All You need to know about the L1 Visa
The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows overseas companies to transfer executives and managers including business owners for up to seven years. It can also be used for specialized knowledge employees under the L1B visa for up to five years to a new or existing US office.
How can I qualify for an L1 Visa8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(1) states that an alien who is eligible to receive an L1 intra-company transfer visa must meet the statutory requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Acts. This Act defines a qualified alien as:
*A person who has worked abroad for one continuous year within the preceding three years in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity for a qualifying, related business entity and who is being transferred temporarily to work in the United States to work in a executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity**.
There are basically 3 requirements to qualify for an L1 Visa.- To qualify for an L1 visa the employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the US company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.
- The employment with the foreign company must have been in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
- The employee*s work for the US company must be in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
Categories of L1 VisasThere are 2 categories s of L1 Visas; the L1A for executives and managers and L1B for persons with specialized knowledge.
This applies to persons operating in executive or managerial capacity. Executive capacity generally refers to the employee*s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. Although an executive may manage a function within an organization, it should be more supervisory in nature.
Anyone applying for the L1 visa in this category must comply with very rigid regulations and provide a descriptive outline of their job duties. The L1A visa is granted for a period between one to three years but can be extended up to 7 years.
This visa is for foreign workers with a specialized skill set or specialized knowledge of procedures, techniques, management, products, services, systems, or research. L-1B for workers with specialized knowledge is valid up to 5 years.
Procedures for L1 VisasThere are basically two Procedures for L1 Visas; The L1 Regular and L1 Blanket are the two kinds of L1 Visas.
The regular L1 Visa is obtained through the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This is issued to and used by individuals.
The Blanket LA is a visa that is used by companies that employ a large number of intracompany transferees on a yearly basis. A company that wants to apply for this Visa must first be approved by the USCIS. After the approval, the individual only has to file a copy of the blanket petition with some supporting document at the embassy.
The documents you may need for your L1 Visa application include:
- Copies of your passport for you and your family
- Your resume or CV
- A detailed job description outlining your US job
- A detailed job description of your position with your foreign company
- General information for both the US company and the foreign company