the Principal Applicant and dependents later obtain extensions of H or L status (provided they maintained valid H or L status), the Principal Applicant and dependents may apply for H or L visa stamps the next time that they travel abroad and then reenter the U.S. pursuant to the valid H or L visa stamp. If a dependent enters the U.S. pursuant to an Advance Parole document, such entry as a parolee does not affect the Principal Applicant’s ability to enter the U.S. pursuant to an H or L visa stamp provided that the Principal Applicant has maintained valid H or L status. All of the above also applies to visa exempt Canadians but in lieu of a visa stamp, they would need a valid I-797 Approval Notice.

Note that the following categories of individuals are not maintaining va lid H or L status and must use AP documents to reenter the United States:

  • H-1 or L-1 nonimmigrants who leave the employer indicated on the H or L petition and engage in employment for a different employer pursuant to an employment authorization document (“EAD”) card ;
  • H-4 nonimmigrants who are working pursuant to an EAD card or whose H-1B spouse/parent is employed pursuant to an EAD card;
  • L-2 nonimmigrants who are working pursuant to an AOS EAD card; and
  • L-2 nonimmigrants who se L-1 spouse/parent is working pursuant to an EAD card.

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