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L1 Visa
L1 Visa is an intra company transfer visa. It is available to individuals who either own or are employees of a foreign corporation in which they have worked for at least one of the prior three years, in an executive, managerial, or specialized-knowledge capacity. The employer must be a U.S. corporation related directly, in any one of a variety of ways, to the foreign company. The L-1 visa is valid for seven years. L 1 visa holders are exempted from the requirement of having to establish their continued non-immigrant intent, greatly facilitating the transition to an immigrant employment based visa, leading to a green card.

L-1 VISA REQUIREMENTS for Intra company transfer:

  • It can be issued only to an L1-A(Executive, Manager) or to a person with L1-B(specialized knowledge worker).
  • Individuals cannot apply for an L1 visa. Your employer must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf for L1 sponsorship.
  • The person must have worked for at least one year within the past three years and you will be performing duties in the U.S. for the same employer or an affiliate.
  • Maximum limit for L1(A) visa is 7 years for executives, and managers. And 5 years for people with specialized skills L1(B).
  • The L-1 petition must specify, that both the U.S. and the parent company involved are qualified organizations.
  • A letter from US based company, justifying the need of the person.

L-1 VISA REQUIREMENTS for setting up an office in USA:

The requirements are if an individual is sent  to set up an office in US for his company:

  • business plan outlining future investment scheme
  • all Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and share certificates pertaining to both the U.S. and foreign corporation
  • proof of the aliens qualifications as an executive, managerial, or specialized-knowledge employee
  • proof of the financial ability of the U.S. corporation to fund the employment of the proposed employee and the solvency of the foreign corporation
  • in the cases of newly formed U.S. corporations (less than one year), evidence of a lease, permits, and other supporting proof of the viability of the U.S. business
  • I-129L petition approved by BCIS
  • evidence, in the form of payroll records, that the employee has been employed abroad for at least one of the prior three years

Difference between the L-1A Visa and the L-1B Visa

The L-1A Visa is for Managers and Executives. A benefit of being on an L-1A visa is the ability to apply for a Green Card (Permanent Residence), without going through the process of Labor Certification, after only one year in L-1A status. The L-1B Visa is for key employees (accountants, computer programmers, etc.)