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L1 intracompany transfer visa

The L-1 visa may be a temporary work and residence permit for the USA. The category allows internal staff transfers within a corporate group from the present foreign location to a U.S. location.

Applicants often apply for an L-1 visa as a part of a typical international assignment. However, applicants may apply for this L1 intra-company transfer visa, for instance, if they want to participate in a long-term project or installation assignment at a U.S. site or U.S. customer facility.

L1 intracompany transfer visa

Entry requirements

The L-1 visa is tied to a business, i.e., the official applicant is that the U.S. company seeking to rent the long-term employee. Therefore, an important prerequisite of the appliance process is proving the existence of a U.S. site within the company group. The American company must be active on the market (doing business") for a minimum of one year before the appliance is submitted. U.S. sites that are active for less than a year may qualify as USA L-1 visa applicants. However, there are special provisions (L-1 new office). Under this visa, the foreigner must work exclusively for the U.S. company that submitted the appliance. The sole exception is so-called off-site employment, which allows employees to be deployed to customer sites under certain conditions.

Since the L-1 visa is issued to internal staff transfers within a corporation, proof must be as long as there's a qualifying link between a far off-site where the worker is currently employed and therefore the proposed U.S. site (the hosting business unit), in order that the staff transfer can happen.

The following are qualifying situations:?

  • The foreign parent company holds a minimum of a 50% stake within the U.S. subsidiary or the other way around
  • Both business units are affiliate companies and therefore the same parent company holds a minimum of a 50% stake in both of them

A US company maintains a permanent business location abroad or the other way around

Both companies must be logically linked to every other through a serious ownership stake. This list isn't exhaustive, and other corporate structures are conceivable.

The employee who is to receive the L-1 visa must be employed at his or her current site within the group (outside the U.S.) for a minimum of 12 months (continuously) during the last three years. The worker must have a daily employment relationship. Freelancers or consultants, for instance, don't qualify for this category. The law also assumes that the position that's being offered within the U.S. may be a regular working contractual relationship (regular employment).

During the minimum one-year period of employment at the foreign company, the worker must have actively performed the functions of a manager, executive or specialist, and it must even be intended that the worker will perform equivalent job duties at the U.S. site. The U.S. authorities distinguish between the L-1A visa USA for managers/executives and therefore the L-1B visa USA for specialists. Especially, L-1B applications are going to be strictly checked by the competent authorities.

Employees who receive an L-1 visa USA may still be paid by the foreign company or the U.S. site. A U.S. employment agreement or a U.S. assignment agreement isn't mandatory, but possible. The foreign assignment also can be performed under a far off employment agreement.

Visa validity

The initial application for an L-1A visa USA for managers/executives could also be granted for a maximum period of three years and extended for 2-year increments for a complete maximum of seven years.

The initial application for L-1B visa USA for specialists could also be granted for a maximum period of three years and renewed once for 2 years for a complete maximum of 5 years.

Companies that are active in the U.S. marketplace for a year can apply for an L-1A visa USA and L-1B visa USA "New Office visa for workers who will build up the U.S. site. However, the initial application may only be granted for a maximum of 1 year. However, applications for extension submitted thereafter could also be granted for up to a maximum of 5 (L-1B) and 7 years (L-1A).

Application process

L-1 visa USA applications must be submitted by mail to the USA to the acceptable service centre of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition includes extensive documentation about the U.S. the company, the foreign company location or group of companies, and documents confirming the qualifications also because of the current and future employment of the worker. After the L-1 visa USA petition is approved, the U.S. company will receive a gift letter (I-797 Approval Notice) by mail.

During the last step, the longer-term employee must undergo the consulate process during which the particular L-1 visa USA is going to be issued (the only exceptions to the present procedure are a standing extension or change processes that are initiated from within the United States). The appliance process usually takes place during the private interview at the acceptable U.S. consulate within the applicant's home country.

Companies that meet certain entry requirements can obtain a so-called L Blanket registration for the group of companies and thus apply for an L-1 visa USA in accordance with a simplified procedure for his or her employees.

Family members

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age receive a derivative L-2 visa USA lasting an equivalent period because of the principal applicant's L-1 visa USA. Once children reach the American age of majority (21), they need to change their non-immigrant visa status or leave the country.

A spouse can apply for his or her own working papers (Employment Authorization Document EAD) that's not tied to a selected U.S. company.

In order to get detailed information on L1 visa USA, you may write at

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