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L-1 Visa

L-1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

1 – What is L-1 visa?

The L-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa, which allows foreign companies to relocate and transfer qualified employees (executives and managers) to its U.S., subsidiary or parent company. 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.

2 – Who can apply for L-1 visa?

There always must be a qualified sponsoring employer (the company) petitioning for a beneficiary employee.

3 – What are L-1 visa requirements for the employer?

  1. The employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as a parent company, branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign company.
  2. The petitioning 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.

4 – What are L-1 visa requirements for the Employee?

  1. The qualified employee of the foreign company must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the company for at least one year out of the last three years.
  2. Be 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.

5 – What is executive or managerial capacity definition in L-1 visas?

   Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.

   Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization.

It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others.

6 – What is the period of stay for an approved L-1 visa?

Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year.  All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years.

For those employees entering the U.S. to open a new office, requests for extension of stay may be granted each for additional two years for a maximum stay of seven years.

7 – Could spouses of L-1 beneficiaries come to U.S. and work in the U.S.,?

The transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age and for the same duration of stay as the employee.

Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization as soon as they enter the country, and If approved, the spouse may apply and get a job without any restriction.

8 – Does an L-1 visa lead to green card?

Yes, L-1 visas allow “dual intent,” meaning that you may apply for permanent residency without jeopardizing your L-1 visa status. A specific employment-based immigrant preference category (EB-1C) was created for managers and executives who meet the L-1 standards and are interested in becoming lawful permanent residents.

9 – What are the requirements of applying for green card after obtaining an L-1 visa?

In order to seek permanent residency through EB-1C preference, the requirements are very similar to that of applying for L-1A visa:

  1. The candidate must have been employed for one year within the past three years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch of the U.S., employer and he or she must work in the United States in a managerial or executive capacity.
  2. The company must conduct business within the United States and another country in the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and services.
  3. The company must have been in existence in the United States for at least one year.

10 – How much does it cost to apply for L-1 visa?

In order to apply for L-1 visa, there will be a USCIS (government) fee of $325, plus a government Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $500. These fees must be paid via money order and paid to the order of appropriate government entity.

Premium Processing is applicable both to L-1 petition and L-1 extension petition by which the petitioner will receive the adjudication in 15 calendar days. The fee for Premium Processing is $1225.

At Eikon Law we will provide you with a list of documents that we need in order to prepare the USCIS petition. And throughout the process we will provide you with full support to make sure you are providing us the correct documents. If you choose to retain Eikon Law for your L-1 visa, we charge a total of $6,000 in attorney’s fees for L-1 petitions. Contact one of our expert Los Angeles Immigration Lawyers for a free consultation.

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