The Ins and Outs of an Intermittent L

October 17, 2022
Courtney Wachal

Normally, L-1A or L-1B status maxes out, which means that once the date is met, you are no longer eligible to remain in L status. For example, an L-1A maxes out after 7 years with an L-1B maxing out at 5 years. However, certain individuals who need to enter the U.S. on a seasonal or intermittent basis or enter the U.S. for less than 6 months a year may be eligible to apply for an intermittent L without being subject to the max out dates.

How to Qualify for an Intermittent L?

To qualify for an intermittent L, you must first meet the normal requirements for L-1 status. This means that you are employed by an employer abroad who has a company in the U.S., as well as having either an executive or managerial position (L-1A) or specialized knowledge (L-1B). Additionally, you must demonstrate the following:

  • The work is seasonal, intermittent or adds up to less than 6 months in the U.S. each year.
  • Must continue to maintain your foreign residence outside the U.S.
  • Must demonstrate that the work you are commuting to the U.S. for pertains to the basis of your L status (executive or managerial duties or specialized knowledge)

When would this option apply to me?

If you work for an employer abroad that has offices in the U.S. and you are either working in an executive or managerial position or you have specialized knowledge, you may qualify for an L-1. In this case, if you qualify for an L, but do not need to be in the U.S. on a full-time basis but still need to come to the U.S. regularly (less than 6 months a year), then this may be a good option.

Can My Spouse or Children Come with me?

Yes, as with regular L-1 status, someone using an intermittent L is eligible to sponsor their spouse and children on L-2 dependent visas. However, it is crucial that your dependents do NOT stay in the U.S. on a long- term, full time basis, as this could cause issues with extending an L-2 visa in the future.

For example, USCIS explains that “they may limit, revoke or deny any stay for an L-2 dependent that is not primarily intended for the purpose of being with the L-1A holder.” This policy exists to ensure that dependents are not remaining in the U.S. on a more permanent basis when the L-1 worker is not currently working in the U.S.

Do I still need to obtain a visa stamp for an intermittent L?

Yes, since the intermittent L is still either an L-1A or L-1B, you will need to obtain a visa stamp in order to enter the U.S. However, individuals who are citizens of Canada do not require a visa stamp and can therefore present their documentation at the border and enter the U.S.

If you feel like you are tired of entering the U.S. using your B visa and you meet the above requirements, please reach to one of our employment based attorneys to see if the intermittent L is right for you.

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

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