L1 Visa Validity: How Long Does Your Visa Last?

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If you are a foreign national looking to work in the United States, you may have heard of the L1 visa. This visa is specifically designed for intra-company transfers, allowing employees of multinational companies to work in the US for a temporary period. But how long is an L1 visa valid for? Can it be renewed? Let us explore the validity of L1 visas and provide information on the renewal process.

US Investor Visa For Indians | Validity of L1 Visas: Duration and Renewal Information | Global Immigration Partners

What is an L1 Visa?

Before we dive into the validity and renewal of L1 visas, let’s first understand what an L1 visa is and who is eligible for it.

An L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals who are employed by a multinational company to transfer to the US branch of the same company. This visa is divided into two categories: L1A for executives and managers, and L1B for specialized knowledge employees.

To be eligible for an L1 visa, the employee must have worked for the company for at least one year in the past three years and must be coming to the US to work in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge role.

Validity of L1 Visas

The validity of an L1 visa depends on the category and the country of origin of the employee. Generally, L1 visas are valid for a period of three years for L1B visa holders and up to seven years for L1A visa holders. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

L1A Visa Validity

L1A visas are valid for a maximum of seven years. However, if the employee is coming to the US to establish a new office, the initial validity period is only one year. After the first year, the visa can be extended for up to two years, and then for another two years, for a total of five years. After five years, the employee must leave the US for at least one year before being eligible for another L1A visa.

L1B Visa Validity

L1B visas are valid for a maximum of five years. However, if the employee is coming to the US to work on a specific project, the initial validity period is only one year. After the first year, the visa can be extended for up to two years, for a total of three years. After three years, the employee must leave the US for at least one year before being eligible for another L1B visa.

L1 Visa Renewal

If an employee wishes to extend their stay in the US beyond the initial validity period of their L1 visa, they must apply for a renewal. The renewal process is similar to the initial application process, and the employee must meet the same eligibility requirements.

To renew an L1 visa, the employee must submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with supporting documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The renewal application can be submitted up to six months before the expiration of the current L1 visa.

L1 Visa Requirements for Renewal

To be eligible for an L1 visa renewal, the employee must continue to meet the requirements for the L1 visa category they were initially approved for. Additionally, the employee must have maintained their status and not engaged in any unauthorized employment while in the US.

The employee must also provide evidence that they are still employed by the same multinational company and that they will continue to work in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge role. This can be done by providing a letter from the employer, a copy of the employment contract, or other relevant documents.

L1 Visa Renewal Processing Time

The processing time for an L1 visa renewal can vary depending on the workload of the USCIS and the complexity of the case. On average, it takes between three to six months for an L1 visa renewal to be processed. However, premium processing is available for an additional fee, which guarantees a processing time of 15 calendar days.

L1 Visa Renewal Denial

Unfortunately, there is always a chance that an L1 visa renewal application may be denied. This can happen if the employee no longer meets the eligibility requirements or if there is a lack of evidence to support the renewal.

If an L1 visa renewal is denied, the employee must leave the US before the expiration of their current visa. They may also be subject to a bar from entering the US for a certain period of time, depending on the reason for the denial.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the validity of L1 visas depends on the category and country of origin of the employee. L1A visas are valid for up to seven years, while L1B visas are valid for up to five years. Both categories may have an initial validity period of one year if the employee is coming to the US for a specific purpose.

L1 visas can be renewed, but the employee must continue to meet the eligibility requirements and provide evidence of their continued employment with the multinational company. The processing time for an L1 visa renewal can take up to six months, but premium processing is available for a faster turnaround time.

If you are considering applying for an L1 visa or renewing your current L1 visa, it is important to understand the requirements and process to ensure a successful application. With the right information and preparation, you can continue to work in the US and contribute to the success of your multinational company.

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