L Visas or Intra-company Transfers FAQs

5. What documentation does my employer need to provide in order to apply for an L-1 Visa? And what are the fees my employer needs to pay?

See the L-1 Visa section.

6. What happens to my status if my L-1 Visa application is denied?

It would depend on the situation. If you are currently in the United States with a valid non-immigrant visa, you would continue in that status. If your former visa has expired, then you would no longer be in status.

7. What is my status while my first L-1 Visa application is pending?

If your non-immigrant status expires while the L-1 application is pending, then your status will be “an applicant for a non-immigrant visa” and you are permitted to remain in the United States until a decision is made on your application.

8. Can my L-1 Visa be transferred?

L-1 Visas can not be “transferred”. However, if your new employer qualifies to file the L-1 Visa petition, you may apply for a new L-1 Visa. Bear in mind that to be eligible for an L-1 Visa you need to have been employed outside the U.S. by the sponsor company or an affiliate for one of the last three years.

9. What status can my spouse and children obtain if I’m applying for an L-1 Visa or I already have an L-1 Visa? Can L-1 family members work in the U.S.?

Spouses and children of L-1 Visa holders can obtain L-2 status, which allows them to live, study and work in the U.S. In order to work, L-2 Visa holders must apply and obtain a work authorization card and renew it as necessary.

10. How long does my L-1 status last? How many times can I renew my L-1 visa?

Usually the visas are given for one to three years per visa application. You may renew and maintain this visa for a period of time not to exceed 7 years. This is a statutory time limitation and therefore if someone is interested to remain in the U.S. longer, it is important to begin the residency petition as soon as possible.

11. How many times can I change employers under my L-1 Visa status?

There is no limit to the number of times you can change employers with an L-1 Visa. However, each employer must qualify to file for the L-1 Visa petition. Bear in mind that to be eligible for an L-1 Visa you need to have been employed outside the U.S. by the sponsor company or an affiliate for one of the last three years.

12. How long do I have to leave the country after my L-1 visa status expires or I lose my job?

L-1 Visas do not have any extension period during which an individual may depart the United States and therefore you should depart immediately after your visa expires or your employment terminates. There are other visas that contain an automatic departure period. For example, an F-1 Student Visa contains an automatic 60 day departure period. However, L-1 Visas do not. Also, L-1 Visas become invalid upon the termination of employment or non-compliance with the conditions of the L-1 Visa (i.e. salary, position, duties, etc.).


The information contained in this document is general in nature and subject to change at any point in time. As such, it may not necessarily apply to all situations. Therefore, under no circumstance it should be construed as legal advice. Please ensure that you consult with an attorney regarding your specific situation before starting a legal process.

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