Important USCIS Memo Clarifies Periods of Admission for H and L Nonimmigrants


A December 5, 2006 memo from Michael Aytes, USCIS Associate Director, Domestic Operations, provides guidance on the period of admission for H-4s and L-2s, applicants for H-1B status beyond the six-year maximum, and for H-1Bs who have been out of the U.S. for more than 1 year, but were not in H-1B status for a full 6 years. The memo clarifies that time spent in H-4 or L-2 status does not count against the maximum allowable period of stay available to principals in H-1B and L-1 status, and that qualifying H-1B aliens need not be in H-1B status when requesting an extension beyond the six-year maximum. Revisions to Chapters 31.2(d), 31.3(g) and 32.6 of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM Update 06-29) are included in the memo.

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