An L-1A is a non-immigrant status and visa typically valid for 3 years, with 2 year extensions, for a maximum stay of 7 years. The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad. This type of visa will allow the employee to relocate to the company’s U.S. office.
Yes, one important criteria is that the employee must have worked abroad for the sponsoring overseas company for at least one continuous year within the previous three years prior to admission to the United States.
A company will qualify to sponsor L-1 visas if the U.S. branch and foreign branch can be classified in at least one of four manners: parent and subsidiary; branch and headquarters; sister companies owned by a mutual parent; or 'affiliates' owned by the same or people in approximately the same percentages. The company must also already have employees in both the United States (unless a new office, see below) and one other country.
In addition to the above-mentioned one year of continuous work for the country within the three years immediately preceding their admission to the United States, they must also be serving in an executive or managerial capacity for the employer.
This type of visa is allowable for a new office in the United States but the threshold of criteria for the company increases to include that:
Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of only one year instead of three.
Yes, the rules regarding L-1A extensions are the same for everyone, in that extension may be granted in increments amounting to an additional 2 years. However, in no case shall the time period of an L-1 visa exceed the maximum 7 years limit.
Yes, legal spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may apply for and be granted L-2 visa for the same time period as the L-1 employee.
Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If approved, there is no specific restriction as to where the L-2 spouse may work.
A legal spouse of an L-1 recipient may apply for authorization to work by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding L-1A that you may have.