L Visa is a unique type of visa that was established to make intra-company transfers easier. If you work in a company that has a branch, subsidiary or parent company in the U.S., and have a transfer there, then you can apply for L-Visa. This visa works for intra-company transfers. It allows executives (managers) and specialty occupation pros to work in the affiliated company. There are two types of this visa:

  • For executives & managers
  • For workers with specialized skills

L-1 visas are issued for a period of 1 to 3 years. Its extension is available in 3-year increments. But the total period of employment in the affiliated company should not exceed 7 years. The family members can stay in the U.S. with the visa holder during the whole transfer period. The wife (husband) can apply for the work permit. Under certain circumstances, L-1 Visa allows getting a permanent residence status.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Legal employment in a foreign entity, not less than one year over the past three years;
  • The current company must have the affiliated, subsidiary or parent firm in the U.S.;
  • The specialist must hold a management position in the current company, possess specialized knowledge or skills;
  • The specialist must be employed in a management position in the affiliated, subsidiary or parent company in the U.S.
  • The specialist must be a full-time worker in the current entity.

There are some visa limitations:

  • L-1 visa cannot be extended after 7 years;
  • A new employee cannot be transferred if he or she hasn’t worked one year over the past three years on the mentioned positions in the current foreign company;
  • The current foreign company should exist during the entire transfer period;
  • The wife (husband) and under-age kid(s) of the visa holder can reside in the U.S. The wife (husband) can apply for the work permit. The work permit for a kid(s) is not allowed;
  • The visa holders may stay in the U.S. as long as the U.S. company is considered the branch, subsidiary, or affiliated one to the foreign entity.

The foreign specialist may apply for L-1 Visa, but he or she must have a legal U.S. company. The L-1 Visa petition must contain evidence of the relationship between the U.S. company and foreign entity, such as:

  1. Articles of incorporation
  2. Annual report
  3. Financial statements
  4. Copies of a stock certificate
  5. Letter from the employer, detailing the employment term, position, job duties, and salary
  6. Proof that the foreign specialist has worked for this employer at least one year over the past three years on the mentioned positions
  7. Description of the proposed job duties
  8. Evidence that the proposed position is one of the mentioned above

The foreigner that is intending to arrive to the U.S. to open a new office should also file the petition. The copies of the following documents should be added:

  • Permission for the U.S. company to open a new office;
  • Clarification of the business relationship with the foreign entity;
  • Evidence of the financial ability to pay salary and do business in the U.S., such as the size of the U.S. investment, the structure of both companies, the financial state of the foreign employer and their intention to take the position of the executive (manager) for not less than 1 year.

The visa applicant must provide the following documents:

  • A passport that is valid for more than 6 months after the date of a planned departure from the U.S.;
  • The picture was taken according to the U.S. Visa requirements;
  • Page of the DS-160 confirmation and the bar-code;
  • Invitation letter for visa interview;
  • I-129 and I-797 form (for individual applications);
  • I-129S and I-797 form (for collective petitions);
  • Letter from the employer that confirms the transfer to the branch office or the promotion, including the duties and salary
  • Links and contact information of the former co-workers, executives (managers)
  • Photos of the working premises
  • CV copy

If you have some questions regarding L-1 Visa / intra-company transfers, please fill the form below. We will get back to you at the earliest!

Last update July 20, 2020

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