What are the restrictions under an L1 visa?

The L1 visa is one of the non-immigrant visas that holds extraordinary power in transferring employees and individuals to the United States of America. By knowing all the things associated with its application, there will be a smooth sailing wait for this country’s access approval. 

Given that, we would like to continue our never-ending service of providing guides to your applications. And today, take a look at this L1 visa guide that we made to fit your needs. 

On this page, you will have a clear view of the restrictions under the L1 visa. It is crucial to know all of these before or while you are in the process of your L1 access. 

Restrictions and Disadvantages

Take a good read of this part, as this will be very important in your application process. You may also discuss this with your immigration lawyer if you want to clarify further. 

It would be best if you were employed.

And by employment, it means that you should be in an employment contract with a multinational company. In addition, the company that you should be employed with should be large enough to be recognized as a global company. Furthermore, it would be best to be engaged in that company for an entire year up to three years. 

If you are not yet employed the moment you are applying, it will be complicated to ensure that you get your visa approved. 

No more extensions!

Unlike other visas like H1-B or E2 visas, you can further or unlimited extensions to your access. Here in the L1 visa, you are only allowed to have the initial three years of stay and can be extended to five or seven years, depending on if you are an executive or skilled worker. After that one-time extension, there will be no other extensions available. 

In that sense, it’s either you transfer your status to a different one, like permanent residency, or you have to apply for a new L1 visa again. However, you don’t have to worry too much as the advantage of L1 access is if you are going to reapply, there is no quota given annually. 

The types of accepted companies are limited.

While in other visas, any employment or company will do, in the L1 access, there is only a limited type of company accepted by the immigration and the country. The first qualification should be it has to be a multinational company. Even if the company has no branch in the United States of America yet ‘as long as it passes the international level, it will get approval for the L1 visa. 

Here is a list of the employer industries to give a quick view of what possible companies are accepted. 

  • Computer programming
  • Computer systems design
  • Professional services
  • Oil and gas technology
  • Consulting services
  • Online shopping
  • Petroleum and natural gas extraction
  • Turbine manufacturing, scientific research
  • Bank and financial services
  • Accounting

These fields can conquer the world as they are widely needed all over the world. That is one reason why they can pass with the requirement of being a multinational company. But it does not stop by just determining the employer industry. The size of the company and annual revenue will be checked by the immigration to prove that they are one big company. 

Other Employments or Start-up businesses

When you land in the United States of America, it will be enticing to start up your business. But before you do so, halt for a moment. If you have an L1 visa, you are not allowed to do so. It goes the same as doing side jobs for other companies in the United States of America. 

Once you are approved for an L1 visa, your mere and sole focus should be on the L1 visa company. If you avoid abiding by this, your visa status might be in danger. 

Administrative Restrictions

There is also a threat in the L1 visa statuses depending on the United States of America president. For example, during the Trump administration, they have been instructed to cut down practices considered abuse in the visa status. In addition, the administration wants the US to limit outsourcing employees from immigrants and make it solely within Americans. 

To impose this, they are subject to charge higher public and processing fees, more requirements, and even stricter and more immigration reviews. 

Just make sure that you talk about this with your immigration lawyer, as they will know what to do in scenarios like this. 


Now that you know all the things that we-might hinder your L1 visa approval, it will be easier for you and your immigration lawyer to deal with this. It’s like having a telescopic view of what problems might arise during the process. 

We are glad to be of help in giving you a reader-friendly guide. If you have something to share based on your experience, don’t shy away from sharing it with us to help more applicants in the future. 

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