Requirements to Qualify for an L-1 Visa
June 1st, 2015
Requirements to qualify for an L visa (for intra Company transfers)
Some individuals who have been employed outside the United States may qualify for an L-1 Work Visa, for Intra-company Transfers. Executives or managers, may qualify for an L-1A visa and those in a position that requires specialized knowledge may qualify for an L-1B visa.
To be eligible, the applicant must have been employed outside the US, for at least one continuous year during the past three years, with the foreign affiliate of the U.S. company applying for them; and have an offer for a position with the affiliate in the US. be in the process of being transferred to the United States affiliated company or joint venture partner of the foreign company.
If the applicant is already in the United States, a change of status might be possible, and would enable the individual to obtain L-1 status without leaving the country and processing at a Consulate. having to apply for the L-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
There are no limits to the number of L-1 visas that the U.S. Immigration Service can issue per year and the petitioning company does not have to obtain a prevailing wage approval or file any documents with the Department of Labor.
L-1 visa applicants may possess dual intent (immigrant and non-immigrant), allowing them to apply for permanent residency concurrently, or at the same time, with the L application. In addition, persons with an L-1A visa applicants do not need to go through the labor certification process when applying for permanent residency, however, persons with L-1B visas applicants do.
Initial period and renewals
L-1 visas may be granted for an initial period of up to 3 years and may be renewed in 2 year increments, for a maximum of 7 years for an L-1A visa, and a maximum of 5 years for an L-1B visa. Any time spent with under an H-1 visa status will count towards this maximum. Also, an L visa holder may not change or obtain an H visa or an additional L visa, at the end of their 7 or 5-year period, without spending one year outside the U.S.
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 of L visa holders can obtain a derivative L-2 visa and may live and study in the U.S. without any additional permits. In addition, the spouse of the L visa holder may obtain authorization to work in the U.S.
There is a premium processing option for L visa petitions filed in the US. This means that for an additional filing fee, the U.S. Immigration Service will commit to process the application within 15 business days from receipt of the application. This does not mean that there will necessarily be a final decision after 15 days, but that there will be a response by this time. This response may be a visa approval, a denial or it may also include a request for additional documentation.
For a list of the documents required for the L visas, please visit this page. If you would like legal representation from one of our experienced L visa immigration lawyers in Boston, call for an appointment at: (617) 303-2600.