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L-1 Visa                                        L-1 Visa

Introduction

The L-1 visa is for international companies to transfer their managers and executives (L-1A) or specialized knowledge worker (L-1B) to work for the company in the United States.

A few basic requirements must be met in order to apply for the L-1 visa. The first requirement is that the transferee must have worked abroad for the company overseas for a continuous period of one year in the preceding three years. The second requirement is that the overseas company must be related to the company in the United States. The law says that the company abroad must be "the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate." The third requirement is that both the U.S. company and the overseas company are actually doing business. Lastly, the transferee must come to the U.S. company to fill a executive or managerial position to apply for a L-1A visa, or to fill a position of "specialized knowledge" to apply for a L-1B visa.

 

Highlights of L-1 Visa

  • A big advantage of a L-1A visa comparing to other work type of visa is that the transferee may qualify under the first priority worker preference of employment based immigration petition as multinational executives and managers. A labor certification is not required under this preference. It saves a lot of time and expenses to process the labor certificate application.

  • For international companies, L-1 visa is a very useful tool. Unlike H-1B visas, L-1 visas does not have an annual cap. Employees who qualify under the L-1 category do not need to worry about running out of quota.

  • A corporate relationship between the U.S. company and the overseas company can be clearly evidenced by more than 50% ownership of a company by another company. Although it may not be absolutely required for certain circumstances, a majority ownership (more than 50%) does show strong corporate relationship.

  • There are different time limitation between L-1A and L-1B. The maximum stay for L-1A is 7 years and L-1B is 5 years.

  • If the transferee will come to the United States to form a new company, the new company has to show to the CIS that it will have the ability to sustain a executive or manager within one year of approval of the L-1A petition. In general, the new company needs to show the proposed organizational structure and its financial goals.

 

If you wish to apply for a L-1 visa, please contact our office for a free evaluation of your case.

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