L1 Visa Duration - U.S Area Immigration Services in India

How To Extend L1 Visa Duration Beyond 5 And 7 Years?

A foreign company may transfer some of its employees to work for a US affiliate company under an L1 visa.

Being a non-immigrant visa, the L1 is only valid for a limited period and does not automatically result in a green card. This is the essential characteristic of the visa. 

In this guide, we will go through the L1 visa duration. We would also go through the possible ways to stay in the United States longer than the maximum of 5 or 7 years. 

A Brief Description of the L1 Visa

Under the terms of the L1 “Intracompany Transferee” visa, a foreign company may transfer an executive, manager, or a specialized knowledge worker to a related US company. There must be a qualifying relationship between the foreign and US companies. Parent/subsidiary, branch office, and affiliate relationships are a few types of qualifying relationships.

L1 Visa Qualifications:

  • A qualifying connection between the US company and the foreign company;
  • The recipient of an L1 visa must have worked full-time and continuously for the foreign company for at least a year in the three years before applying for the visa
  • The recipient of the L1 visa must have held a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge worker position with the foreign company;
  • The recipient of an L1 visa is required to hold a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge worker position with a US company.

L1 Visa Duration

There are two subcategories within the L1 visa category: L1A and L1B. If you plan to work as a manager or executive in the US, you will be granted an L1A visa. If you intend to work in the US as a specialized knowledge worker, you are granted an L1B visa. Depending on whether you are applying under the L1A or L1B category, the total length of your L1 visa will vary.

  • L1A: Seven Years in All Are Available
  • L1B: Five Years in Total Are Available

How to Go Over the 5- and 7-Year Limits

  • Regaining Time Spent Away from the United States
  • Modification or Revision of Status

Regaining Time Spent Away from the United States

  • You have a maximum of five to seven years as an L1 visa beneficiary, depending on whether you are on an L1A or L1B visa.
  • If you are traveling outside of the United States then that time spent is not included in the five to seven years of total. 
  • As a result, any time spent traveling for at least a full day outside of the US could be subject to recapture. 
  • With this, you can extend the duration of your L1 visa to cover the time that you have spent outside of the United States. 
  • To reclaim unused L1 time, your employer must submit a petition to extend the L1 visa.
  • Evidence of your presence outside of the United States should be included in this petition (boarding passes, flight confirmations, I-94 records, etc.).
  • Recapture of the time spent outside the US is also possible for your dependents, who are beneficiaries of an L2 visa.

Modification or Revision of Status

It can become the need to change your status or adjust your status if your L1 visa does not allow you to travel outside of the United States

Modification of Status

  • The change of status refers to the process of switching from one non-immigrant visa status to another. The whole process is managed outside of the United States. 
  • To convert from L-1 to another non-immigrant status, you are required to file your petition to change your status while you are still in good standing with the L1 visa. 

Below are some of the non-immigrant choices that you should be aware of: 

  • E2 Visa: An investment-based visa, the E2 visa permits a person to enter the US and remain there for as long as they invest in a US business.
  • O1 Visa: Those with exceptional talent in a particular field are eligible for the O1 visa. You can live and work in the US in your extraordinary ability field if you have an O1 visa.

In summary

To work under the L1 visa, foreign workers can be transferred to the United States. The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa and transitory. Depending on whether you apply for an L1A or L1B visa, the length of your L1 visa can range from five to seven years. The initial duration of your visa will be affected whether you are applying for an L1 visa as a new office or an employee of an established company. 

You can apply for an adjustment of status or change of status petition or you can recapture time spent outside of the United States if you would like to extend beyond the typical 5 or 7-year L1 visa period. 

Please contact US Area Immigration Services if you have any questions about any of the information on L-1 visa duration. We would be pleased to assist you.

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