“An L-1 visa is for executive, managerial, and specialized expertise transfers within a company between a foreign affiliate and a United States subsidiary. A person, for instance, may be eligible for the L1 Visas if he is transferring from the Koke Enterprise in Germany to run an existing office in the U.S. or to establish a new Koke LLC office in the U.S. as an executive transferred to a subsidiary or affiliate.”
Learn more about L1 Manager Visas and why an attorney is necessary for such visas below.
Types of L-1 Visas
Two types of employees can get L-1 visas. Those in management and executive positions need an L-1A visa. A supervisory or decision-making role is a significant responsibility for these employees.
The L-1B visa is for foreign employees who possess specialized knowledge of the company’s products, processes, organization, equipment, etc. To qualify, the employee must be essential to business operations in the United States.
Requirements for L-1A Visa
Applicants must have worked for the company for at least one year within the last three years to qualify as an L-1A Intracompany Transferee for Executives and Managers. There must be a continuous and uninterrupted period of employment of 1 year.
Depending on the position, the employee must have organizational or managerial capabilities. An employee must be capable of making company-wide decisions or supervising the work of others and controlling operations.
Requirements for L-1B Visa
An employer must have been continuously employed with the company for at least one year in the last three years to qualify for L-1B, Intra Company Transferee Specialized Knowledge. Employees must possess advanced knowledge and expertise of essential nature to the company’s operations.
L-1 Visa benefits
A foreign worker eligible for an L-1 visa will probably want to apply for it as it offers some key advantages.
- A spouse or dependent of an L-1 visa holder is eligible to receive an L-2 visa. L-2 visa holders may work in the United States during their stay, unlike H-4 visa holders who depend on H-1B spouses.
- The L-1 visa does not have any numerical limits. H-1B visas are only available in limited numbers each year.
- L-1 visas offer companies many benefits, including the ability to apply for blanket petitions on behalf of their employees.
- A major benefit of an L-1 visa is the ability for companies to petition for their employees to qualify for an L-1A or L-1B visa on a blanket basis.
- An L-1A visa holder will be eligible for an E-B1C Green card for managers and executives. This is a good option for anyone seeking legal permanent residence.
Who is L-1 Visa for?
L-1 visas have many benefits, without a doubt. This visa might be necessary for a variety of reasons.
- Green cards are something you plan to get shortly. Those holding L-1 visas can apply for legal permanent residency when they qualify for the status of foreign workers.
- There are no other U.S. visas you are eligible for, like the O-1, and the TN visa is not an option. Those situations may enjoy L-1, which has simple requirements.
- You don’t need to look for a job or work for another company in the U.S. as an L-1 visa holder. However, you will work for the same company in your home country but a company based in the U.S.
As a result, you are transferring within the company rather than starting at a new one.
- Priority dates don’t matter. An L-1 visa applicant does not have an annual limit like an H-1B visa applicant is. In other words, you won’t have to endure the long wait to find out the lottery’s outcome.
- A long stay is what you seek. The L-1A allows you to stay in the U.S. for up to seven years, and the L-1B allows you to stay for five years, provided your application is approved. There is a much difference between the length of stay for L-1 and other visas.
- In the U.S., your spouse and children are generally allowed to work. The U.S. visa does not have this option. The L-2 visa makes your spouse and children eligible for an EAD.
What is the L-1 Visa process?
An L-1 visa application is relatively straightforward compared to other visa applications:
- To apply for an L-1 visa, applicants must submit an I-129 form and documentation showing that the company and employee are eligible for the visa.
- USCIS will issue an approval notice if it approves the application.
- An applicant may either apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy in their country of origin or apply for a change of status inside the U.S.
- You will need to complete a DS-160 online visa application if you are outside of the U.S. and visit a consulate or embassy with the confirmation and the filing fee. To determine if you are eligible for the L-1 visa, you will undergo a personal interview with an immigration officer.
- If you pass the interview, your employer will issue you an L-1 visa, allowing you to begin working for them in the United States.
What is the process for classifying an individual as an L-1A Executive?
A company executive is someone who holds one of the following positions:
- The director manages a key function or component of the organization;
- Determines the organization’s, component’s, or function’s goals and policies;
- Is capable of making discretionary decisions; and,
- It is only generally directed or supervised by higher-level executives, board members, or shareholders.
How much education and experience do you need for an L-1A executive or manager visa?
L-1A visas do not need any minimum educational requirements. L-1A employees must have worked for a U.S. employer-affiliated company in a foreign country as management or executive-level employee for at least one year before the transfer.
If I manage a group of professionals or supervisors at a company in my country, do I qualify for an L-1 visa?
The L-1A visa is likely available if your company transfers you to a branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate company in the United States to work as a manager.
Are there any differences in the L-1A requirements?
There are some similarities, but not all requirements are the same. Multinational Managers and executives must have at least one year of qualifying experience abroad before transferring to the United States for permanent residency.
If you are applying for an L-1A visa, you must have specialized knowledge or managerial experience at a foreign company.
