L-1 Visa (Intracompany Transfer)
Call Our Orange County Immigration Lawyer
An L-1 visa allows for the intracompany transfer of employees of foreign
entities to a U.S. affiliate of the foreign company. The purpose of the
L-1 visa is to allow
key employees, such as executives, managers, or people with specialized knowledge
to transfer to the U.S. affiliate of the foreign company.
Like any other visa application, obtaining an L-1 visa can be a fairly
time-consuming and complex process. For this reason, it is crucial to
secure high-quality counsel from a knowledgeable and experienced Orange
county immigration lawyer. At the Law Office of Ashkan Yekrangi, our attorney
is a former immigrant himself, giving our firm a unique understanding
of the challenges you may face.
Call us at (949) 478-4963 to
schedule your consultation with Attorney Yekrangi.
Do I Qualify for an L-1A or an L-1B Visa?
Employees who will perform managerial or executive duties in the United
States should apply for an L-1A visa, which has a maximum visa validity
of seven years. An L-1A allows for a period of stay for three years, and
two extensions of two years each.
Employees who have specialized knowledge should apply for an L-1B visa,
which has a maximum validity of five years. The initial petition will
grant three years of stay, with only one extension of two years. Spouses
and children under 21 years of age are eligible to obtain employment authorization.
What is Required to Obtain an L-1 Visa?
Most importantly, we must show a qualifying relationship between the foreign
company and the U.S. affiliate. We must then show your prior duties in
the capacity of an executive, manager or someone who has specialized knowledge
and that you worked full time for the foreign company for at least one
year in the past three years.
Not sure if you qualify? Contact our firm today at (949) 478-4963 to learn more.
What is a "Qualifying Relationship"?
The foreign and U.S. companies must be either a parent, subsidiary, branch
or affiliate. Joint ventures may also qualify so long as the joint venture
is at least 50% owned, with veto power, by the sponsoring company. It
is also possible to obtain L-1 status if the foreign company seeks to
open a new office in the United States – this is an excellent way
to expand your business into the U.S. market.
What is "Qualifying Employment"?
Qualifying employment for purposes of an L-1 visa requires that the employee
be employed by the foreign employer on a full time basis in a position
as a manager, executive, or someone who has specialized knowledge. Most
importantly, the employee must have worked for at least one year in the
prior three years for the sponsoring company.
Who is Considered an L-1A Manager?
A manager is one who directs the activities and budgets of a department
or the business and who has subordinate staff that reports to him or her.
Generally, the common sense definition of a "manager" is used.
Who is Considered an L-1A Executive?
An executive is similar to a manager, but with greater responsibilities
within the business. For example, the executive must have the power to
make important decisions for the company. Again, a common sense definition
of an "executive" is used.
What is Considered "Specialized Knowledge" for an L-1B Transferee?
Generally, specialized knowledge is special knowledge of the company product
and services or an advanced knowledge of process and procedures of the company.
Our firm is ready to help you with your immigration matters.
Contact us today to get started.
The L-1A visa has some advantages over an L-1B visa. As discussed, an L-1A
may remain in the United States for up to seven years while an L-1B can
only stay for five years. Second, obtaining permanent residency for an
L-1A visa holder is easier. So long as the employee was a manager or executive
for the foreign affiliate for at least one year, and the employee will
continue being a manager or executive for the U.S. affiliate, he or she
is eligible for the Employment Based First Preference (Eb-1) category.
The L-1B, on the other hand, requires that the employee go through the
PERM labor certification process. It is important to discuss your long
term plans with your Orange County business immigration attorney so that
the proper L-1 visa is obtained for you.
Permanent Residency for L-1 visa holders
As discussed above, both L-1A and L-1B visas allow for permanent residency
in the United States. However, it is easier to get a green card with an
L-1A visa than through an L-1B visa.
The L-1 visa is an excellent option for entrepreneurs seeking to expand
their business in the United States. Unlike the E-2 visa, no treaty trade
agreement with your country of citizenship is required. Further, unlike
the EB-5 visa, there is no minimum investment required in the United States.
L-1 Visa Abuse
There has been widespread abuse of the L-1 visa. Therefore, these applications
are highly scrutinized by the USCIS. You should work with a competent
Orange County business immigration lawyer to prepare the applications
and petitions for your transfer.
For experienced guidance through the L-1 visa application process, contact
the Law Office of Ashkan Yekrangi today. As an immigrant himself, our
attorney is well aware of how immigration can impact all areas of your
life, from business to family and everything in between. If you’re
seeking tireless, devoted counsel for any immigration matter, call us
today to schedule a consultation.
Our firm is dedicated to helping our clients achieve their immigration
goals. Call us at (949) 478-4963 to get started.