L-1A: Scope of Progam
Period of stay
The L1 visa categories, which are L1-A and L1-B, are visas set up for companies to transfer executives, managers and employees with specialized company knowledge to their operations in the U.S. for a temporary period of time. The maximum permitted is 7 years for L-1A and 5 years for an L-1B visa. They are renewable beyond that period for a maximum of 2 years each time. The L1-A visa is specifically for executives and managers who will play a key role in executive and managerial capacities in their company roles in the U.S. The L-1B visa is set aside for key professionals in the overseas company who have been asked to take their specialist knowledge of company procedures and products to the U.S. company operations. This knowledge would be difficult for a U.S. citizen to access.
Family (Derivative Status)
Dependents, including a spouse and children under 21 years old, may accompany the L-1 visa holder on a L-2 visa. This gives the spouse the right to gain employment following labor authorization. They are not restricted to any specific occupation and the work visa should only take 90 days to process.
Dependent children are not permitted to work, but can attend school and university without restrictions. The dependents may travel overseas for short trips without interrupting their L-2 status. There is also a permissible situation under USCIS that once an L1-A visa holder has reached the maximum stay of 7 years in the country that he or she could transfer to an L-2 family dependence visa if his or her spouse matches the requirements to transfer to an L-1A visa category. There is nothing in the USCIS guidelines that the reverse situation could also take place.
Changing and extending status
It might be possible for eligible employees to change their visa status as a way of extending their stay in the U.S.
Immigration possibilities in the U.S. can get complex and the opportunities available are sometimes difficult to understand so as to ensure you are fully aware of the openings available to you advice from an experienced immigration attorney is your best choice.