How to Renew Your L-1 Visa


An L1 Visa allows employers to transfer certain employees from a foreign corporate entity to work at a related entity in the United States. The foreign company must be an affiliate, subsidiary, parent, or branch of the company in the U.S. To qualify, the foreign national must have been employed with the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the last three years of filing the L-1 petition. Finally, the foreign employee must have been employed abroad as an executive, manager, or employee with specialized knowledge.

Can an L1 Visa Be Renewed?

Yes. L-1 visas for managers or executives are issued for a maximum period of seven years, while the specialized knowledge category allows a maximum duration of five years. Upon exhausting the allotted respective L-1 duration, the employee must depart the U.S. and resume employment for the foreign entity for one straight year to qualify for L-1 once again. Qualifying spouses and children of L1 Visa holders with a newly annotated I-94 travel document indicating the “S” class of admission are eligible to work in the U.S. without needing a work authorization document (EAD).

The L1 Visa Renewal Process

If you want to renew or extend an L1 visa, you must file Form I-129. Before you file the form, you should consider the expiration date of your visa. The extension period depends on your Visa classification. If you have an L1A visa, you can stay a total of seven years in the United States. If you have an L1B visa, you can only remain in the US for a maximum of five years. You must submit the petition at least 60 days before your existing Visa expires.

What if My Circumstances Change?

Suppose something unexpected happens while you have an L1 Visa, such as you lose your current position. In that case, you may wonder whether you will lose your status. In this scenario, you will need to seek another job, and the employer needs to be willing to sponsor you for a different type of work visa, such as the H-1B visa.

Regular vs. Blanket Visa Extensions

There are two types of L1 visa extensions: blanket and regular extensions. In a blanket extension, the employer can file a petition for more than one worker. This type of extension is designated for employers that hire multiple qualifying intercompany transfer employees. On the contrary, a regular L1 visa extension requires each employee to file an application and be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Discuss Your L1 Visa with an Experienced Attorney

Do you have an L1 Visa that will expire within the next year? If so, speaking to an attorney can help protect yourself and your rights. The skilled immigration attorneys at Ray Law International have helped many clients successfully obtain L1 visas and L1 Visa renewals for themselves and their dependents. Contact Ray Law International to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you.