When you are granted an L-1 visa to work in the United States, it can be an excellent step for you and your employer, as well as a great help to the U.S. economy. However, since the L-1 is a non-immigration visa, the amount of time you are given to stay in the country is not always enough for what you need to accomplish. The U.S. government understands this, and that is why they make extensions available for individuals who have L-1 visas. If you currently have an L-1 visa, consult with an immigration law firm, like Jatoi & de Kirby, APC, to find out if you're eligible and what you need to do for your specific case.
When you are initially granted an L-1 visa, how long you are allowed to stay depends on your company.
- If the company is brand new, your L-1 visa is good for one year. They want to make sure the business is viable and that you're performing the duties you were assigned originally.
- If the company you're working for has already existed for a year or more, your L-1 can be good for up to three years.
- If you decide that you would like your visa extended, your time can be increased in increments of two years, until you reach your maximum limit.
Your maximum limit is determined by your position at the company. If you are in an executive or managerial position, you are allowed to stay for up to seven years; if you are non-managerial, but have specialized knowledge, you can stay for up to five years.