The L1 visa allows employees that hold a managerial-level position to temporarily move and work in the US, commonly known as an intracompany transfer. The position must be with a sister company, branch, or some other affiliate of the company that the applicant currently works for. Children under the age of 21 and spouses may also apply for an L2 visa in order to accompany an L1 recipient to the US.
As with any visa application, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to gain approval for the L1 visa.
- The applicant must have one year of continuous experience with the company within the past three years.
- The applicant must hold or have held a managerial or specialized role within the outlined time frame.
- Applicants should choose between two L1 visas: L1A for managers and executives or L1B for specialized knowledge.
- There must be proof that the company is a qualified organization.
- The foreign company and the US company should both be conducting business during the time of the application.
- Fees must be paid at the time of application.
L1 Visa Process
While an L1 visa is considered a temporary non-immigration visa, it is eligible for dual intent. This means that applicants do not have to prove that they plan on returning to their home country or even have a residence there. L1 visa recipients may (and oftentimes do) elect to go through with the green card application process.
It is expected for L1 recipients to work full time while they are under L1 status. However, this does not mean that the recipient has to work full time with the company in the US. The time may be split between the US and the foreign company. Applicants can even be employed outside the US and only come to the US under the L1 visa for a short-term basis.
Also good to keep in mind that processing time for an L1 can be 2-4 months, although this can be cut down substantially with payment of a Premium Processing Fee.
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