This article will help to illustrate the L1 visa extension process for alien workers to maintain employment in the US. There are application instructions, forms for dependents, and how to attain a green card. L1 non-immigrant visas have a life that can be increased for two years at a time until the L-1A visa reaches seven years or the L-1B visa reaches five years. These maximum periods of time are the time spent within the United States and as such any amount of time during that period, whether for professional or personal reasons, can be recaptured in the extension application.
Required Documentation – L1 Visa Extension
The documents that are eligible to be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) include:
- Proof of employment during time of residency;
- Letter from foreign employer explaining applicant’s employment dates, responsibilities, and income in the prior three years;
- Letter of support from petitioner, detailing the applicant’s schedule, salary, responsibilities, other terms of employment, and related information; and
- USCIS filing fee.
Recapturing Time Spent Outside of US
This step is necessary to explain any time spent outside of the US. In order to accomplish this, you must submit number of days spent abroad and travel itinerary, as well as physical evidence such as tickets, stamps, and entrance/exit records. If this evidence is not presented, the USCIS will deny the request to recapture time and the opportunity to present further evidence or explain circumstances will not be presented.
Regular and Blanket Visas (Form I-129)
The L1 visa can be obtained in two different ways. Blanket visas are different from standard visas, which require application and approval per person, in that they exist for employers who do a large volume of hiring or transfer from overseas. Please be mindful of which extension paperwork you are filling out and which one is required to successfully complete your application.
L1 Blanket Extension
As mentioned, this is used largely by companies of over 1,000 employees (10 of which have obtained L1s in the previous year) that have a net gross of at least $25 million and which do a lot of overseas hiring and the purpose of which is to pre-qualify L1-eligible employees for international transfer. There are several benefits for companies to approach the L1 in this way, such as its indefinite extension time period. Once approved for the company, the process is easier and quicker for these companies, eliminating the need for individual petitions.
L1 Worker Families
If spouses and unmarried children are to accompany an L1 employee applicant, these family members can apply to seek L2 non-immigrant status. Approval is valid for the length of stay of the L1 worker and status can be changed or extended by applying together on Form I-539, Application to Change or Extend Non-Immigrant Status. For more information on L2 Visas, review our section:
Work authorization is permitted for spouses of L1 workers by filling out Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, which comes without restriction on where L2 employees can work. There is a related fee to process this application.
This processing style expedites the application process for an L1. The petition is handled within 15 calendar days for a fee of $1,225.
Advancing to Green Card
In order to seek a green card from an L-1A, the employer must submit form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, to USCIS, and can jointly file for status adjustment. If the applicant resides outside of the US, the I-140 must be approved through consular processing before status can be changed. For specific information on this process, read our article, Adjustment of Status from L1A Visa to EB1 Visa.
For an L-1B status change, to applicant is required to undergo the PERM Labor Certification process. Once complete, the applicant must file for the green card under EB-2 visa or EB-3 visa, depending on eligibility. If the eligibility is unclear, the applicant should seek a qualified immigration attorney.
Always Work With a Legal Professional
We hope that you found this article useful and informative. However because L1 extensions require a thorough understanding of federal guidelines and administrative processess, it is not advised that you move forward with this process without assistance from a licensed and qualified legal professional.
Set Up a Consultation Today!
If you are seeking assistance with an L1A or L1B visa – contact Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC. Our L visa immigration attorneys can assist in the process of filing an extension or renewal for an applicant in addition to any dependents. We have retained an extremely high approval rating from our clientele and represent both individual professionals and employers. We offer consultations so that you can discuss your case with an immigration attorney before making any decisions. Call our office or send us a message online to set up your consultation now.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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