Qualifying for an L visa
June 9th, 2015
Some individuals who have been employed outside the United States may qualify for an L-1 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.
As I explain on the following video, 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.
If the applicant is already inside 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. Other important aspects surrounding L Visas to be aware of are:
- 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 do not need to go through the labor certification process when applying for permanent residency, however, persons with L-1B visas do.
- 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 an H-1 visa 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. 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. 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.
Click here for a list of the documents required for the L visa, and you may also check our Frequently Asked Questions on L Visas.
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, or fill our online appointment request form.
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The FitzGerald Law Company Team