What about my dependents, on L-2?
If you have dependents with you in the US on L-2 visas, it’s likely their visas will expire at the same date as your primary L-1 visa.
As such, they too will be required to apply to extend their status in advance of visa expiry date.
They will be required to complete Form I-539 (for spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) which must be submitted along with the L1 applicant’s Form I-129.
L-1 transfer or change of status
In certain cases, you can file for Change of Status from L-1B to L-1A visa status.
Your petition must be approved at least 6 months before you reach the 5-year point in in L-1 status.
An L-1 visa holder may be able to change status to H-1B status, however, this is extremely challenging in light of the limitation on the number of H-1B petitions approved each year. It is also important to note that any time spent in L-1 status counts against the time you would be authorized to work in H-1B status. Therefore, an L-1 visa holder would never be eligible for H-1B status for a full six-year duration as any time spent working in L-1 status would curtail the maximum duration in H-1B status.
What is an indefinite L-1 extension?
You are permitted extensions of L-1 status beyond the 7 or 5 year limits if you work in the US on a seasonal or intermittent basis, or if the employee spends less than 6 months in the US per year.
‘Recapturing’ time spent outside the US requires clear records and documentation in the form of airline records, wage records and company verification.
Can L Visa lead to Green Card?
If you have an L-1 visa as either a manager or an executive, you may become eligible to apply for a Green Card through employment.
Where you qualify for L-1 status as a manager or executive, you are classed as a ‘priority worker’, and as such exempt from the standard Labor Certification requirements in which a company is must first test the labor market in an attempt to hire a US worker.
What happens if I don’t renew the L-1 visa?
If you choose not to renew your visa, you will be required to leave the US in advance of your visa expiry date. You would then be required to wait 12 months before you could qualify again to apply for an L-1 visa.