The first step in the L-1 Visa application process is the filing of the I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, by the employer. This applies whether the employee is in the United States or abroad.
The processing time for regular filing of the application packet is 30 to 90 days from the time that the packet is received by the USCIS.
To expedite processing times, Premium Processing is available for an additional fee of $1,225.00. Premium Processing guarantees a response from USCIS within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the application. If the applicant receives a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), a new 15 calendar day period will start again when USCIS receives a complete response to the RFE or the NOID from the applicant.
For both the regular and premium processing, delays will occur if the L-1 visa application packet is not complete and USCIS sends a Request for Evidence (“RFE”).
After an approval of the I-129 Petition, USCIS will send the I-797, Approval Notice, to the National Visa Center (NVC) if the employee is abroad. The NVC will forward the I-797 to the consulate where the employee resides and the application for the visa can begin. From the point of applying for the visa at the Department of State online system, an interview can be issued. The timeline for the interview appointment will depend on the consulate that is processing the visa.
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