L-1 Nonimmigrant Visas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reserves L-1 nonimmigrant visas for executives, managers, and key employees moving to the United States for an international intracompany transfer. To meet the qualifications for an L-1 visa, the company must be either a U.S. corporation with a foreign office from which the executive will be transferred or a foreign corporation not yet doing business in the U.S., but promising to employ American workers upon establishing U.S. operations.

L-1 visas are applicable for temporary residence in the U.S. for up to three years. At the conclusion of the three-year period, the visa holder may apply for a two-year extension. An L-1 visa will not be extended beyond seven years. However, L-1 visa holders may apply for a green card during the duration of their legal stay.

Two Major Categories of Employees Who Qualify

L-1 visas are sought by employers, which must demonstrate that transferred workers fall into one of two broad categories.

Executives and managers: An employer applying for an L-1A or L-1 visa for a manager or executive must include a detailed description of the individual’s specific job responsibilities. Job duties must include supervisory responsibilities over the employees staffing a key component of U.S. operations.

Staff with specialized skills and knowledge: International businesses that can demonstrate that key staff members have specialized knowledge that is key to business success may apply for L-1B visas for the employees. L-1B visas are initially extended for up to three years and may not be extended beyond a total of five years of temporary residency in the U.S.

Other Limitations

In addition, at the completion of the L-1 or L-1B temporary residency period, the employee must be employed and live outside the U.S. for at least one year before another L-1 visa will be considered.

Spouses, unmarried children under 21 years of age, and other relatives related to the L-1 visa holder are eligible for what is called an L-2 visa. However, the duration of the L-2 visa is the same as the legal duration of the L-1 visa. Furthermore, they will not be issued an automatic extension based on an extension granted to the L-1 visa holder.

Call to Learn More in a Free Consultation With an Experienced Lawyer

If your company is seeking to transfer an executive from overseas to your Bay Area operations, contact The Law Offices of Derek Lim in Fremont, California. Attorney Lim has extensive experience providing efficient and effective immigration services. Additionally, you can depend on our immigration lawyers serving at our Fremont and San Francisco offices to be your best advocate throughout the whole process. We will conduct a holistic review by examining your business objectives, financial status, and personal circumstances to offer the best path possible to achieve your business goals and case approval. With Mr. Lim’s fluent knowledge of Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, as well as Thai and Laotian, he has become a recognized leader serving the Asian business community.

Call 510-818-0898 or contact the office by email to arrange a return call to schedule a consultation.

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