In US Immigration, there are two subcategories in the L-1 category- the L-1A visa, which is granted to managers or executives, and the L-1B visa, which is granted to specialized knowledge employees.
Initially, employees being transferred to a newly established company in the US can be granted a one-year visa, while employees being transferred to a company already established in the US may be granted a visa for up to 3 years.
In this article, you will discover what to consider when applying for an L-1 visa renewal.
Obtaining an L-1 Visa – What Is It?
The L-1 visa is to transfer personnel from a company outside of the United States to a company inside of the United States, including the owner(s) of the company themselves.
In essence, the L-1 visa requires that the two companies must be related to each other, as both companies need to be part of the same corporate group (e.g., an affiliate company, a subsidiary company, etc.), or be the same company.
There are several benefits for applicants who receive the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval for an L-1 visa.
Firstly, an employee under L-1 status is permitted to bring a spouse and children under the age of 21 to the United States. Thus, the spouse can apply for a work permit. Also, depending on each situation, an L-1 visa may be a possible path to obtain a US green card.
What Are the Requirements To Obtain an L-1 Visa Renewal?
When renewing an L-1 visa, the employer under L-1 status must file a new l-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) with USCIS before the expiration of the original petition.
At this point, it is crucial noting that a renewal petition will also include evidence demonstrating the L-1 requirements are still being met. There is plenty of feasible evidence that an L-1 employee can provide in a renewal petition, such as:
- Corporate documents that demonstrate there is still a qualifying relationship between the employer currently working in the US and the company abroad
- Documentation demonstrating that both companies are still engaging in active business activities, one outside of the US and the other inside of the US
- Evidence that the L-1 employee has worked and will remain working in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge position
- Providing recent W-2s (Wage and Tax Statement forms) and paystubs of the employee under L-1 status to demonstrate he/she has maintained their status and eligibility for an L-1 renewal.
Plus, an employee working for a company with a new office in the US must include evidence of his/her current financial status in the business when applying for an L-1 renewal.
Applying for an L-1A Visa Renewal – Demonstrating Further Evidence
There are many situations in which the applicant opens a new office in the United States on an L-1A status, occupying either a manager or executive position in the business’s activities.
In such cases, an executive/manager under L-1A status applying for a visa renewal needs to demonstrate that the newly established business has hired enough employees to support the required managerial/executive roles.
Hence, this will ensure that the executive/manager under L-1A status will focus on their executive or managerial tasks in his original position.
Obtaining an L-1 Visa Renewal – How Long Does It Take?
The period required for an L-1 employee to obtain an L-1 visa renewal varies depending on each case. In case the L-1 employer opts for not paying a premium processing fee (US $2,500), it can take several months until the USCIS issues a decision to the renewal petition.
However, when the L-1 employer pays the premium processing fee, the USCIS will issue a decision on the petition within 15 calendar days. Regardless of the time involved in the processing, USCIS may issue an approval or denial depending on the applicant’s situation.
Also, it may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), in which the applicant has the opportunity to submit a response and wait for a new decision.
In any case, working with an expert immigration attorney can expedite the process, especially as you are making sure your petition is complete when it is submitted to USCIS to avoid a denial, an RFE, or a NOID.
We Can Help You Renew Your L-1 Visa
Do not wait until your L-1 visa reaches its expiration date. Work with Attorney Romy B. Jurado Esq., an experienced immigration attorney to ensure you will have everything in place when submitting your L-1 renewal petition.