Are L-1 Visas Right for Your Business?

The number of L-1 visas being rejected has gone up over recent years and there is currently a temporary suspension on the issuing of these visas. Still the news isn’t all bad. These visas will be available again and they may be the right move for your business to expand in the United States.

Advantages of an L-1 Visa 

There are two types of L-1 visas that are useful for nonimmigrant intracompany transfers. The L-1A visa is available for those individuals in managerial or executive positions. L-1B visas are for those in positions that require specialized knowledge. L-1 nonimmigrant visas allow a company to transfer an executive or manager, or a professional employee with specialized knowledge, from one of its affiliated foreign offices to an office in the United States. This visa is also useful as it allows a company that does not yet have an affiliated office in the United States, send executive or managers over to establish a new affiliated office.

In order for a company to qualify for an L-1 visa, it must:

  • Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign business (qualifying organizations include a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate); and
  • Currently be or will be doing business as an employer in the United States with a qualifying organization in another country. There is no requirement that the company be engaged in international trade.

The requirements are relatively low and there is no limit on the number of L-1 visas that can be issued. L-1A visa holders can stay for an initial three-year period with the option to extend the visa up to seven years. The L-1B visa can only be extended up to five years.

In addition, spouses and dependents of L-1 visa holders can get their own visas. Unlike other dependent visas, spouses of L-1 visa holders may work in the United States. L-1 visas are also dual intent visas which means that a nonimmigrant can come to the United States on this visa with the intent to apply for a green card.

An Experienced Immigration Attorney Can Help

If your business wants to explore visa options, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, we have extensive experience helping foreign businesses and are happy to discuss your options. Contact us online or call us at 305-924-1133 to schedule a consultation.

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Serving Immigrants

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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