L-1 - INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE
The L-1 intra-company transferee visa allows executives, managers, and employees with specialized skills to transfer from the foreign company to a U.S. office, subsidiary, or affiliated company to perform temporary services. Executives and managers are issued L-1A visas, whereas employees with specialized skills are issued L-1B visa designation.
Petitions are usually decided by the Immigration Service in 90 to 120 days
L-1A visas are granted initially for one to three years, with a total stay not to exceed seven years. L-1B visas are granted initially for one to three years with extensions available for a total stay not to exceed five years.
Permission To Work in The U. S.
The intra-company transferee is allowed to work for the U.S. subsidiary or affiliate company.
Includes Spouse & Children
The spouse and children under 21 are allowed to accompany the L-1 visa holder during the period of the transferee status. Dependent spouses and children are designated under the L-2 classification.
Conversion To Permanent Residence
In limited circumstances, it may be possible to convert the L-1 visa for executives and managers to lawful permanent residence status.
The applicant must have been employed by the foreign "parent company" for at least twelve months during the three year period immediate prior to filing the L-1 visa application.
Capacity Of Employment (Past)
The applicant must have been employed as an executive, manager, or as a specialized skill worker for a minimum of twelve months during the three years immediately preceding the filing of the L-1 visa petition.
Capacity Of Employment (Future)
The applicant be employed as an executive, manager, or as a specialized skill worker for the same company, or its U.S. subsidiary or affiliate.
The current (foreign) and prospective (U.S.) companies must be either the same company, or related by subsidiary or affiliate ownership.
Seven year Limitation
L-1A visas may not be extended beyond a total of seven years. L-1B visas may not be extended beyond a total of five years.
New employees Excluded
New employees may not be transferred prior to serving one year abroad as an executive, manager, or specialized skill employee of the foreign parent company.
Foreign Company's Existence
There must be continual existence of the foreign company during the transferee's stay in the U.S.
Spouse & Children Employment
Dependent spouses and children are able to work while in dependent L visa status after obtaining an Employment Authorization (EAD).
Intra-Company Relations Continue
L-1 visa holders may remain only as long as the U.S. company qualifies as the same company or subsidiary or affiliate status with the foreign company.