L-1 Visas are intra-company transfer visas that allow people to come to the United States on a special type of visa. The L-1 is a special category of visa that allows someone to come to work for their employer in the U.S. if they have previously worked for that same employer in their foreign country. There are several advantages to the L-1 Visas including:
- There is no yearly limit to the number of L-1 Visas that can be issued of this type
- While on an L-1 Visa the alien may pursue permanent residency
- It is easy to apply for permanent residency while on the L-1 Visa
There are two types of L-1 Visas including the L-1A and L-1B.
L-1A visas allow executives and managers to be able to stay in the U.S. for up to 7 years. The L-1B visa is designed for employees with specialized knowledge to stay in the U.S. for up to 5 years. Both types may be multiple entry, depending upon the country of origin.
Requirements for an L-1 Visa:
- Applicant must have been continuously employed abroad for at least one full year out of the last three years at the parent, affiliate or subsidiary of the U.S. employer.
- The U.S. firm and the foreign firm must have a qualifying relationship
- Applicant must be a manager or executive or must have specialized knowledge
- Temporary and permanent (dual) intent is allowed
The application process for L-1 Visas is done through the USCIS service center. The application must be approved through this office and they have jurisdiction over the employee. The employer has some responsibilities including sending a petition for the non-immigrant worker along with a petition letter and an explanation of the employment. The approved application will be submitted to the Embassy or Consulate for the L-1 Visa stamp.