The L-1 visa, also referred to as an Intracompany Transferee Visa, allows a multinational corporation based in the U.S. to transfer a qualified executive, manager, or qualified employee from a foreign office to the U.S.
There are two types of L-1 Visa:
● L-1A Visa: For executives, managers, and high-level organizational personnel
● L-1B: For employees with specialized knowledge
Sometimes multinational companies need to transfer employees between the U.S. and foreign offices, especially when expanding or starting up a new venture in the U.S. An immigration attorney who has successfully obtained L-1 visas for professionals in different industries can help you file under this visa category when H-1B visas are not available.
Unlike other employment-based visas, the L-1A visa does not require the applicant to complete specific academic credentials or provide a CV. Nor does it require a Labor Certification.
To qualify for an L-1A visa, you must be a senior manager, executive, or other high-level personnel who has worked for the non-U.S. company (or parent company, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office) for at least 12 months in the three years preceding the date that you file your L-1A visa application.
The L-1A visa is granted for two years at a time for a maximum of 7 years, as long as you complete the requirements for an L-1 visa extension. Furthermore, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence through an employment-based green card if you choose.
The sponsoring employer must file an L-1B visa petition on behalf of the employee within the jurisdiction where the immigrant will be working or the company's location. After the employer submits the Form I-129 and L supplement, they will receive a receipt number printed on the approved Form I-129 petition. Next, the employer must complete the Form DS-160 online and schedule a visa interview. Numerous documents must be brought to the visa interview that your immigration attorney will advise you of. They include but are not limited to:
● Company letterhead
● Description of company business
● Stock certificates
● Corporate income tax return Form 1120 (if any)
● Employer's Quarterly Report Form 941 (if any)
Once approved, the L-1B visa allows the visa holder to work, live and travel within the U.S. for three years (with a maximum of 5 years). It will also enable dependents to accompany them to the US and pursue a permanent residency path if they wish.
If you are a startup company or looking to expand, you should consult a legal professional to prevent The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service office (USCIS) from rejecting your L-1A application, which they are notorious for doing for smaller operations. Given the increase in fees for both the H-1B and L-1 visas, this could become very expensive for your company.
Whenever you are dealing with immigration, you should consult a L-1 VISA Lawyer. The visa application process may be complicated and difficult for those who don't work in the field, and mistakes on your application can cause it to be denied. In truth, these mistakes are easy to make unless you have a qualified, experienced immigration attorney helping you successfully get immigrant visas for qualified workers.