All about the L-1 Visa

What Is an L-1 Visa?

An L-1 visa is used by companies that wish to transfer an overseas employee to their US branch. L-1 visas are valid for 1 year on a new US business and up to 3 years on an established one. The maximum years for an L-1 visa is 5 years. There are 2 categories of an L-1 visa.

  • The first is the L-1A, where the employee is in a managerial or executive position with the company and is being transferred to the US location. This also applies to foreign businesses that will be establishing a US company.
  • The other is an L-1B, where the employee is in a position that requires specialized knowledge.

How Do I Qualify for an L-1 Visa?

In order to qualify for an L-1 visa, the US company must have a relationship with the foreign entity. The relationship could be the following:

  • Parent company
  • Sister company
  • Branch
  • Affiliate

The company must currently be doing business or will be doing business with the US company and must be viable.

There is also no minimum dollar amount requirement on establishing a US company.
USCIS also defines the term “doing business” to mean the regular, systemic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services. Not just having a person be present at the business.

Qualifications for an Executive Capacity Employee

Qualifications for an executive capacity employee require that they have been with the company for one continuous year within the last 3 years immediately preceding his transfer to the US. The employee must also be in an executive or managerial position. Executive capacity may include direct management of the business or major functions of the company, establishment of goals, policies, function of business, discretionary decision making, and receives supervision from only higher level executives.

Qualifications for a Managerial Capacity Employee

Qualifications for a managerial capacity employee is the ability to supervise, control work, manage departments or function of a business. This also includes managing an essential function without direct supervision.

Qualifications for an Employee With Specialized Knowledge

Qualifications for an employee with specialized knowledge requires knowledge about the business products and services, research, equipment, techniques, management, international markets, and other advanced levels of expertise in the company.

Benefits of an L-1 Visa

  • An L-1 visa will allow the employee to bring their family with them to the US.
    • The family includes spouses and children under 21 years of age.
    • Spouses of the L-1 visa employee will also be eligible to work with their own employment authorization.
  • This is a good option for companies that wish to establish their business in the US.
    • It allows them to set up their company with trusted employees that already know the objectives.

If you or someone you know is interested in an L-1 visa, they should contact an immigration attorney to discuss the procedures for their specific situation, as all cases are different. Hwang Law Group may be based in Las Vegas, Nevada, but our experienced immigration attorney is capable of assisting anyone, anywhere regarding their immigration concerns. Reach out today.