L-1 Visas—How long can I stay in the U.S.?

Helping clients with L visa applications as an immigration lawyer in the U.S. I often get asked how long an L-1 visa allows an individual and their immediate family members live in the U.S.

An L-1 visa allows you to stay in the United States for an initial period of up to three years, unless your employer specifies a shorter period of time.  Note that if you are using the L-1 to establish a new U.S. company then your initial L-1 visa approval will be limited to one year. If you need to stay in the U.S. longer than the initial three-year period, you may obtain an L-1 extension of stay for up to two years each time.  However, even with these extensions, there is a maximum period you can stay on an L-1 visa.

If you fall within the category of L-1A managers and executives, your stay in the U.S. may not exceed seven years in total.  If you are in the L-1B specialized knowledge personnel category, you may stay for a total of five years.  Once you have reached those maximum time periods, you cannot obtain any further extensions.

Article categories: Employer-Based Immigration Law, L-1 Visa: Entrepreneurs and Employees

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