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How long can a person with L-1 status stay in the U.S.?

There are multiple types of employment-related non-immigrant visas here in America. One such type is the L-1 visa. These are visas that allow foreign workers to temporarily stay in the U.S. in relation to being transferred to a position in the U.S. by the company they work for. There are numerous requirements for this visa type, including that the transferred worker must be a manager/executive or have specialized knowledge.

Non-immigrant visas have limits on how long they allow recipients to stay in the United States, with different visa types having different rules regarding length-of-stay limits.

When it comes to workers who have been granted L-1 status, the initial limit on their length of stay is generally three years. One exception to this is if the worker was transferred to the U.S. through a new office petition, in which case the initial limit is only one year.

Now, there are ways in which a worker with L-1 status can get authorization to stay in the U.S. beyond the initial limit. For one, they may qualify for an extension. Extensions come in increments of up to two years.

There is a limit to how many extensions a worker with L-1 status can receive, as immigration law sets a max time limit for how long a worker can be in the U.S. on L-1 status, including the initial period and extensions. What this max limit is depends on the type of worker the L-1 worker is. If the worker is a worker with specialized knowledge, the max limit for them is five years altogether. If the worker is a manager/executive, their max limit is generally seven years altogether.

As this illustrates, what kinds of rules and limits apply to a given worker who has received a non-immigrant visa depends on the visa type and the specifics of the worker's particular circumstances.

Experienced immigration attorneys can help employers and workers with immigration issues, such as application issues, length-of-stay issues or extension issues, related to L-1 visas and other types of employment-related non-immigrant visas.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Entrepreneur Visa Guide," Accessed April 26, 2016

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