Can I Extend my L-1B Status using the
AC-21 Rule after Filing the I-140 Application?

Dr. William:

I am an Engineer Manager from China working at the client site of a fortune 500 company at a manager level but in L-1B status. Before I came to the U.S., I worked for a Chinese company for four years and was in charge of a design department for four months. Can I extend my L-1B in three-year increment using the AC-21 rule after filing the I-140 application, or can I change to H-1B status?


The AC-21 extension of nonimmigrant status in three-year increment during the period of visa retrogression applies to H-1B professionals who obtained I-140 petition approval. However, this provision does not apply to other nonimmigrant classifications, such as L-1A or L-1B. 

For the purpose of the change or extension of L-visa or H-visa status, these two visa classifications are considered in a same nonimmigrant status in counting the six-year limit to H-1B. currently a H-1B visa number is not available for you since you did not earn a Master's degree in the U.S., or you had a H-1B visa status one time during the past six years. 







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