The L-1 visa category enables companies to transfer an employee from a foreign office to its U.S. office or to send an employee to the United States to establish a new affiliated U.S. office. It is a nonimmigrant visa category.
The L-1A visa is available to employees working in a managerial or executive capacity. The L-1B visa is available to employees with specialized knowledge of the organization’s product/services and its application in international markets or to employees who have an advanced level of knowledge of the organization’s processes and procedures.
An employee coming to the United States to establish a U.S. office is allowed a maximum initial stay of one (1) year. All other qualified employees are allowed a maximum initial stay of up to three (3) years. L-1A employees may be granted extensions of stay in increments of up to two (2) years, with a maximum of seven (7) years stay in the United States. L-1B employees may be granted an extension of stay in increments of up to two (2) years, with a maximum of five (5) years stay in the United States.
Two types of L-1 visa are available to qualifying organizations:
- Individual L-1 visas, for which the employer files an individual petition for the employee with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); and
- Blanket L-1 Visas, which allow employers to file a blanket L petition with USCIS to provide flexibility with transferring eligible employees quickly without having to file individual L petitions for each employee.
If a blanket L petition has been approved, an employee generally needs only to file a shortened version of the L petition and submit a copy of the approved blanket petition notice (along with supporting documents) with the U.S. consulate or embassy.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany the principal L visa holder for the duration of his/her stay in the United States may seek admission in the L-2 visa classification. Spouses of L-1 visa holders may obtain work authorization to work in the United States.
Immigration attorneys at The Dworsky Law Firm have been processing numerous applications for L-1 visa and will be happy to assist you. Call The Dworsky Law Firm in Chicago at (841) 441-4188, or use the consultation form to describe your case.