The L-1 visa enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from an affiliated office abroad to an office in the United States. This visa classification also allows a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one. The following describes some of the features and requirements of the L-1 nonimmigrant visa program.
To qualify for an L-1 visa, the employer must:
• Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate); and
• Currently be, or will be, conducting business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1 Visa holder. While the business must be active and conducting business transactions, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.
Also to qualify, the named employee must:
• Generally have been working for the qualifying business abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States; and
• Be seeking to enter the United States to render services in an executive or managerial capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
New Office in the U.S.
Foreign employers who are seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager in order to establish a new office, must evidence the following:
• Sufficient physical premises for the new office to conduct business
• The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
• The U.S. business will be able to financially support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
L-1 Visa: Period of Stay
Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.
Family of L-1 Visa Workers
The transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Spouses of L-1 workers may be permitted to work in the United States and, if approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the spouse may work.
Conversion to Permanent Residence
In limited circumstances, it may be possible to convert the L-1 visa for executives and managers to lawful permanent residence status.
Contact our Immigration Lawyers in Orlando
The Morgan Law Firm,P.A. has extensive experience in handling L-1 Visa applications. Contact our Immigration Attorneys to schedule a consultation to discuss L-1 visa options. You can call us at (407) 425-8528, fill our online form or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.