Another significant consideration of an L-1 or H-1B visa is the maximum duration. On an L-1 visa, the maximum length an individual is allowed to stay is 7 years (5 years as an L-1B professional). An H-1B visa holder may remain in the county for a total of six years but there exists the opportunity to file for a 3-year extension. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

Below is the breakdown for L-1A, L-1B, and H-1B visas:

A. L-1A—Seven Years

B. L-1B—Five Years

C. H-1B—Six Years

If an individual has spent any amount of time in the U.S. on an H visa, that time is applied towards the maximum duration of the L visa, and vice versa. For the L-1 visa, there is no possibility of extension past the above maximum time periods. It is possible, however, to extend an H-1B visa beyond the predetermined time frame if certain steps toward lawful permanent residency have been taken. Consult an immigration attorney to ascertain the necessary documents and proceedings.


It’s sometimes easier to gauge the right type of visa for you based on the annual limits. For example, if only a small fraction of applicants are approved according to annual caps, you may be better off taking an alternate route.

When it comes to the numerical limitations of an L-1 versus H-1B visa, this is a major difference. The government sets no limits to the number of L-1s approved every year—which is great news! This is a tremendous benefit because it means you won’t be denied solely because the cap has been reached. In stark opposition, you may face a roadblock when attempting to file an H-1B because of the visas previously allotted. For H1B Visa Process Visit here

Unfortunately, this does not carry over to H-1Bs. The H-1B regular cap is 65,000 with an extra 20,000 reserved for master’s exemptions. Click here for the H-1B 2018 Cap Specifications.

For those that are visual learners, you can take a look at this helpful guide on L-1 vs H-1B visas.

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