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L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant work visa that allows foreign nationals to come to the United States to work for a company related to their foreign company. This visa category is reserved for executives, managers, and employees with “specialized knowledge.”

The L-1 non-immigrant visa category includes two subcategories:

The Intracompany Transferee visa facilitates the transfer of qualified employees of a multinational company to their United States entity.

If you are planning on applying for an L-1 visa, there are some essential things you need to know. We will cover everything from the requirements for the visa to the application process to.

Eligibility Requirements for L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

If an employee wants to transfer within a multinational company from another country to the United States, they will need to apply for an L-1 visa.

The visa category allows foreign workers who have been employed with a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of their U.S. employer in another country to live and work in America for up to seven years.

To qualify for the L-1 visa, specific requirements must be met by both the employer and the employer. That includes but is not limited to those listed below.

  • The applicant must have been employed with the overseas company for at least one year within the three years preceding the application.
  • The applicant must transfer to a U.S. company affiliated with the overseas company. The affiliation can be through common ownership or control. Such as a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate relationship.
  • The foreign worker applying for the L-1 visa must hold a managerial or executive role in the foreign company. Or the foreign worker with specialized knowledge
  • The applicant must be coming to the U.S. to work in a managerial or executive capacity. Or must be as a worker with “specialized knowledge.”
  • The employment is expected to be full-time.

Some other requirements may be unique to the applicant, multinational corporation or the role. Hence, it is crucial to consult an immigration attorney to help with the visa application for better chances of success.

Application Process for L-1 Visa

  • The U.S. company will file the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) with the USCIS on behalf of the applicant.
  • To expedite the visa petition process, the applicant can pay a $2,500 fee for premium processing. This means that the USCIS will get back within 15 days.
  • Alongside the petition, the applicant will submit supporting documents to prove eligibility for the L-1 visa. Documents may include:
    • Evidence of overseas employment, such as pay stubs or performance reviews.
    • Evidence of the relationship between the U.S. and overseas companies, such as shareholdings or articles of incorporation.
    • Documents to prove the foreign worker is a specialized knowledge worker or occupies a managerial or executive role.
  • USCIS will then review the details of the petition and the submitted documents.
  • Sometimes, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE), asking for additional documents.
  • If the visa petition is approved, the employer receives Form I-797, Notice of Action from the USCIS.

Related Articles: How Long Does It Take to Process an L-1 Visa?

L-1 Visa Document Checklist

If you can affirm that you qualify for this visa, the next step is to start your filing process. Of course, our team of well-trained and highly professional lawyers can help you with this process; however, to ensure that you are ready, here’s a list of documents you may need for this petition.

The following documents are needed for your L-1 application:

  • Proof of ownership for the U.S. and foreign company
  • Lease agreement
  • Business license and permit
  • Company’s assets
  • Organization chart
  • Current passport
  • Work experience letters from previous employers
  • Degrees, diplomas and/or certificates of training
  • Resume
  • Bank records for the previous six months
  • Financial statements
  • Business activity documents
  • Payroll list
  • Photographs of the place of employment
  • Contact details of two coworkers from previous jobs

A quick WhatsApp chat with our immigration professional can help sort out every detail of the needed documents for any L-1 visa application (L-1A or L-1B)

L-1 Visa Duration and Extensions

There are limits to how long a person can live and work in the U.S. on an L-1 visa. The limits depend on the type of job:

While all L-1 visas can get an initial duration of up to three years, holders can apply for extensions. Both L-1A and L-1B visa holders can apply for extensions under certain conditions. The L-1A visa holders (Managers and executives) can extend for up to seven years.

L-1B visa holders (special knowledge workers) can extend for up to five years. Special knowledge of a company’s products, systems, research, operations, management, or procedures. The company must prove that this expertise isn’t readily available in the U.S.

The U.S. employer must continually prove that the visa holder meets the requirement and the company still needs their rare expertise.

For new companies:

  • An L-1 non-immigrant visa is approved for one year instead of seven or five years.
  • After the first year, a three-year visa may be approved if the company can show it was successful. The USCIS will use the number of jobs added and the financial statements of the company to decide if the company was successful.

Employers and employees can fill out our contact form to help with the L-1 visa extensions. Learn how to switch jobs while on L-1 visas.

Benefits of L-1 Visa for Employers and Employees

Below are a few benefits employers, executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers can get from the L-1 program.

For Employers

  • Employers can transfer valuable skills and experience to their branches in the United States.
  • Transferring key personnel can allow the replication of results and knowledge in their United States entity.
  • It is also a good way for other branches or countries to learn from their entity in the U.S.
  • The visa can serve as an incentive to attract and keep highly valuable employees.
  • The specialized knowledge visa can help keep employees critical to the success of specific projects, etc.

For Employees

L-1A Visa vs L-1B Visa

L-1A and L-1B visas are subcategories of the L-1 Intracompany Transferee visa. There are a few distinctions between the two visas: the eligibility criteria, needed documentation, duration, possible extensions, etc.

Our attorneys can help decide which of the L-1 visas is most suitable per employee

Blanket L-1 Visa Option

Blanket L Petition is a fast-track process that allows multinational corporations to transfer multiple of their top-level employees to the U.S. It helps the companies save time in their L-1 visa petitions, as eligible companies can file for multiple employees at once, instead of having to file one petition per employee.

To qualify for Blanket L petitions, the multinational corporation must have consistently recorded successful L-1 visa petitions. Other requirements include having a substantial employment level in the U.S. alongside the usual requirements for L-1 visas.

The multinational corporation will file the Blanket L Petition with the USCIS. If approved, the eligible employees can apply for the L-1A or L-1B visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

Comparing the L-1 Visa with Other Work Visas

There are different work visas by which a foreigner can gain access and work legally in the United States. Aside from the L-1 visas, there are the H-1B visa, O-1 visa, E-2 visa, and EB-1C visa, among others.

Here is a simple analysis of the difference between the L-1 visas and the work visas listed above:

Contact CFUIS – L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa Lawyer

There are many benefits to the L-1 visa program, but companies should be cautious when filing the visa petitions themselves. The application process can be complex, and there are various pitfalls that companies must avoid.

Our immigration attorneys will help ensure that a multinational corporation or its managers, executives, or specialized knowledge workers get guidance on the entire process.

You can call us today at 813-298-7222chat on WhatsAppemail usfill out our contact form, or schedule an appointment. In cases where the foreign worker or company does not meet the requirements, we can even help decide other U.S. immigration options.