An employee’s permanent residency petition would need a labor certification if they did not hold a manager or executive position at the foreign company. The multinational manager or executive option is available if both the U.S. and foreign companies have managerial or executive positions.
The L-1 and L-2 visa holders
- You can get a status change through consular processing or within the United States.
- Applicants for specialized knowledge positions can apply for extensions of status for up to seven years.
- An L-2 visa is available to spouses and unmarried children under 21 living with the L-1 visa holder. It is permissible for the spouse of an L-2 recipient to work.
- Are you looking to convert your L1 visa into a Green Card? An EB1 visa petition could lead to permanent residency (green card) for an L-1 visa holder.
- Beneficiaries may be the majority shareholders or owners of both companies.
- The applicant is eligible for premium processing, expediting the adjudication process.
What is the L1-B Visa?
Nonimmigrant L-1B employees can move from an organization’s affiliated foreign offices to one of its U.S. offices with specialized knowledge of the organization’s interests. It also allows foreign companies without an affiliated U.S. office to send an employee with specialized knowledge to establish one.
Why do you need an L-1 Visa lawyer?
Attorneys can guide qualifying businesses and enterprise types, ensure the U.S. office and foreign entity are qualifying organizations, and develop a long-term plan for obtaining and maintaining the L-1 benefits for all family members, including children.
A knowledgeable attorney can explain the pros and cons of different business models regarding L-1 visas since not all businesses have good models. Investor visa clients can get company formation services from the Attorney Group.
What is the L-1 Visa processing timeline?
The processing timeline for your I-129 may vary greatly due to the different workloads at each USCIS service center that processes petitions. It is common practice that attorneys account for six months in processing time when estimating costs.
It is the same processing time for the L-1A and L-1B petitions since they both need the I-129 petition.
Premium processing is available for visas based on I-129 or I-140 petition forms. A shortening of L-1 processing time by up to 15 calendar days can occur with this feature. Your employer will be refunded the fee if the USCIS does not process your petition in the time allowed.
The premium processing option does not guarantee your petition will be approved, but it may be helpful if you need to enter the U.S. immediately. Contact your L-1 visa lawyer if you are interested in this service.
L-1 Visa fees
Obtaining an L-1 visa requires the following fees:
- Fees for filing Form I-129: $460
- $500 for anti-fraud fees
- 113-114 Public Law Fee: $4,500. To qualify for this fee, your employer must have over 50 employees, with over half of them on L-1A, L-1B, or H-1B visas.
- Fee for DS-160 application (only for consular processing): $160
These fees are the responsibility of your employer and not yours. ACWIA and Public Law fees only apply to L-1 visa extensions or transfers.
Extra optional fees include those for an immigration attorney and the $1,440 premium processing fee paid by you, the beneficiary, or your employer.
L-1 Blanket petition
Qualified employees can apply for L-1 visas through the embassy or consulate by filing a blanket petition. There must be at least three branches, affiliates, or subsidiaries for companies to receive blanket permission under L-1.
There is also a requirement that firms apply for ten or more L-1 visas within the last 12 months, that the company has at least 1,000 American employees or subsidiaries, or that the company has combined annual sales of at least $25 million.
L-1 Visa requests for evidence
There is a possibility of receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) rather than being denied your petition outright if the USCIS finds a discrepancy or inconsistency in your petition. If the USCIS has concerns about the petition, this RFE will include any information that is incomplete, insufficient, or that raises suspicions about the company.
If an RFE is issued to you, get in touch with your immigration lawyer as soon as possible. The deadline for delivering a response is relatively short. If a timely response fails to arrive, you may risk having your L-1 petition denied.
What is the process for applying for an L-1 Visa extension?
If you wish to extend or renew your L-1 visa, the process resembles that associated with the original visa in many ways. During the period between the I-94 departure date and the expiration of the petition, your employer will have to file a new petition for you.
Attaching several documents to your petition, including letters of support and details about your position under L-1 for the past three years, will be necessary.
You may be able to use any time you spent abroad during your stay to extend your L-1 visa even further if you have spent any time abroad. To qualify, you must present physical documents that prove you left the country (such as boarding passes, airline tickets, etc.).
How can L-1 visa attorneys help?
Whenever immigration law is involved, it pays to consult with an expert. Doing so can avoid potential delays and obstacles that may cost you money and time. Having an immigration attorney handle your L-1 visa petition can ensure that it’s filed the first time.
To receive blanket L-1 visa petitions, the Attorney Group can assist in developing a corporate strategy. The Attorney Group can also help change the status from an L-1 visa to an H1B visa.
For L-1A visa holders who wish to apply for EB-1 green cards, the Attorney Group has extensive experience. We will ensure that your extension requests are filed and processed promptly and accurately.
A review by an expert is also available for all L1 Manager Visas documents to avoid unnecessary delays during processing. To get on the fast track to working in the United States, we can optimize your application process. We will happily schedule a consultation with you if you complete this simple form.