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-   -   L1 visa interview timescales (https://britishexpats.com/forum/us-immigration-citizenship-visas-34/l1-visa-interview-timescales-938426/)

london lou May 3rd 2021 11:42 am

L1 visa interview timescales
 
Hi everyone.
Has anyone here recently booked or had an interview in London for an L1 visa? Are appointments being made at this time?
My husband and I are in the process of applying for L1/L2 visas respectively. We haven't been through this before, and the lawyer appointed by the company has provided very scarce information about the process.
We've checked on the USCIS website and the petition has been approved. We've submitted our DS-160s. So my understanding is we now need to book our interviews and pay the application fees.
The visa appointment booking website says there are no appointments available at this time. I don't know whether this is just temporary, and more slots will open up in a few days; or if you can't book at all until the ban on travel from the UK to the US is lifted?
We were wondering if it was still possible to get the visas, and travel via a 3rd (non-banned) country & stay for 14 days before entering the US.

gloriana May 3rd 2021 7:23 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Hi London Lou, I can't help with your question but I'm interested to see if you get any answers. We are in the same situation but behind you - my husband has been offered a transfer to the US but we don't know if it's feasible as there appear to be no L1/2 interviews taking place. I know there is a huge backlog as they only just opened up the L visas again at the end of March. Hopefully someone will be along who can shed more light on it though!

destone May 3rd 2021 11:33 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
The working assumptions seems to be that you can expedite your visa appointment if you qualify for an NIE.

UK2US08 May 4th 2021 10:27 am

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Hi Everyone, I'm unfortunately not able to help either but would also like to know about the waiting times.

As one of the requirements for the L1 visa is to be within the company for at least 12 months, I've been informed by an immigration lawyer that we can start preparing things for my application now, ready to begin the process as soon as I have reached the 12 month mark. I've been made aware that there is a premium processing route which could mean that I get a response to my application within a couple of weeks, as opposed to the usual 7 to 9 months waiting time. I was told however, that the premium processing doesn't reduce the waiting time for an interview so my concern and question is, could I be sat on an approved application waiting 6 months, or even a year with how things are with the back log at the minute, regardless of opting for the premium processing?

Thanks


Noorah101 May 4th 2021 12:33 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 

Originally Posted by UK2US08 (Post 13002174)
Hi Everyone, I'm unfortunately not able to help either but would also like to know about the waiting times.

As one of the requirements for the L1 visa is to be within the company for at least 12 months, I've been informed by an immigration lawyer that we can start preparing things for my application now, ready to begin the process as soon as I have reached the 12 month mark. I've been made aware that there is a premium processing route which could mean that I get a response to my application within a couple of weeks, as opposed to the usual 7 to 9 months waiting time. I was told however, that the premium processing doesn't reduce the waiting time for an interview so my concern and question is, could I be sat on an approved application waiting 6 months, or even a year with how things are with the back log at the minute, regardless of opting for the premium processing?

Thanks

Yes.

Rene

london lou May 4th 2021 1:50 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
For anyone in a similar position, I've just found this tool online that tells you current waiting times for interviews: https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...ait-times.html
It says 'Emergency Appointments Only' for London :(

london lou May 11th 2021 10:04 am

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Hi gloriana and UK2US08 I've just checked the appointment booking website and I was able to progress to the next step of paying the fee. But it says the next available appointment in London is 1st March 2022 :(

UK2US08 I think we took the premium processing route, as the petition was approved really quickly. But I guess that has no bearing on appointment availability.

gloriana May 11th 2021 11:48 am

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Oh my goodness! Surely not?!! That's a very long time. Thanks for letting us know. Not sure my husband's company will want to go ahead with the move if it takes us nearly a year to get an interview. Do they let you know if a slot comes up sooner?

civilservant May 11th 2021 12:34 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Be prepared to be spending a lot of time on that website. Appointment hunting can be a full time gig. One might come up a lot sooner and you'll need to be quick to snag it.

gloriana May 11th 2021 1:20 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Thanks civilservant - you've given me some hope that we might still be able to make the move...

london lou May 11th 2021 1:38 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 13004947)
Be prepared to be spending a lot of time on that website. Appointment hunting can be a full time gig. One might come up a lot sooner and you'll need to be quick to snag it.

Thank you! That is good to know :)

LegalEagleTX May 12th 2021 6:15 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 13004947)
Be prepared to be spending a lot of time on that website. Appointment hunting can be a full time gig. One might come up a lot sooner and you'll need to be quick to snag it.

This.

When we were making our appointments for our E1s which was in December 2019 initially the system said the first available ones were some time in March 2020. I checked three times a day and finally got appointments on 5 January 2020. So just keep checking, they are always releasing slots with short lead times. Had we taken the ones in March we probably couldn't have made it over before the borders were closed.

london lou May 12th 2021 9:00 pm

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 

Originally Posted by LegalEagleTX (Post 13005521)
This.

When we were making our appointments for our E1s which was in December 2019 initially the system said the first available ones were some time in March 2020. I checked three times a day and finally got appointments on 5 January 2020. So just keep checking, they are always releasing slots with short lead times. Had we taken the ones in March we probably couldn't have made it over before the borders were closed.

Thanks for sharing that LegalEagleTX. We'll keep checking regularly!

scolley82 Jun 3rd 2021 10:13 am

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Hi,

just to give you an update routine non immigrant visa appointments after 1st August have been cancelled. They will be restarted in due course but there is currently no specific date given for when that will happen.

On another note, if you are going to try expedite your appointment please make sure your application for the emergency appointment is as strong as it can be as you more or less only get one shot, I tried and they rejected my application as they didn't see my case as being an emergency.
I started my application process in March last you right when the pandemic began and still have no idea when I will get there.

It may be worth looking at 3rd party countries if you need to get the States urgently but bare in mind the Embassy in each country will likely only be taking appointments for citizens of that country.

Hope this helps and good luck with your applications.


Sell27 Jun 7th 2021 4:08 am

Re: L1 visa interview timescales
 
Hi, I have personally gone through this experience in the last year. My Husband and I both had our L1A visa appointments just before the pandemic hit/ travel ban. I got my visa, but my husband did not get his L2. We were then in a state of limbo due to the travel ban, and they put a hold on issuing my husband's visa.

During the travel ban they will not provide appointments for the the L1A visa unless you qualify for an National Interest Exception, as noted from destone . We later found out, that due to the industry I was working in, that I qualified for the NIE, and therefore they issued my husband's visa and our travel to the USA.
After major delays we finally made it to the USA in March.

I would definitely check if you qualify for the NIE, otherwise you will need to wait until the travel ban is lifted. I hope that helps.


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