L1 Visa Extensions beyond 5 and 7 years – There are two L1 visa categories: L1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager and L1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge. Once an L1A or L1B transferee is granted L1 status and begins their employment within the United States, the clock on their stay begins ticking. The initial stay for an L1A opening a new office is one (1) year, and the initial stay for all other L1 employees is three (3) years. At the end of the initial period of stay extensions may be granted in two (2) year increments until the employee reaches either the 5 year L1B limit or the 7 year L1A limit. There are two exceptions to the normal limits place on L1B and L1A visa holders:
- The employee does not reside continually in the United States and works in the United States less than six (6) months each year, OR
- The employee resides abroad and commutes to the United States for a part-time position.
We commonly encounter this scenario where a Canadian company has U.S. offices allowing their employees to commute back and forth on an as needed basis. When taking advantage of this exception it is important to keep a detailed record of time spent in the United States and abroad. Before proceeding with any U.S. immigration matter it is best to seek advice from an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer. If you need advice and counsel from an experienced L1 visa lawyer.