The L-1, Intracompany Transferee Visa is for new hire employees (executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacities) sent to the United States by a foreign company that has offices in other countries. The foreign company may be owned by the same parent as the U.S. office, or the two offices may be independent of each other. The foreign company is responsible for the costs of transferring the employee to the U.S. office and must send letters documenting that fact to USCIS in order to qualify for an Intracompany Transfer Visa.
Types of L-1 Visa
There are two categories under the L-1 visa:
L-1A Visa: The L-1A visa is for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company that is located outside the United States. You will need to provide an in-depth description of the duties attached to their position, as well as a detailed explanation of how these roles differ from other staff positions within the company or organization they work with.
L-1B Visa: The L-1B visa is for skilled workers who have specialized knowledge and skills, which they will be using in their work. The employer has to demonstrate that there is a legitimate need for the employees with these specialized qualifications outside of regular employment opportunities within our country’s borders. There must also be an established plan or agreement between both companies about what kind of services the employee will provide at each location (HQ or another company), how long he/she needs to stay overseas, where his/her family members can live while abroad, etc.
Eligibility Criteria for L-1 Visa
There are a few basic requirements for an L1 Visa, as well as some particular restrictions that apply to both businesses and employees.
- A corporation, a charity (or other non-profit organization), or a religious body can file a petition.
- A qualified relationship with a foreign corporation is required of the petitioning employer (in the US). Parent company, subsidiary, branch, and affiliate are types of qualifying relationships.
- The company that petitioned for this visa must be engaged in business as an employer in the United States and at least one foreign country for the duration of the visa holder’s stay in the United States.
- At the time of application, candidates must have worked for at least 12 months in a connected entity abroad in the last three years.
- The employee must intend to leave the United States at the end of the visa term.
Application Process for the L-1 Visa
In order to apply for an L-1 visa, the following steps will have to be followed:
- The petitioning company should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with all required documents included, along with applicable fees.
- Within 60 days of the filing of Form I-129, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will send a receipt notice to the petitioner’s address.
- If the USCIS approves the petition within 180 days of filing, it will then forward to an embassy or consulate abroad for further action on your behalf. in most cases, you will be notified by mail of your interview date and time at the Visa Application Center (VAC). At this VAC you must bring all original application materials that are needed for processing and other necessary documentation to show eligibility for the visa.
Blanket petitions: One another process is Blanket petitions that enable large companies to get one approval from USCIS and transfer many employees on L1 visas to the US.
Documentation Required for an L-1 visa
The following documents are required for an L-1 visa application.
- Current passports (if any), as well as old ones for comparison purposes since it’s possible someone
- Recent photograph size photo
- A copy of the petition that was filed on behalf of the applicant
- Certification by the petitioner that valid employment offers exist in both countries and proof of eligibility to work for an employer or business in the United States.
- Proof that economic necessity requires a foreign worker to be present due to a shortage of qualified workers willing and able to accept other employment opportunities in such jurisdiction.
The Cost and Time frame of the visa application process
- For the L-1 visa, the applicant must pay a filing fee of $325.
- Individuals who require premium processing will be charged an extra price of $1,225.
- Detection and Fraud Prevention fee of $500
The L1 visa does not take too long to process, and generally takes between 3-4 months. However, for individual petitions, the processing time is a bit slower than blanket petitions but it only reduces by 1 or 2 weeks at most. The reduction in time can be waived if employers pay for premium processing which will give them an answer as quickly as one week about whether their petition was approved or denied.
What are the benefits of obtaining an L-1 visa as opposed to other work visas in the U.S.?
- The L-1 visa allows foreign workers to come into the country for up to five years, providing employers with an opportunity to grow their businesses.
- The fact that you do not need a degree to qualify for an L-1 visa is one of the best features.
- The L2 visa allows you to bring your spouse and children to the United States if you are on L-1 status.
- The U.S.-based entrepreneur who wants a quick and easy way of gaining international employees may benefit from this particular visa option that is available in America today. The L-1 Visa is designed specifically for high-level executives who work overseas under at least one year contract abroad but are needed on-site here by your company without any time constraint due to pending approval of extension status.
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The L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa is a type of work visa in the United States that allows employees of foreign companies to come and work for an American company. This blog post provides information on what this process entails, as well as some tips so you can be successful with your application. If you are interested in applying or want more information about how we can help.
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