The L1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to transfer their employees with specialized knowledge to their US offices. This visa is granted for up to 5 years, and once the visa validity period expires, the employee will need to leave the US or extend their L1B visa.
If you are planning to extend your L1B visa after 5 years, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know to successfully obtain your visa extension.
- The L1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to transfer their employees with specialized knowledge to their US offices.
- An L1B visa is granted for up to 5 years, but can be extended for an additional two-year period.
- To extend your L1B visa, your employer must file a petition with USCIS on your behalf, providing evidence of your continued employment and specialized knowledge.
- You can file for an extension of your L1B visa up to six months before the expiration date of your current visa.
L1B Visa Extension Requirements
To be eligible for an L1B visa extension, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have been employed by a US employer for a minimum of one year out of the last three years.
- You must have been granted an L1B visa in the past.
- You must be performing services in the US that require specialized knowledge.
- Your employer must continue to do business in the US and have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company.
L1B Visa Extension Process
The L1B visa extension process is similar to the initial L1B visa application process. Your employer must file an I-129 petition with USCIS on your behalf, along with the necessary supporting documentation.
The petition should include the following documents:
- Evidence of continued employment with the US employer
- Evidence of your specialized knowledge
- Evidence of the qualifying relationship between the US employer and the foreign entity
- Evidence of the US employer’s ability to pay your salary
Once USCIS accepts your petition, they will issue a receipt notice. You can track the status of your petition on the USCIS website.
L1B Visa Extension Cost
The cost of extending an L1B visa includes the filing fee for the I-129 petition and any legal fees associated with preparing the documentation for the petition. As of 2021, the filing fee for an I-129 petition is $460.
L1B Visa Extension Timeline
The timeframe for processing an L1B visa extension varies depending on the workload of the USCIS. USCIS may take up to 6 months to adjudicate your petition, so it is advisable to file the renewal petition at least 6 months before the expiration of your current visa.
Challenges and how to navigate them
One of the most common challenges that L1B visa holders face during the extension process is proving that their specialized knowledge is unique and not commonly held in the US workforce. It is crucial to provide detailed evidence of your specialized knowledge and how it is essential to the US employer’s business operations.
Another challenge is demonstrating the qualifying relationship between the US employer and the foreign entity. The US employer should provide detailed evidence of the relationship, including any contracts or agreements between the two entities.
Extending your L1B visa after 5 years requires meeting specific requirements and following the correct procedures. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of an immigration attorney to help you with the process, especially if you encounter any challenges during the application process.
1. Can I apply for an L1B visa extension if I have already been in the US for 5 years on an L1B visa?
Yes, you can apply for an L1B visa extension after being in the US on an L1B visa for 5 years. The extension is granted for an additional 2 years, after which you may apply for another extension.
2. Can I work for a different employer while on an L1B visa extension?
No, you cannot work for a different employer while on an L1B visa extension. The L1B visa is employer-specific, and you must continue working for the employer who filed your extension petition.
3. How long can I stay in the US on an L1B visa extension?
An L1B visa extension is granted for an additional 2 years, after which you may apply for another extension. The maximum period you can stay in the US on an L1B visa is 7 years.
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