The L-1 VisaL 1 Visa

What is the L-1 Visa?

The L-1 Visa is a type of temporary nonimmigrant visa which allows a foreign worker to transfer to their employer’s office in the United States, or the employer’s parent branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.

Who is Eligible for an L-1 Visa?

As taken from the USCIS website, in order to be eligible for an L-1 Visa, the employer must meet the following general qualifications:

  • The employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations); and
  • The employer must currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1.  While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.

The employee must also meet the following general qualifications:

  • The employee must generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States; and
  • They are seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

What is the Process of Applying for an L-1 Visa?

To initiate the process of an L-1 Visa application, the applicant would first need to submit Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker to the USCIS. This form is to be filled out by the applicant’s employer. After Form I-129 is filed by the employer, along with all supporting documentation, the applicant would need to visit their nearest U.S. Embassy for an interview in order to receive their visa.

Family of L-1 Visa Holders

An L-1 applicant is permitted to bring qualifying family members to the U.S. with them. Spouses and children under the age of 21 are permitted to seek an L-2 visa under the primary L-1 applicant’s visa. Spouses of L-1 workers are permitted to apply for work authorization and may do so by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Children of L-1 applicants who have been granted L-2 status may attend school while in the United States.

Can L-1 Applicants Adjust Status to a Green Card?

Because the L-1 Visa is considered to be a dual intent visa, there is no requirement that the applicant maintains a foreign residence in order to prove that they have no intent of staying in the United States. An L-1 visa holder who is interested in adjusting their status to that of a permanent resident should seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer.

Consider setting up a consult with an immigration attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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