Everything You Need to Know About The L-1 Visa For Foreign Workers
The L-1 visa for foreign workers enables companies to easily transfer their employees to their affiliate or parent company in the US. While the L-1 visa was originally reserved for multi-national companies, several smaller businesses and startups are beginning to take advantage of the visa.
The L-1A visa for executives and managersIf the application for an L-1 visa is for an employee occupying a management or executive position, only the L-1A visa will suffice. The visa applicant must have responsibilities that require them to manage other staff and make important decisions in the company.
The L-1A visa is usually granted for up to 3 years. However, it can be extended for up to 2 years at a time, making for a maximum of 7 years in total. In order to qualify for the visa, the employee must have occupied the managerial or executive position for at least 1 year in the 3 years leading up to the application.
The L-1B visa for employees with specialized knowledgeThe L-1B visa is reserved for employees with specialized knowledge about the company and its processes or procedures. It is usually granted for a period of up to 3 years but it can be extended to 5 years.
In order to qualify, the employee must also have worked for the company for at least 1 year in the 3 years prior to the L-1B visa application. It is also possible to apply for a Green Card after obtaining the L-1B visa.
Obtaining the L-1 visa for foreign workersThere are two procedures that can be used to obtain the L-1 visa. These are the regular and blanket L-1 visa procedures.
The regular L-1 visa for foreign workers is obtained after an application to the USCIS by the employee concerned. However, the employer also has to file a petition with the USCIS.
The blanket L-1 visa is appropriate when the company employs a large number of intra-company employees yearly. Companies that intend to apply using this procedure must first be approved by the USCIS. Once approved, it means the employee would not need to file extensive information with the application. Only a copy of the blanket petition and some supporting documents will be required.
The application process is begun by filing Form I-129 to the USCIS along with supporting documents. These documents are meant to show that the standards relating to the company have been met.
The applicant would then go to a US embassy in their country of residence to obtain the visa. The I-797 Notice of Action shows that the petition for the visa has been approved.
Renewal process for the L-1 visaPrior to renewing the L-1 visa, it is necessary to file a new I-129 petition unless it is a blanket petition. This doesn*t renew the visa though, only the status. To renew the visa, it is necessary to visit a US embassy or consulate in your country.