L1 visa lawyer

L1 Visa Lawyer

Get personalized assistance with L1 visa applications

Transferring your company’s key employers to the U.S. is always a cause of great concern. Managers, employers, and executives with special skills can qualify for employment in the U.S. by using the L1 visa. Consult a L1 visa lawyer from Gallardo Immigration Law to help you out with the process.

Benefits of an L1 Visa

This temporary workers visa category is one of the most useful tools to international companies who need to bring employees who qualify to the United States. L1 Visa holders can file a petition for permanent residency status without affecting their L status. This category also allows for intra-company transferees to bring their family to the U.S. Family members of individuals in this category can also be granted permission to work in the United States.

What is a L1 visa?

The L1 visa enables a United States employer to transfer an executive or supervisor from an affiliated foreign office to one of the offices they may have in the U.S. If the company doesn’t have an affiliated office in the U.S. to send the executive or manager, they can send one in order to establish the company.

L1-A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager

A petitioner that meets the requirements listed below may file a blanket petition seeking ongoing approval and several or all of its branches, subsidiaries, any affiliates, and its parent as organizations that qualify if:

  • The person requesting the L1 visa and entities are involved in commercial services or trade;
  • The petitioner already has an office in the U.S. doing business for more than a year;
  • There are three or more domestic branches , affiliates, or subsidiaries; and
  • Approval of petitions for about ten “L” executives, managers, or professionals with specific knowledge throughout the prior 12 months; or
  • Their United States affiliates or subsidiaries have a combined annual sales of about $25 million; or
  • There is a workforce of about 1,000 employees.

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L1-A visa Requirements

Both the employee and employer have to meet specific requirements in order to qualify for the L1A visa category.

Some of the requirements for the employer include:

  • The United States employer must have a relationship that qualifies with the company overseas, being the parent company, a branch, or have an affiliation with the foreign company.
  • The United States employer must be currently doing business in the U.S. besides a foreign country for the period of stay in the U.S.

When the employer is seeking a L1A, it might not be required to show any present affiliations with the office located in the United States. Instead, the company can send an employer in order to establish one.

Employee qualifications for the L1 visa include:

  • The person employed should have worked for the foreign organization for about one full year while seeking admission into the U.S. during the past three years.
  • The employee must also be in a managerial or executive position, which means he or she can make decisions without a lot of oversight.

Period of Stay with the L1A Visa

For each category of L1 visa, the employee must be employed in the United States for about one year before filing a new application for the L or H status.

L1B Intracompany Specialized Knowledge

This the knowledge possessed by someone whose advanced level of expertise and proprietary knowledge of the organizations’ service, product, equipment, research, management, techniques, or any other interests the employer may have are rare in the U.S. market and its application in non-domestic markets.

L1B visa Requirements

In order to qualify for this visa category the employer must:

  • Have a relationship that qualifies with a foreign business or company
  • Doing current business as an employer in the U.S. and a minimum of one country through an organization that qualifies during the time the beneficiary stays in the U.S.

The employee must meet the following requirements:

  • Working for a qualifying organization abroad during a year within the three years right after his or her admission to the U.S.
  • Looking to enter the U.S. to provide services in a particular knowledge capacity to a branch which belongs to the same employer or a qualifying organization.

Period of Stay with a L1B Visa

Employers who qualify to enter the U.S. to create a new office are allowed to stay one year.  The rest of the qualified employees can stay for three years.  A request for extension of stay is granted for all L-1B employees in amounts of up to an additional two years, till the employee reached the five year limit.

Main differences between L1a and L1b Visa

The L-1A is used for an intra-company executive or manager, while the L-1B for any employee that possesses some specific knowledge. Both visas are granted through the employer’s petition. In other words, The United Stated employer is the petitioner. A number of factors will determine which of these categories can apply to you. The beneficiary should have worked abroad for at least one year in the past three years. Talk to an experienced L1 visa lawyer to help you determine the best route and L1 visa that applies to you.

What is a Blanket L1 visa?

Many times large companies transfer their employees to the U.S. by using the L-1A visa program. In situations like this, the company generally files the Blanket L-1 with USCIS in order to create the company relationship required in order to have L-1A visa approvals. The blanket L being approved doesn’t mean that the employee is automatically granted the L-1A classification yet it provides with the opportunity to transfer any eligible employees to the U.S. faster and on short notice without the requirement of filing a separate petition with USCIS for the employee.

Generally, when the blanket petition is approved, the employer simply needs to fill out Form I-129S. This form is then sent abroad to the worker together with the blanket petition approval notice and any other evidence that might be required by the Consular Office and the L-1 visa application process.

L visa for Relatives

The L-2 visa for relatives or dependents is granted to dependents of US L-1 visa holders. Dependents include the husband or wife, and unmarried children who are 21 years old or less.

Frequently Questions and Answers about L-1 Visa

After entering the U.S. how long does the immigrant has to wait to apply for the green card?

There is no waiting period for L-1A or L-1B visa holders in order to apply for the green card. The L1 status is a “dual intent” which means the immigrant intent is not a bar to enter into the United States on L-1A or B status. At our Firm, our experienced L1 visa lawyers are available to speak with you and walk you through the whole process.

What documents are necessary in order to apply for an L1 visa?

The following documents are needed in order to apply for an L1 visa:

  • Non-immigrant Visa Application
  • A recent passport photo
  • Passport which must be valid for at least 6 months after the period the l1 visa is valid
  • L1 Approval Notice
  • An L1 petition copy
  • Any documents that may prove a corporate relationship between companies
  • Documents that can prove if the beneficiary is eligible
  • Documents supporting the case
  • Documents requested by the Consulate

Can vacation, maternity leave, and sick leave affect the L1 status?

Sick leave, maternity leave and vacation don’t have any effect on your L1 status.

Which companies can qualify to transfer employees to the U.S?

These companies must meet the required Immigration Service’s definitions of a branch, subsidiary or affiliate, and parent to apply for an L-1 visa. These definitions are very exact and require analyzing the U.S. and foreign company’s ownership. Both companies need to be doing business for the entire time the employee resides in the U.S. One of our immigration attorneys can explain the whole process in more details. Gallardo Immigration Law can provide the professional guidance you need during this complex process.

For whom are the L1 visas appropriate?

Foreign individuals who have specialized knowledge or any managers who were transferred to the United States to perform supervisory work, managerial or employees, or someone who manages an necessary function or department.

What’s the difference between L-1 and E-1/E-2 visas?

Although both visas are used by aliens who seek to work in the U.S. for business purposes, the L-1 is for U.S. employers petitioning an alien employee who have been employed in that company before coming to the U.S. An E-1 or E-2 is for employees of treaty traders and investors employed in a supervisory, executive, or specialized knowledge position. The E-1/E-2 allows business people to work or oversee in an enterprise either trading with the U.S. or investing a substantial amount.

Can I change my work location if I’m on L-1 status?

Yes, you can do that as long as you are taking a position with related duties and responsibilities and with the same employer. You also have to file an amendment petition and inform the USCIS about any changes.

Can the employee work for another U.S. affiliate company besides the one that petitioned him or her?

In order to work for another company, the other affiliate will need to file for an independent L-1 petition for the future employee. The employee won’t be able to use their current L-1 to work for a new company. At Gallardo Immigration Law we are dedicated to helping our clients with any questions or concerns they may have. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Looking for an experienced L1 visa lawyer?

Whether you’re an employer seeking to transfer key personnel or an employee seeking to work in the United States, our L1 visa lawyers are here to help.


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