Disclaimer: Immigration policies change over time. It is important to consult an attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information on visas.
Purpose: The L-1 Visa was created to allow multinational levels to transfer employees to the United States. These employees must be in an executive or managerial positions or possess specialized knowledge.
Types of L-1 Visas:
a. L-1A: This visa is for executives or employees in a managerial role.
b. L-1B: This visa is for employees with specialized knowledge who must be transferred to the U.S. to utilize their specialized knowledge.
a. Relationship: There must be a direct relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company. For example parent subsidiaries, branch offices, or other affiliate relationships fulfill this requirement.
b. Employment duration: You must first be employed by the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the three years before your L-1 application.
c. Executive, Managerial, or Specialized Knowledge: You must either be in an executive or managerial position or have specialized knowledge with the foreign company. The U.S. position must be of similar nature to that of the foreign company.
d. Intent to Return: You must have the intention to depart from the United States upon completion of your eligible stay.
a. Petition: The U.S. employer must petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker within the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
b. Supporting Documentation: This petition must include evidence of the qualifying relationship between the foreign and U.S. companies. This petition must also demonstrate the need for the employees skill set at the U.S. company.
c. Approval: Once the petition is approved the applicant must apply for the L-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. They will then ask for supporting documentation and schedule an interview.
Duration: For L-1B visa holders the initial period of stay grated is up to three years, For L-1A visa holders period of stay can go up to seven years. Extensions may be granted in two year increments with a maximum of five years for L-1B visa holders and seven years for L-1A visa holders.
Dependents: Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old may be eligible for L-2 visas. They may accompany the L-1 visa holder, but may not be eligible to work.