Sales: 312-922-9035 | Service: 312-964-6499
Sales: 312-922-9035 | Service: 312-964-6499

L-1 Visa for Intracompany Transferees

Available for employers wishing to transfer managers and executives from a foreign entity to a U.S. branch and who have been employed with the foreign entity for at least one year.

What is the L-1 visa?

There are two L-1 visa categories: L-1A for executives and manager-level employees and L-1B for those with specialized knowledge. Each category has its own eligibility requirements. A specialized knowledge employee, for example, must possess unique knowledge that’s essential to the company’s competitiveness that can’t be found in other employees, or within the industry in general. And an executive can only be engaged in high-level business activities, which means they can’t simultaneously be involved in boots-on-the-ground activities.

Who is eligible for L-1 visa sponsorship?

The L-1 is for intracompany transfers. In order to be eligible for the L-1 visa, an employee must have been employed at an international branch, parent, subsidiary or affiliate for at least 12 continuous months within the previous three years.

L-1A Visa Eligibility
Individuals who’ve worked abroad at a foreign affiliate of the sponsoring U.S. company in an executive or managerial capacity.

L-1B Visa Eligibility
The L-1B visa classification allows a U.S. employer to transfer an employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization from one of its affiliated foreign offices to a U.S. branch.

How long does an L-1 visa last?

Length of L-1A Work Authorization
The initial period of stay for an L-1A visa holder in the U.S. can be up to three years. After that, the visa holder can apply twice for a renewal, which extends the stay by up to two more years, making the total stay for an L-1A visa holder seven years.

Length of L-1B Work Authorization
The initial period of stay for an L-1B visa holder in the U.S. can be up to three years. After that, the visa holder can apply once for a renewal, which extends the stay by up to two more years, making the total stay for an L-1B visa holder five years.

Is the L-1 visa a dual-intent visa?

Yes, the L-1 visa is a dual intent visa. Because the L-1 visa is dual intent, visa holders who plan to apply to stay in the U.S. with permanent residency once their stay period is up can apply for their green card while on the visa without restrictions.

How much does an L-1 visa cost?

The filing fee that goes along with an L-1 application is $960. Employers can also choose to pay a $1,225 Premium Processing fee, so that USCIS will take action on the pending L-1 application within 15 calendar days.

Is there a cap for L-1 visas?

The H-1B visa is notorious for its annual limit of 85,000 visas, especially when the number of applicants has been 190,000 or above for the past four years, leaving more than half of applicants with denials each year. The L-1 visa, on the other hand, has no annual cap, which means any number of applicants can apply knowing that their petition won’t be rejected because a limit has been reached.

L-2 visa for dependents of L-1 holders

Employees may be accompanied by their spouses and unmarried children 21 years and under with an L-2 nonimmigrant dependent visa classification. Dependents are allowed to study. Spouses in L-2 status may apply for work authorization once they are in the U.S.

What is the Blanket L certification?

If your organization qualifies for the L Blanket Certification, the benefits go beyond all those listed above.

The Blanket L is a short-cut for eligible companies that have (1) three or more domestic foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates, (2) U.S. and foreign entities that are doing business, (3) a U.S. office that has been doing business for at least one year, and (4) at least one of the following: have been approved for 10 or more L-1 visas during the last 12 months, make annual sales of at least $25 million or have a U.S. workforce of 1,000 employees or more.

The Blanket L helps employees skip up to six months of processing time and take their application directly to the U.S. consulate abroad for on-site approval. In general, it’s an ideal option for companies looking to make short-notice transfers between international branches.

Are there any downsides to the L-1 visa?

Recently, U.S. immigration authorities have increased scrutiny over both the H-1B visa and the L-1 visa. In 2017, USCIS announced its intention to up the number of site visits at worksites of L-1 visa-sponsored employees. The number of L-1 visa-related site visits have been increasing over the past three to four years. And, considering the L-1 visa vs H-1b visa, both have seen the number of RFEs on applications increase as well, which can make the application process longer.

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