Canadians who have the L-1 Visa status, known as intracompany transfer, cannot apply for renewal of their L-1 status at the entry ports either at the Canada-US land border or the preclearance locations of the US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) at Canadian airports.
The USCBP officers are unwilling to process any petitions of renewal and Canadians are being advised to file their renewal petitions with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) directly.
Latest Details on L-1 Status
In case an applicant has some time as an L-1 on his or as an I-94 on hers (record of admission), he/she will just be readmitted for the balance period. In case the I-94 has expired, the entry will be denied to the applicant and he/she will be advised to apply with the USCIS directly.
Note that the policy changes will affect both the individual as well as the Blanket L petitions. This is applicable to the Canadians who either work for certain periods or work full-time in the US.
Prior to this change, renewal petitions were being processed by the USCBP officers on the basis that the petition to renew was filed outside the United States, and in fact, was not a renewal but a new petition for gaining admission to the US under the L-1 status. Under 8 CFR 214 .2(l)(15)(i), one can file a renewal petition only from within the United States and the USCIS has to process it. Hence, it is arguable that the new policy of the USCBP violates the current immigration legislation of the United States.
Significance for Employers- to keep L1 Visa updated
It is vital to make note that the processing of the renewal petitions of the L-1 the USCIS might take about four months. However, you must keep in mind that the processing time might increase as all Canadians have to file the renewal petitions with the USCIS.
If time is important and crucial, a premium processing service is being offered by USCIS for an extra fee of US$1,410. This service will ensure that the reviewing and issuing of L-1 petitions will be done in 15 calendar days. In case the USCIS issues an evidence request, the 15-day time will restart on receipt of the evidence by the USCIS.
It is mandatory for you to verify the L-1 status expiry dates, be it of your own or even your employees’ and it is recommended to file your renewal at least eight months in advance in order to avoid the premium processing fees.