The L-1 visa is an option for employees of foreign companies wishing to temporarily transfer to a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent office in the United States. There are two main types of L-1 visas: the L-1A, for managers and executives, and the L-1B, for professionals with specialized knowledge.
To qualify, the U.S. and foreign companies must have an appropriate relation, such as being branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates. Additionally, the U.S. company must be in operation. The employee seeking the L-1 visa must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year in the last three years. Work in the U.S. must be in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge position.
Required documentation includes the I-129 petition form, evidence of the relationship between the companies, proof of employment and the employee's experience, along with documents confirming the managerial, executive, or specialized role. The initial period of stay varies, usually up to three years for L-1B and seven years for L-1A, with the possibility of extensions.
Spouses and children under 21 can accompany the L-1 visa holder and apply for L-2 visas. The application process involves the U.S. employer filing a petition with USCIS, followed by the visa application at a U.S. consulate in the employee's home country after petition approval.
To ensure compliance with constantly updated requirements and procedures, it is advisable to check the latest information on the official USCIS website or seek assistance from specialized professionals. The process can be complex, and legal guidance can be crucial to ensure all steps are executed correctly.