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The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows multinational companies to transfer employees from their foreign offices to their U.S. offices. It is designed to facilitate the transfer of key personnel and facilitate international business operations. Here is an overview of the L-1 visa category:

  • Intra-Company Transfers: The L-1 visa is available for employees of multinational companies who are being transferred from a foreign office (L-1A for executives and managers or L-1B for specialized knowledge workers) to a related U.S. office of the same company.

  • Qualifying Relationship: To be eligible for an L-1 visa, there must be a qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company. This typically involves the U.S. company being a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office of the foreign company.

  • Employment Requirements: a. L-1A Visa: For executives or managers, you must have been employed in an executive or managerial capacity by the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the past three years. b. L-1B Visa: For specialized knowledge workers, you must possess specialized knowledge of the company's products, processes, or procedures and have been employed by the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the past three years.

  • Temporary Stay: The L-1 visa is a temporary visa category, and the initial period of stay is up to three years for L-1B visa holders and up to seven years for L-1A visa holders. Extensions may be granted, but the maximum stay is five years for L-1B visa holders and seven years for L-1A visa holders.

  • Visa Application Process: The L-1 visa application process typically involves the following steps: a. The U.S. company files a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the employee. b. The petition should include supporting documentation, such as proof of the qualifying relationship between the companies, evidence of the employee's eligibility and qualifications, and a detailed description of the proposed employment in the United States. c. If the petition is approved, the employee can apply for an L-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

  • Dependents: Dependents, such as spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, may accompany L-1 visa holders under the L-2 visa category. They are eligible for work authorization in the United States.

It is important to note that the L-1 visa is specific to multinational companies and the transfer of employees within the company. The eligibility requirements and application process can be complex, and it is advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney or professional who can guide you through the process, assist with document preparation, and ensure compliance with the requirements of the L-1 visa category.

Immigrant Law-L1 - Visa

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