The nonimmigrant L-1 Visa classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This is also known as the L1 Visa. The L-1 visa also enables 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.
To qualify for L-1 visa classification in this category, the employer must:
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations); and
- Currently be, or will be, doing 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-1A visa.
Among other requirements, the named L1A visa employee must generally have been working for a qualifying organization 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 (L Visa) to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations. Our Los Angeles L-1 visa attorney will advise you on this.
Executive capacity generally refers to the L-1A visa employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. Managerial capacity under the L-1 visa generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. The difference between the L1A visa and the L1B visa is the managerial capacity or specialized knowledge.
For 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 under the L-1 visa, it must also be shown that
- Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured for the L-1A visa,
- The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition to qualify under the L-1 visa; and
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the L visa petition.
Period of Stay
Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year under the L1A visa. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years also under the L visa. For all L1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years continuing under the L-1A visa, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.
Family of L-1 Visa Workers
The transferring employee under the L-1A visa may be accompanied or followed by his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Such family members of the L1 visa holder may seek admission in L-2 nonimmigrant classification and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the L-1A visa employee.
Blanket Petitions for L-1A visa
Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L1 visa petitions by filing a blanket L-1A visa petition. Among other requirements, in order to establish eligibility for blanket L visa certification, the employer and each of the qualifying organizations must be engaged in commercial trade or services; must have an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more and must have three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates
Mr. Galstyan, an experienced immigration attorney, has successfully handled countless L-1A visa cases. Our firm has the ability and experience to help you in getting your L1A visa. We prepare and file your petition along with the required documentation as well as supporting evidence to ensure that your case is approved with the USCIS. Please contact our office for your free, no obligation consultation with an experienced L-1 immigration lawyer to discuss your L-1 visa situation.