The L-1 Visa, or L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa, is a common path for those seeking to live and work in the United States. This type of US visa enables foreign companies to transfer foreign workers to an American parent company, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch.
So, what is the L-1 Visa? In this blog post, our skilled Phoenix immigration lawyer at the Milovic Law Firm is breaking down everything you need to know about the L-1 Visa. Let’s dive right in.
What is the L-1 Visa?
The L-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that enables foreign enterprises to send employees to an associated US business. The US business must be a subsidiary, parent company, affiliate, or branch of the foreign business by which the foreign worker is employed.
If the applicant is transferring to the US company to work as an executive or manager, the visa is referred to as an L-1A visa. If the employee is highly skilled with specialized knowledge, the employer may apply under L-1B visa.
What Are the Advantages of an L-1 Visa?
Now that you know the basics about the L-1 visa, let’s go over some of the advantages of this type of work visa.
Fast Processing: The average processing time for the L-1 visa is three to six months. With premium processing, however, USCIS responds within 15 business days of receipt for an additional charge of $2,500 USD.
Permission to Work in the USA: The intra-company transferee can work in the United States for the affiliate or subsidiary company.
No Quotas: For some countries, there are no annual restrictions on the number of L-1 visas available for use in the United States.
Allowable Dependents: L-1 visa holders may take their dependent spouses and children to the United States under the L-2 visa category.
L-1 Visa Eligibility and Requirements
Before you can apply for the L-1 visa, it’s essential to understand the requirements surrounding L-1 eligibility.
Previous Employment: Candidates must have worked for the alien parent company for at least 12 months during the three-year duration before the filing.
Past Employment Capacity: The candidate must have worked as a manager, executive, or specialized skill worker for at least 12 months during the 3-year duration before filing the petition.
Future Employment Capacity: The applicant must work as a manager, executive, or specialized skill employee for the same enterprise or its US affiliate or subsidiary.
How to Apply for L-1 Visa
After receiving the transfer offer, the employer will petition USCIS to obtain the L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa. Once the petition is approved by USCIS, the applicant employee must file the nonimmigrant visa application if they are outside the US and pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee. If the employee is already inside the US, they may qualify to change their lawful status to L-1 without leaving the US.
We recommend working with a skilled immigration lawyer who can ensure that each step of the process is done correctly.
Duration of L-1 Visa
For start-ups, the L-1 visa lasts for one year. For companies that have been operating for a year or longer, the L-1 visa can last up for three years with the possibility of extensions upon request.
Workers with specialized knowledge can request to extend their visa for up to 5 years, while managers and executives can request to extend their visa by up to 7 years.
Top Immigration Lawyers in Phoenix, AZ
The L-1 visa application process is complex and oftentimes overwhelming. Because of the widespread abuse of the program, the USCIS has grown stricter over time. To ensure that you have the best chance of obtaining your L-1 visa, it’s important to work with an experienced immigration lawyer who can guide you through the process.
At the Milovic Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing our clients with superior service to give them the best possible shot at success. If you’re looking for quality, efficiency, and expert knowledge, you’ve found it with us.
Contact our team today to get started on your immigration journey!