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L-1A intracompany business visa allows managers, executives, and specialized knowledge employees to transfer from a foreign company to a US parent, affiliated, or subsidiary branch to perform temporary jobs
The L-visa is used for intra company transferees. Owners and/or employees of smaller businesses may also apply for this visa. However, the transferring company must continue to do business abroad during the entire period of the alien’s stay in the United States as an L-1 transferee
The visa applicant must be employed at the company abroad as a managerial, executive, or employee with a specialized knowledge position
The L-1 visa applicant must be employed at the company abroad for at least one of the previous three years before the visa application is filed with the USICS.
The petitioning U.S. company must be affiliated with the company abroad, as a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or joint venture partner.
The transferring company must continue to do business abroad.
The employee must be coming to work at the United States company as a manager/executive or specialized knowledge employee. Benefits
The L-visa allows foreign nationals to legally live and work in the United States Travel in and out of the United States is allowed as long as your L-visa and status are valid Visas are also available for immediate family members (i.e., spouse and children). Spouses may work in the United States under special permission from the USCIS
For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to establish a new office, the employer must also show that:
The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office;
The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
Period of Stay
Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.
Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1A petitions by filing a blanket petition. Eligibility for blanket L certification may be established if:
- The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations is engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more;
- The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and
- The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations meet one of the following criteria:
- Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period;
- Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
- Have a U.S. workforce of at least 1,000 employees.
The approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that an employee will be granted L-1A classification. It does, however, provide the employer with the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States quickly and with short notice without having to file an individual petition with USCIS.
Family of L-1A Workers
L-1A dependents (including spouses and children under 21) receive L-2 visa status. They are allowed to remain in the United States as long as the L-1 visa holder. L-2s spouses may obtain approval to work in the country in any type of employment. Currently, there is no work permission provision for L2 children.
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