Many organizations located in the United States have business partners across the globe. An international affiliate company can offer a broader range of demographics and access to multiple different markets. In some cases, the company may desire to transfer a foreign national from an overseas company into the United States. In order for the individual to legally work in the United States, both the individual and the company must provide information for an L-1 visa.
The L-1 visa is an option for employers wanting to transfer international workers from a foreign branch, affiliate, subsidiary, or related corporate entity into their related company in the United States. There are many requirements for both the employer and employee to qualify for the visa. When you or your organization is interested in filing for an L-1 visa, discussing your options and qualifications with an experienced L-1 visa lawyer can significantly help you through the process.
L-1A vs. L-1B: What's the Difference?
When you're looking to apply for an L-1 visa, you'll need to decide which category your employee falls under. There are two distinct types of L-1 visas, and understanding what makes them different is crucial in your filing process.
If the foreign national employee transferring into the U.S. branch is an executive or manager from the international affiliated office, you will want to apply for an L-1A visa. Another note for this option is that the L-1A visa enables a foreign business to establish an affiliated U.S. office through the executive or manager transferring into the United States. The employee must have the managerial capacity and be able to supervise and control the work of professional employees, as well as manage a department, function, or organization.
For the L-1B visa, those who fall under the title of a professional employee or specialized knowledge can be sent over to work in a foreign company's affiliated U.S. branch. This means that if a foreign national employee demonstrates a specific skill relating to the organization's interests and the company wants to send them over to their branch in the United States, the company could keep them over in the United States for a maximum period of five years.
Determining the right category for your L-1 visa is vital in knowing how long the employee can stay in the United States and the type of information they may need to submit with their application. Having a professional employee come to an affiliated U.S. company can provide many great opportunities for foreign nationals and U.S. workers.
What Are the Company Requirements for the L-1 Visa?
Along with the individual requirements specifically for the L-1A and L-1B categories, general requirements must be met for the company to send over either a manager, executive, partner, or individual with specialized knowledge. Consider the following requirements for the L-1 visa:
- There must be a recognized relationship between the business in the United States and the business in a foreign country.
- The business located in another country must either already have business with the company in the United States or plan to create one during the period of the L-1 visa.
- The employee transferring to the United States must have at least one continuous year with the company three years before admission into the United States.
Discussing your options and the types of documentation you need to qualify for the L-1 visa is crucial to the success of your application. Completing the process on your own is difficult when you are unfamiliar with the United States immigration laws. Contacting an experienced immigration lawyer can help you feel confident and secure in your application.
Steps to Take for the L-1 Visa Application
Each visa application process is different and requires multiple steps to fulfill all the necessary verification. Consider the following for information on the L-1 process:
- File an I-129 form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and provide documentation showing the company and the employee's eligibility for an L-1 visa.
- After approval with the USCIS, the applicant may apply for a visa at a United States embassy, in their home country, or apply for a change of status while inside the country.
- If outside the U.S., the applicant must go through consular processing and fill out a DS-160 online visa application. They will need to bring the confirmation and filing fee to the consulate or embassy.
- Once the applicant finishes consular processing, an immigration officer will determine your eligibility through a personal interview.
- You will be issued your L-1 visa after you pass the interview, and then you can start working for your company in the U.S.
Gathering the necessary information and documentation can be challenging with all the other preparations you have on your plate. With the help of a reliable immigration attorney, you'll be able to focus on your tasks while staying up to date on the visa application process.
Contact a Dependable Immigration Lawyer at Orbit Law
When you work with a dependable lawyer, you can trust that your application process is done in a timely and professional manner. Working with an Orbit Law lawyer gives you the tools and resources you need to have an organized and successful visa application process. With over ten years of experience providing reliable legal immigration services, we are confident in our ability to guide you through your L-1 visa application. We offer our services in English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu, so you can feel comfortable discussing your interests.
Call (206) 623-3352 or fill out our contact form to learn more about how we can assist with your L-1 visa application.