L-1 Visa Attorneys in Orlando, FL
The L-1A Visa for Intracompany Transferee Executives or Managers
If you work in a company with an international presence or are a professional with specialized skills, the L-1 Visa could be your gateway to the United States
What is the L-1 Visa
The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant option that facilitates the transfer of high ranking employees from foreign multinational companies, to related companies within the United States, to perform temporary functions.
This visa allows international companies to transfer a manager, executive, or individual with specialized knowledge to a U.S. company, if the U.S. company is a branch, parent company, subsidiary, or affiliates of the foreign company. There are 2 types: L-1A visa and L-1B visa.
What is the difference between the L-1A visa and the L-1B visa?
- Executives and Managers must apply for the L-1A visa:
For executive/managerial roles, the requirements call for a detailed job description with supervisory responsibilities. L-1A visas are granted for three years, extendable to seven, except for new offices that get a one-year entry.
- Specialized knowledge personnel must apply for the L-1B visa:
Employees with specialized knowledge who are being transferred to a U.S. office of the same multinational company should apply to this category. Specialized knowledge refers to advanced knowledge or experience in processes, technology, or products of the applicant company. L-1B visas are initially for three years, extendable to five.
L-1 Visa Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for an L-1 visa, both the employee (visa applicant) and the employer (sponsor) must meet specific L-1 visa eligibility requirements. Here are the general eligibility criteria for the L-1 visa:
- For the Employee (L-1 Applicant):
- Partnership with a Qualified Organization: The employee must be currently affiliated with a qualified multinational organization that has a connection to the U.S. employer.
- Job Suitability: In the case of L-1A (Managers/Executives), the employee must come to the U.S. to fill a managerial or executive role. Typically, this involves overseeing a substantial portion of the organization's operations or managing a critical function. For L-1B (Specialized Knowledge), the employee must possess specialized knowledge about the company's products, services, or technology.
- One year of work experience: The employee must have had uninterrupted full-time employment with the foreign company (outside the United States) for a minimum of 1 year within the three years immediately preceding the L-1 visa application.
- For the Employer (Sponsor):
- Qualifying Affiliation: The U.S. employer must maintain a "qualifying relationship" with the foreign entity employing the visa holder. For example, relationships between parent companies, sister companies, or direct subsidiaries.
- Engaging in business in the U.S.: It is necessary for the U.S. employer to actively conduct business in the U.S. In addition to having an office (physical facility) where the employee will operate.
- Offer of Employment: The U.S. employer must extend a valid offer or letter of employment proposal to the employee and be prepared to file an L-1 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the employee.
What would be an example of an L-1 visa application case?
A Belgium-based technology company applies for an L-1 Visa for an executive who oversees vital operations within the company, to manage and expand a branch of the company in the United States. The application package emphasizes the qualifications and specialized knowledge of the executive crucial to the new venture.
What are the costs of the L-1 Visa?
The expenses associated with the L-1 visa are variable and depend on factors such as the type of visa (L-1A or L-1B), the type of petition (new or extension), and whether premium processing is chosen.
What are the benefits of an L1 visa?
The L-1 visa offers important advantages:
- Ability to live and work in the United States: Authorized residency and employment in the United States under the L-1 visa.
- Extended period of stay: L-1A and L-1B visas allow initial stays of 3 years, extendable up to 7 and 5 years, respectively.
- Dual Intent Visa: Unlike some visas, the L-1 allows for a temporary stay with the option of permanent residency in the future. Would you like to convert your L-1 visa to a Green Card? The L-1 visa holder could be eligible for permanent residency through an EB1 Visa petition.
- The L-1 Visa process provides the possibility for premium processing, for an additional fee, which speeds up the processing of L-1 petitions with a turnaround time of 15 days.
- Family-Based Immigration Benefits: L-1 approval extends benefits to spouses and unmarried children, including work authorization for spouse and educational opportunities for children.
Process to apply for the L-1 Visa
To apply for an L-1 visa, collaboration between the sponsoring employer and the applicant is crucial.
The sponsoring employer initiates the process by filing Form I-129 with USCIS, detailing the job position, establishing the qualifying relationship between the foreign and U.S. entities, and demonstrating the beneficiary's eligibility.
The employer pays the government's filing fees, including any additional fees. Once the I-129 petition is approved, the applicant completes the DS-160 application, pays the visa application fee, and schedules an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country.
The interview requires specific documents, such as a valid passport and proof of job offer. This meticulous process ensures a complete and documented L-1 visa application.
In summary, L-1 Visas are a valuable tool for international labor mobility. At Symphorien-Saavedra Law, we understand the complexity of immigration processes. Our founder, immigration attorney Frank Symphorien-Saavedra, is certified as an expert in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Florida Bar, and will be happy to guide you through your immigration process. If you are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us at 407-802-1717 to schedule a consultation for advice from expert L-1 visa attorneys!