The L-1 visa is available for employers that wish to transfer an employee from a foreign branch, subsidiary, affiliate, parent, or related corporate entity to work or establish at a related entity in the United States.
There are two types of L-1 visas. The first is L-1A: Intracompany Transferee for Executives or Managers and the second is L-1B: Intracompany Transferee for Employees with Specialized Knowledge. Each type of L-1 visa has its own distinct eligibility requirements.
The L-1A visa is offered for foreign nationals who have worked in an executive or managerial capacity at a foreign affiliate of the sponsoring U.S. entity. To satisfy the managerial capacity requirement an employee must show the ability to supervise and direct the work of other employees and show they can manage the organization, department, or alike components.
In addition, an L visa applicant must have worked at a related entity abroad for at least twelve continuous months out of the last three years at the time of application. The work or service must be in an executive or managerial position (L-1A) or be a position that shows a specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B). Subsequently, there must be a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as a parent company, subsidiary, or branch.
Both the L-1A and L-1B have an initial period of stay of three years. The L-1A visa can be renewed twice for an additional two years, totaling seven years. However, the L-1B visa can only be renewed once for an additional two years, totaling five years.
How to Get a Green Card from L-1?
L-1 visas are “dual intent” visas, which will allow an L-1 visa holder to apply for permanent residency during the Applicants L-1 stay period.
The EB1C immigrant visa (“A Multinational Manager Immigrant Visa Petition”) is the most appealing for L-1A visa holders. To be eligible for an EB1C the applicant must (1) have been employed in a managerial or executive capacity at a company outside of the U.S. for at least a year during the three years prior to application, (2) entered the U.S. to continue service with that company of an affiliate or subsidiary, in a managerial or executive capacity, (3) the applicant’s U.S. employer must have been doing business for at least one year, and (4) there must be a continued qualifying relationship between the U.S. entity and the overseas company.
For L-1B visa holders, those who are working in a non-management role, EB2 or EB3 green card applications are available. (Please refer our EB3 article,)
Additional Benefits of the L-1 Visa
The L-1 visa also allows immediate family members to move to the U.S. as well. L-1 visa holders may bring their legal spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years. Immediate family members that meet these requirements will be classified as dependents and will be issued L-2 dependent visas. Additionally, spouses on a L-2 dependent visa are permitted to obtain work permits through Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and L-2 dependent visa children are able to enroll in U.S. schools.
Onal Gallant and Partners PC is a law office specializing in Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration Law, and the US Visa Processes. We deliver reliable advice in a large variety of subjects ranging from forming a corporation, and buying a house in the US to trademark registration and Green Card applications (e.g., EB3 Visa or DV Lottery). With exceptional knowledge and insight into immigration law, our experienced lawyers at Onal Gallant and Partners PC are ready to help and respond to all of your inquiries.