The L-1 visa Intracompany Transferee Visa:
The L-1 visa category (Intracompany Transferee Visa) allows multinational corporations to transfer specific types of employees from a qualified foreign office to the United States to continue employment. This is extremely beneficial for companies doing business in both the United States and other countries, as it is sometimes necessary to transfer employees between offices in different countries.
Remura Mahbub, a L-1 visa Barrister, has successfully obtained an L-1 visa for professionals in a variety of industries, including technology, trading, and manufacturing. L-1 visa lawyers at Tahmidur Rahman Remura Immigration Lawyers and Barristers specialize in assisting start-up companies in obtaining an L-1 visa for foreign-based employees. When H-1B visas were not available, Tahmidur Rahman Remura Law Group L-1 visa attorneys assisted our business clients in transferring employees using an L-1 visa.
Requirements for an L-1 Visa
The employee’s company must meet two requirements in order to receive either type of L-1 visa. First, a recognized relationship must exist between a business in a foreign country and a business in the United States. A parent, affiliate, subsidiary, or branch relationship can exist.
Second, the company must be doing business in the US and at least one other country, or have plans to do so during the L-1 visa period. The employee must also have worked for the foreign company for at least one year in the previous three years.
L-1 Visa Categories
L-1 visas are available for two types of workers. Executives and managers must apply for and be granted an L-1A visa. These are employees with significant decision-making or supervisory responsibilities.
Other foreign employees may apply for an L-1B visa, which is available for workers who have specialized knowledge of the company’s products, processes, organization, and equipment, among other things. In general, it is only available if the specific employee is required for the operation of the business in the United States.
L-1A Visa Requirements
To be eligible for L-1A, Intracompany Transferee for Executives and Managers, the employee must have worked for the company for at least one year in the previous three years. That one year must be continuous and uninterrupted. The employee must have either executive or managerial abilities. In other words, the employee must be able to make company-wide decisions as well as supervise and control the work of others.
L-1B Visa Requirements
To be eligible for L-1B, Intra Company Transferee Specialized Knowledge, the employer must have worked for the company for at least one year in the previous three years. The employee must have advanced specialized knowledge or expertise that is critical to the company’s operations.
L-1 Visa Advantages
Although there are several types of employment-based visas available to foreign workers, those who are eligible should apply for an L-1 visa because it provides some important benefits.
L-2 visas are available to the spouses and dependents of L-1 visa holders. Unlike the H-4 visa, which is a dependent visa for H-1B spouses, the L-2 visa allows the holder to work in the US during their stay.
The L-1 visa has no numerical restrictions. While the H-1B visa is only available in a limited number of cases each year.
The most significant advantage of an L-1 visa is that companies can file blanket petitions for their employees to qualify for either an L-1A or L-1B visa.
An L-1 visa is also frequently renewable for 5 to 7 years, whereas a temporary business visa (B-2) is only valid for one year.
If you have an L-1A visa, you are a prime candidate for an E-B1C green card for managers and executives, which is a great option if you want to live in the United States permanently.
List of L-1 Visa Advantages
Who is eligible for an L-1 visa?
Without a doubt, there are numerous advantages to applying for an L-1 visa. The following are some of the reasons why this visa might be right for you.
Your goal is to obtain a green card in the future. L-1 is a dual-intent visa, which means that L-1 holders can apply for lawful permanent residence if they meet the requirements. Many foreign workers find the L-1 visa appealing because of this option.
You do not meet the requirements for other US visas, such as the O-1, and you are ineligible for the TN visa. In those cases, the relatively simple requirements of L-1 could be decisive.
You don’t want to look for a new job or work for a different company in the United States. You will work for the same company as in your home country, but for its American counterpart, with the L-1 visa. As a result, you are essentially transferring within the company rather than starting a new job at a different company.
You don’t have the luxury of waiting for priority dates. Unlike H-1B visas, there are no annual limits for L-1 visa applicants. This means you won’t have to endure the long wait and then the lottery result.
You want to stay for an extended period of time. If your extension application is approved, you can stay in the United States for up to 7 years with the L-1A and up to 5 years with the L-1B. The L-1 visa allows for a significantly longer stay than other visas.
Your spouse and children are welcome to work in the United States. This is an option that is not available on all U.S. visas. Your spouse and children can enter the United States on the L-2 visa, making them eligible for an EAD.
What is the L-1 Visa Application Process?
In comparison to other visas, obtaining an L-1 visa is a relatively simple process:
To begin, the applicant must file an I-129 form with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, along with documentation proving the company’s and the employee’s eligibility for an L-1 visa.
If the application is approved, the USCIS will issue a notice of action. This will allow the applicant to apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate in his or her home country if he or she is outside of the United States, or to apply for a change of status while inside the country.
If you are outside the United States and require consular processing, you must complete a DS-160 online visa application and bring the confirmation to the consulate or embassy, along with the filing fee. After that, you will have a personal interview with an immigration officer to determine your eligibility for the L-1 visa.
If you pass the interview, you will be issued an L-1 visa and will be able to begin working for your employer in the United States.
Documents Required for an L-1 Visa
An L-1 visa application requires the submission of numerous documents. Because this is an employment-based visa, both the employer and the employee must present relevant documentation during the application process.
