An L-1A visa is a great visa for an employee or owner of a company abroad who wants to transfer to a U.S. office or open a new office in the United States.

If you are in the U.S. on an L-1A visa as a manager/executive , you can stay in the U.S. for up to 7 years.

If you are in the U.S. on an L-1B visa as a specialized knowledge employee, you can stay in the U.S. for up to 5 years.

The maximum initial period of stay in the U.S. on an L-1 visa is 3 years (and 1 year for new office L visa ). You can then extend your L-1 visa in 2 year increments.

What is a recapture petition? Can I recapture time I spent outside the U.S. while I had L-1 visa?

Only the time that you spend physically in the U.S. counts towards these maximum periods of stay. This means that the time you spend outside the U.S. while on an L-1A/L-1B status can be then recaptured. This is a great way to allow you to “extend” your L-1A/L-1B status in case you have been travelling while holding the relevant status in the U.S. For example, if you have been outside the U.S. for 3 months every year you held your L-1B status, you could recapture a total of 15 months, meaning you could live and work in the U.S. for an additional 15 months past the 5 year deadline if your recapture petition gets approved. Please see our blog post on how to file  recapture petition when you click here.

I reached the maximum period of stay but my company does not want to sponsor me for a green card. Can I apply for an L-1 visa again?

You can apply for an L-1A or L-1B visa again after you reside and are physically present outside the U.S. for at least 1 year. You can visit the U.S. for a brief visits as a business visitor or tourist, but these visits do not count towards the fulfillment of the 1 year requirement.

I reached the maximum period of stay and my company is willing to sponsor me for a green card.

Please see our blog post on whether L-1 visa leads to a green card when you click here.

You can set up a consultation by clicking the link below.


To find out more about our services and fees contact Scott Legal, P.C

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising.  Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed.  Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results.  Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.