The L-1 visa is
available to individuals who have worked at a managerial or
executive level, or as an employee with specialized knowledge,
for at least one year at an overseas branch or affiliate of the
prospective US-based employer. It is designed as a “transfer”
visa, whereby a worker in a foreign company affiliated with a
US-based company can be transferred to the US to work for a
specified period of time.
Generally, in order to obtain this visa, a US-based employer
must file a petition with the USCIS to indicate their
sponsorship of an employee for the visa. The L-1 does not
convey permanent residency to its holder, and must either be
renewed or the holder must transition to another valid visa
status if he or she wishes to remain in the United States.
The L-1 petition must document the visa beneficiary’s overseas
position, the prospective US position and the relationship
between the US and foreign business entities. The L-1 visa may
be granted initially for up to three years, and may be renewed
in two year installments up to a total of seven years.
Dependents of L-1 visa holders may receive derivative
authorization to live in the US with the L-1 holder for the
duration of the L-1 status.
Our office has extensive experience with the "new office," L-1, which allows a foreign national, often the founder or high-level executive of a successful business overseas, to open a new office in the United States and be allowed to work to develop the new business. In many instances, the new office L-1 is also a path to permanent residency under the EB-1(c) program. Because our office offers business formation and setup services, we can serve as a "one-stop shop" for individuals seeking to utilize the new office L-1. Please contact us for more information.