All about L-1 Visa USA – Your gateway to USA Business Expansion & Residency

February 9, 2021 |

The L-1 visa is for Intracompany Transferee employees either Executives or Manager or those with specialized knowledge. This visa enables multinational companies to expand their operations by transferring qualified staff to newly established or existing United States subsidiary, affiliate parent or branch office

L-1 visas are classified under two categories and these are:

L-1A visa – Applicable for managers and executives

  • This visa can be obtained for maximum of 7 years and after the visa has expired, the individual can qualify for the status of L-1 only after working overseas for minimum one year for the subsidiary, parent, branch or affiliate of the company in US.

L-1B visa – Applicable for workers with specialized knowledge

  • This visa can be obtained for maximum of 5 years. Upon its expiry, applicant can apply again only after working abroad for the U.S Company’s subsidiary, branch, affiliate or parent for a minimum of 1 year.

The basic requirements include:

  • The U.S Company petitioning for the visa must have a qualifying relationship with the parent company.
  • There must be enough space for office location (if applicable).
  • For the entire period of the visa holder’s stay in the States, the company that petitioned for this visa must be engaged in business as an employer in the States and a minimum of one other country.

All about L-1 Visa USA

Requirements for Employee – L-1A

  • The employee should have worked with overseas company for a minimum period of one continuous year within 3 years prior to his/her admission to the States.
  • Employee must have been given the managerial or executive position in order to qualify.
  • Employee must be going to the States in order to provide his/her services in a managerial or executive capacity for qualifying organizations such as a branch of the employer.
  • The holder of this visa must go with an intention to depart the country after completion of the stay.

Requirements for employee- L-1B:

  • The employee must have worked overseas for a company for a minimum period of one continuous year within 3 years prior to his/her admission to the States.
  • The employee will be serving his specialized services to the qualifying organization
  • Visa holder must go with an intention to leave the country after completion of work.

Step by step Process:

  • Business Model Preparation
  • Business Registration & Setup (applicable if there is no existing business in US as per required criteria)
  • Application Preparation
  • File Form I-129 and L supplement at USCIS
  • Change Status to apply for L1 visa at consulate office
  • Start working & managing US business.

Benefits of L1

  • Ability to live and work in USA
  • Extended Period of stay
  • Dual Intent visa
  • No Set wage requirements
  • Immigration Benefits for your family.
  • L1 Visa is Eligible for Premium Processing
  • No Annual Limit to Number of L1 Visas Issued.

L-1 Visa to Green Card:

The L-1 Visa is a non immigrant visa category with dual intent and does not directly lead to a green card. L – 1 visa to a green card can be applied either through an adjustment of status or apply through an immigrant visa abroad.

Path to Green Card:

  • EB1C Green card for multinational managers & executives
  • Work sponsorship
  • EB5 Investment based immigrant visa and green card
  • Marriage (Spouse Sponsorship)

Spouses and Children:

Spouses and children (Under age 21/Unmarried status) of L-1A visa holders can be granted L-2 dependent status. L -2 Visa provides work authorization upon filing and approval.

L-1 Visa Overview In case US establishment already exist.

So to apply for the L1 visa, you will need to go through the following steps in case of US establishment already in place.

  1. Get a transfer offer.
  2. Filing Form I-129.
  3. Employer must pay the fees.
  4. File Form DS-160.
  5. Pay the L1 visa application fee.
  6. Schedule your L1 visa interview.
  7. Submit your L1 visa documents.
  8. Attend your interview.

L-1 Visa Overview when US establishment is not in place… (Investment starts from $100,000)

  1. Detailed Business Plan
  2. Incorporate the company
  3. Obtain a taxpayer ID
  4. Number secure a bank account.
  5. Get a transfer offer.
  6. Filing Form I-129.
  7. Employer must pay the fees.
  8. File Form DS-160.
  9. Pay the L1 visa application fee.
  10. Schedule your L1 visa interview.
  11. Submit your L1 visa documents.
  12. Attend your interview.

The visa is usually granted initially for 3 years and extensions are granted in 2years increments up to the 5 years maximum. The family members of L -1 A and L- 1B visa holders, specifically spouses and unmarried children under 21 are automatically granted L- 2 Visas. An L- 2 spouse can apply for a work Permit in US and work. L -2Children are not able to apply for work permits, but they can attend school full time on L – 2 visas.

How can we help you?

Interested in pursuing an L-1A visa for yourself or an employee?  Let us help! Our experienced staff and immigration attorneys know exactly how to manage an L-1 visa case. 

This blog is written by Ms. Shweta Bhalla, Senior Director at Flyingcolour Immigration Services Dubai. Feel free to call us for more info about getting L1 Visa for business in USA. You can also send your inquiry to info[at]flyingcolour[dot]com or call +971 4 4542366.

*Please Note: This article was published on 09th February, 2021. The information provided in the article is based on the policies and rules applicable at the time of writing it. Talk to one of our consultants for any recent update or change.

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