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L-1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

How long is an L-1 visa valid for?

  • L-1A Permit

  • The maximum stay for an L-1A manager is seven years;

  • The initial period of time is up to three years;

  • Usually, extensions are given for two years;

L-1B Permit

  • A special L-1B employee may remain for a maximum of five years;

  • The initial period of time is up to three years;

  • Usually, extensions are given for two years;

How long does it take to apply for the L-1 Visa?

A L1 visa petition is submitted in phases. A Change of Status L1 petition must be completed if you are filing from within the US in another status. It will take 1 to 3 months to process at the California or Texas Service Center once you file it with USCIS. For an additional cost, Premiums Processing is offered for L1 visas, and it can speed up approval time to 15 days.

Even if you are seeking for an L1 visa from abroad, the USCIS must first approve your L1 petition. After the L1 petition is granted, there is yet another stage. You must submit an application for a travel visa at the US consulate in your country of residence (or country of residence). You can accomplish this by filling out the online DS160 form, purchasing a visa, and setting up an appointment for an interview at a US embassy or consulate.

What are the Pros and Cons of the L-1 Visa?

  1. being able to work and live in the US

  2. route to a green card

  3. status as a dependent for your family

  4. high-end processing

  5. zero annual quota

What are L1 Blanket Petitions?

A blanket petition may be very beneficial in saving time and effort if a foreign employer wants to transfer numerous employees to a U.S. qualified organization since it allows the employer to create the necessary intracompany relationship by submitting just one blanket petition.

It is possible to determine eligibility for an L-1 Blanket Petition if:

  • Each of the qualified organizations and the petitioner engage in commercial trade or services;

  • The petitioner has a business office in the US that has been operational for at least a year;

  • Three or more local and international branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates make up the petitioner; and

  • Together, the petitioner and the other qualified organizations satisfy one of the following requirements:
    1. have at least 10 L-1 visas that have been approved in the last 12 months;
    2. possess U.S. affiliates or subsidiaries with annualized aggregate sales of at least $25 million; or
    3. employ at least 1,000 people in the United States.

What is the L1 Visa Application Process?

Without a Blanket Petition

Step 1: Compile the relevant data, paperwork, and proof proving the essential intracompany relationship and employee eligibility;

The employer submits an LCA Labor Condition Application in step two;

Step 3: The employer submits the L-supplement and Form I-129;

Step 4: If the employee is already in the US, they submit an L-1 change of status petition to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) or submit a visa application at a U.S. If they are abroad, see a consulate once the employer's I-129 petition is approved.

Under a Blanket Petition

Step 1: After completing Form I-129S, the employer mails it to the employee along with the notice that the Blanket Petition was approved.

Step 2: The employee submits the aforementioned documents together with any additional supporting documentation when applying for an L-1 visa at a U.S. consulate.

Can I Self-petition an L-1 Visa?

An L-1 visa must be sponsored by an employer. You can utilize the foreign company to submit an application on your behalf as an executive if you are an entrepreneur looking to open a branch in the United States. A person without a corporation, however, cannot self-petition for an L-1 visa.

Can my Spouse and Children Apply with me?

Yes, the L-1 principle beneficiary's spouse and children may apply for dependent visas to travel with him or her.

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