The L-1 visa for Intracompany transferees
L-1 Visa Attorney
Have you ever heard the phrase “ don’t keep all your eggs in one basket?” Me neither.
I joke, of course, but it’s really a very wise saying. Why should you keep all of your valuables in one place? Spread the wealth, reap the rewards! And we all know that a valuable employee is an extremely useful asset, if used in the right context. Sometimes that context is across borders, in the United States, in the parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of a foreign company… or even in an as-of-yet nonexistent office in the US that you as a foreign company wants to establish… hypothetically of course.
All right, enough with the subtlety: the L-1 visa classification allows a US employer to transfer an executive or manager, or employee with specialized knowledge from a foreign office to a US office via the L-1A or the L-1B, respectively. It also allows individuals who qualify from foreign offices to enter the United States to establish a US office and do business as a US employer, which makes it ideal for businesses looking to expand their operations into the land of opportunity.
There are certain qualifications that an employer must meet in order to be considered eligible for the L-1 visa. The employer must have a “qualifying relationship,” which sounds very filled with commitment and implies a lot of emotional attachment, but it’s purely a legal term. A qualifying organization is simply a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of another. The employer must also be doing business or have plans to do business in the United States and at least one other country.
The employee must:
Have been working for a qualifying organization for one full year in the three that came before he/she came to the United States
Be entering the US to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for the same employer or a qualifying organization
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, yes and no.
Immigration legislation is vastly complex and qualifying for a visa depends on multiple factors and variables, some of which are seemingly outside your control. Our firm wants to put that control back in your hands. We are the best at what we do and know the best ways to do it. We’re also incredibly humble, but you won’t hear us bragging about it.
Individuals who qualify will be able to stay in the US for varying initial periods of stay, depending on whether they’re coming under the L-1A or the L-1B, and whether they are here to establish a new office.
New offices, by the way, have their own little list of qualifications. To qualify you must show that you have sufficient housing for the office, that the office can or will support the transferee, and that the employer can sufficiently compensate the transferee for his/her services while everything’s starting up. Again, this can be hard, but we do this sort of thing all the time (quite well, I might add).
Okay, you know what you need to do, and you know what we do. My job’s done, now it’s your turn. Contact our office, set up a free consultation, and then let our immigration attorneys do their job. Really, there’s very little effort on your part, so just sit back and enjoy the journey!