What is a L-1 Visa and How Does It Work?


An L-1 Visa allows a foreign company to expand its operations in the U.S. Under this type of visa, the company can transfer an employee in an executive or managerial capacity or who has specialized knowledge to work in or establish a location in the U.S. L-1A visas are for Executive or Manager Intracompany Transferees, and L-2A visas are for Specialized Knowledge Intracompany Transferees. These are temporary worker, nonimmigrant visas that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will scrutinize closely to make sure that the company actually places the employee in a position that requires executive or managerial skills or specialized knowledge. As a result, the company typically must provide extensive information about its business operations and practices, as well as the qualifications of its employees.

There are additional requirements that a company must satisfy to obtain an L-1 visa for a worker, which includes the following:

·         The U.S. company petitioning for the visa must be a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign company.

·         The U.S. company and the foreign company must be doing business as an employer in the U.S. and at least one foreign country for the duration of employee’s stay in the U.S.; if the U.S. company has been doing business in the U.S. for less than one year, then USCIS considers it to be a “new office” L-1 petition.

·         The employee must be of executive or managerial capacity, meaning that he or she must supervise and control the work of professional employees and make decisions on behalf of the company with no oversight.

·         The employee must have been employed as a manager, executive, or employee with specialized knowledge for at least one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the visa petition.

An L-1 visa petition either can be an individual L-1 petition or a blanket L-1 petition. The individual L-1 visa is valid for three years and can be renewed for a total of up to seven years. USCIS processes individual L-1 petitions, whereas the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which the employee is located.

The immigration lawyers of Peek Law Group have the experience and knowledge that are necessary to represent your interests when you are facing any type of immigration law issue. We are here to gather evidence on your behalf, build a strong case, and develop the best strategy for achieving your goals. Take the first step by contacting us today and learning what we can to help.

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