New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

L1 Visa: How to Immigrate to the US Using Business

Author: New York Business Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova

The L-1 visa allows managers, executives and other employee’s with a special knowledge crucial to the business’ development and growth to transfer from a foreign company to a branch currently doing business in the US.

The L-1 Visa holder can only work for the US Employer that serves as his/her sponsor. This employer must be a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, parent or joint venture partner of the company currently employing the L-1 applicant outside of the US. Once approved, the L1 holder may bring his spouse and children to the US as well under the L-2 category. The spouse may even apply for employment authorization.

With an L-1 Visa, one will also be allowed to take trips outside of the US until the L-1 status expires. This visa is valid for three years with two year extensions available up to five years total for employee’s with specialized knowledge and seven years for managers and executives.

If one has previously held an H visa, the time spent in the US counts towards the maximum time allotted for the category of executive/manager or specialized knowledge employee.

The L-1 Visa, like the H-1B Visa allows a US company to sponsor their employee.

Please note that if you claim that you are not an intending immigrant but later wish to adjust your status, this will not constitute as a fraud, as the L-1 Visa is considered to be "dual intent."

To Qualify for an L-1 Visa the applicant must:

  • Have been previously employed outside of the US by the sponsoring/parent company for at least 1 continuous year out of the past three years.
  • Must (once approved) be transferred to the US to work as a manager, executive or employee with specialized knowledge.
  • The US company the applicant will transfer to, must be a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, parent or joint venture partner of the company outside of the US the applicant is currently employed with. Please note, that the origination of the company whether foreign or domestic( US) does not matter for this application, so long as the parent company is physically located outside of the US and the branch, subsidiary, etc. is located within the US.
  • The foreign company must continue operations for the length of the applicants visa, upon completion of the visa, the L-1 visa holder should expect to be transferred back to the original company. If the foreign company closes that branch that the visa holder was originally transferred from, in order to keep a legal status the US company must have another foreign company to transfer the L-1 visa holder to (the visa holder does not have to actually be transferred, the option to transfer alone is all that is needed).

If you are seeking solution to your business immigration issue, call Law Office of Alena Shautsova 917-885-2261.

05 May 2014
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