What steps are involved in the processing of an L-1 application?
For most employers, an L-1 petition must be filed with the appropriate USCIS service center. Some employers, however, are able to obtain an approved “blanket” L-1 petition, which allows an employee to bypass the USCIS service center and apply the employee directly applying for an L-1A or L-1B visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S. Canadian citizens can apply directly at a U.S. land port-of-entry or an airport pre-flight inspection station.
How long will it take to go through the L process?
Processing times for an L-1 petition vary depending on backlogs at USCIS, or in the case of a blanket L-1 application, at the relevant consulate or embassy. USCIS processing times generally range between 4 to 6 months, but premium processing is available for an additional USCIS fee. On average, processing time of an L visa application at a consulate or embassy is about a week, plus the time required to obtain an appointment.
Can my L-1 status be extended?
Extensions of L status may be filed only during the six-month period prior to expiration of your current status. Extensions are generally granted in two-year increments, up to a maximum of five years for specialized knowledge employees (L-1B) and seven years for managers and executives (L-1A). This time is cumulative of all U.S. stay in H-1B or L-1 status for any employer. If the extension application is filed prior to expiration of the current authorized stay, you automatically have continued work authorization for up to 240 days while the application is pending. There may be restrictions on international travel, however, while the extension application is pending.
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