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L-1 Visas

WomanAn L-1 visa allows a foreign company to transfer a worker to an Untied States branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of the foreign company. There are two types of L-1 visas: L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager, and L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge.

L-1A Visas

The L-1A visa allows a foreign company to transfer an employee to the United States who has been working for the company in an executive or managerial capacity. In order to be eligible for an L-1A visa, the worker must have worked full time for the foreign employer in a managerial or executive capacity for at least one of the past three years.

In determining whether an employee works in an executive or managerial capacity, USCIS looks at the employee’s day to day job duties. Executive capacity refers to an employee’s ability to make important decisions of wide latitude with only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, a board of directors, or stockholders. Managerial capacity refers to the ability of an 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.

In addition, the foreign company must have a qualifying relationship with the United States company which will employ the worker. The United States company must be a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign company. This means, that the United States company and the foreign company must have a common majority ownership. If the two companies do not have a common majority ownership, the same person or entity must have actual control over the operations of both companies.

Individuals may stay in the United States in L-1A status for seven years. Many individuals in L-1A status are eligible to apply for lawful permanent status under the EB-1C Multinational Manager or Executive category. This category is rarely backlogged due to per country visa limitations. In addition, EB-1C visa petitions do not require labor certification.

L-1B Visas

The L-1B visa allows a foreign company to transfer an employee to the United States who has been working for the company and has specialized knowledge about the company. In order to be eligible for an L-1B visa, the worker must have worked full time for the foreign company for at least one of the past three years.

The employee will also have to demonstrate that they possess specialized knowledge concerning the foreign company. Specialized knowledge refers to knowledge of a company’s products or services, manufacturing techniques, processes, or equipment. In addition, the employee will have to demonstrate that they will regularly use their specialized knowledge as part of their job in the United States.

In addition, the foreign company must have a qualifying relationship with the United States company which will employ the worker. What constitutes a qualifying relationship for purposes of obtaining an L-1B visa is identical to what constitutes a qualifying relationship for obtaining an L-1A visa.

Individuals may stay in the United States in L-1B status for up to five years. Most L-1B visa holders who eventually hope to apply for a green card through their job, will have to go through the labor certification process.

Application Process

The prospective employer in the United States files an L visa petition on behalf of their perspective employee with the USCIS Service Center which has jurisdiction over the area where the prospective employee will work. Petition processing times vary among USICS Service Centers. However, an employer may pay a fee of $1,225.00 for premium processing. Premium processing ensures a decision or a Request for Additional Evidence within fifteen days.

L-2 Visas

L-1 visa holders are eligible to bring their spouses and children under 21 years of age to the United States on L-2 visas. L-2 visa holders may study in the United States and are also eligible to apply for work authorization.

Contact an Experienced Business Immigration Attorney Today

If you are interested in learning more about L-1 visas, Hartzman Law Firm is here to help. Our principal attorney, Daniel Hartzman, is an extremely knowledgably business immigration attorney who has helped many employers petition for L-1A and L-1B petitions.

If you would like to speak with Daniel about how Hartzman Law Firm can meet your business immigration needs, please contact Hartzman Law firm at (412) 495-9849 or fill out a contact form online. We offer free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are also available by request.

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