L Intra-Company Transfer Visa
The L-1 visa promotes international business by permitting the transfer of managers, executives, and specialized personnel into the U.S. by companies with operations abroad.
There are two types of L-visas: L-1A visas are available to executives and managers. This type permits a maximum initial period of stay of up to three years, and a total period of stay of up to seven years. L-1B visas are available for “specialized knowledge personnel”. This type permits a maximum initial period of stay of up to three years and a total period of stay of up to five years. If an employee is coming to the US to open a new office, the initial period of stay is one year. Furthermore, spouses and children under 21 of L-1 applicants may receive an L-2 visa.
The main requirements for the L-visa are:
1. The employee must have worked abroad in either a managerial, executive or “specialized knowledge” position;
2. The employee must be coming to work in the U.S. in one of these positions;
3. The foreign company must be a branch office, subsidiary, affiliate, parent or 50-50 joint venture with the US petitioner;
4. The employee must have worked abroad for that particular company for one continuous year within the three-year period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for the L-1 visa;
5. The employee must be qualified for the position; and
6. The company in the U.S. and the related company abroad must continue doing business in the U.S. and in one foreign country during the entire period of the transfer.