The L1 visa is an intra-company transfer US visa. It allows a US company to transfer a key employee from one of its offices abroad into the United States.
The visa also allows companies to open a US operation for the transfer of its executives, managers and specialised employees.
There are two types of L1 visa
- L1-A is for managers and executives, who are either transferring to a US office, or coming into the US for the purposes of setting up a US office
- L1-B is for specialised employees, who have essential specialist skills or knowledge. In either case, it is the employer (‘petitioning employer’) who submits the visa application
For both L1-A and L1-B, the employee must have worked for the corporation for one continuous twelve-month period in the previous 36 months.
The L1-A visa grants a maximum stay of up to 7 years, whereas the L1-B grants up to 5 years. However, if the employee has previously worked in the US under a H visa, that time may be deducted from the allowed stay.
L1 Visa Requirements
- The petitioning company may be a corporation, charity (or other non-profit organisation), or a religious organisation
- The petitioning employer (in the US) must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company. Types of qualifying relationships include: parent company, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate
- The employer must be doing business as an employer in the US and in at least one foreign country. This means they are actively and continually delivering goods or services
- The employee must have completed a minimum of one year’s continuous employment for the company outside of the US, within the three years immediately prior to the application. Any time spent working in the United States will not count towards the twelve months.
If you are considering a business or investor visa for use in the United States, Migratio’s specialist team of lawyers are here to provide you with all the advice and support you need. There a range of other visa options available to potential investors. These include (EB1-3, EB2, EB3, EB1-1 etc.), so contact us for more information.
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