Your employer will almost certainly be required to submit the following documents for both the domestic and foreign companies:
Financial statements, corporate bylaws, articles of incorporation, a description of business activities, tax filings, audited accounts, and a variety of other documents
Now, the employee must submit a new set of documents that the USCIS will consider during the L-1 visa application process. These documents are as follows:
Diplomas or certificates of education; Income tax returns;
Valid passport with at least six months remaining before expiration; two passport photos; a letter of recommendation from a supervisor;
A letter from the employer requesting an L-1 visa; a letter of employment verification; and an up-to-date resume.
Although you are very likely to be required to submit the documents listed above, depending on your background and the nature of your employment, you may be required to submit additional documents. It is critical to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney regarding the necessary documents for the L-1 visa application.
How Long Does It Take to Get an L-1 Visa?
Because each USCIS service center that processes petitions has a different workload, your I-129 processing time may vary greatly. However, many attorneys account for a general average of six months when considering processing time.
Because both the L-1A and L-1B require the I-129 petition, the processing times for the two petitions are the same.
Premium processing is available for all visas that use the I-129 or I-140 petition forms. This feature can reduce your L-1 processing time from six months to 15 calendar days. If the USCIS fails to process your petition within the time frame specified, your employer’s fee will be refunded.
While premium processing does not guarantee that your petition will be approved, it may be a useful tool if you need to enter the United States as soon as possible. Speak with your L-1 visa attorney to see if this service is appropriate for your situation.
Fees for L-1 Visas
The following is a breakdown of the fees associated with obtaining your L-1 visa:
- The basic I-129 filing fee is $460.
- Anti-Fraud Fee: $500
- 113-114 Public Law Fee: $4,500. This fee is only applicable if your company has more than 50 employees, with more than half of them on L-1A, L-1B, or H-1B visas.
- ACWIA Training and Education Fee: $750 for employers with 25 or fewer employees. $1,500 for employers with 26 or more employees.
- Fee for DS-160 application (only for consular processing): $160
- It is important to note that all of the above fees are the responsibility of your employer, not yours. Furthermore, the ACWIA and Public Law fees are one-time only and do not apply to L-1 transfers or extensions.
Other optional fees you may encounter include those for an immigration attorney (see our fees here) and the $1,440 premium processing fee, which can be paid by you, the beneficiary, or your employer.
Blanket Petition L-1
L-1 blanket petitions allow qualified employees to bypass the I-129 form and go straight to a visa processing embassy or consulate. Companies must meet the L-1 general requirements and have three or more branches, affiliates, or subsidiaries to be eligible for blanket permission.
Companies must also have applied for 10 or more L-1 visas in the previous 12 months, have at least $25 million in combined annual sales in the United States, or employ at least 1,000 people in the United States.
Evidence Requests for L-1 Visas
If the USCIS discovers an error or inconsistency in your petition, they may issue you a Request for Evidence (RFE) rather than deny it outright. This RFE will address any concerns the USCIS has about the petition, such as incomplete or insufficient information, a lack of qualifications, or concerns about the company.
If you receive an RFE, bring it to your immigration attorney as soon as possible. There is a relatively short window for responding. If you do not respond in a timely manner, your L-1 visa petition may be denied.
How to Request an L-1 Visa Extension
The process for obtaining an L-1 visa extension or renewal shares many steps with the process for obtaining the original visa. Your employer must file a new petition for you before the I-94 departure date expires.
Along with the petition, you will need several documents, including letters of support and information from your employer about your position over the previous three years of your L-1 stay.
Fortunately, if you spent any time abroad during your stay, you may be able to use that time to extend your L-1 visa even further. You will need to present physical documents as proof that you left the country to do so (e.g. boarding passes, plane tickets, etc.)
How to File
Your employer must:
- Review the instructions for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
- Complete and sign Form I-129;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation, including a duplicate copy of your Form I-129 and all supporting documentation, even if they are filing the Form I-129 to seek a change of status (COS) or extension of stay (EOS) on your behalf.
Want status updates about your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
After You File
Once we receive your Form I-129, we will process your petition and your employer will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received the petition;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- A notice of our decision.
Forms and Fees
How Can Tahmidur Remura Law Associates L-1 Visa Attorneys Assist You?
It pays to have an expert on your side in any situation involving the complexities of immigration law. This will assist you in avoiding delays or obstacles that could cost you both time and money. It is best to hire an immigration attorney to ensure that your L-1 visa petition is filed correctly the first time.
At Tahmidur Remura, we can assist you in developing a corporate strategy for requesting and receiving blanket L-1 visa petitions. Lawyers at Tahmidur Rahman Remura Law Group can also help with an L-1 visa to H1B visa status change.
The Tahmidur Rahman Remura Law Group L-1 attorneys have extensive experience in EB-1 green card applications for L-1A visa holders. Our lawyers can make certain that your extension requests are filed and processed on time and without errors.
We also provide expert review of all L-1 visa documentation to avoid unnecessary processing delays. We can help you get on the fast track to working in the United States by streamlining the application process. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a Tahmidur Rahman Remura Law Group L-1 visa lawyer, please fill out this simple form.