L1-A visas Allow Foreign Executives to Tend to Company’s Needs in the US

L1-A Visa is an attractive option for firms to transfer managers to offices in the United States.

A company that operates both in the United States and abroad could

transfer their foreign employees to the U.S. through the use of a L1-A visa. The

L1-A visa is a non-immigrant visa for executives and managers who hold

positions with significant supervisory responsibility in a company that has a

subsidiary, parent, or affiliate branch outside of the U.S. In order to be eligible for

the visa, an applicant must have worked at a qualified business for at least one

year in the three-year period leading up to submitting an application. The USCIS

grants approvals for up to three years at a time for a maximum stay of seven


A blanket petition for L1 visas can reduce the processing times for future employee transfer.

Given they meet specific criteria, large multinational entities are able to file

for a L1 blanket petition. Doing so makes the process of transferring large

numbers of L1 eligible foreign nationals to the United States easier and quicker.

After approval, employers do not have to prove their eligibility for each individual

petition. Companies are only eligible for a blanket petition if they qualify for the

requirements of being an L1 petitioner and if they meet additional requirements.

The basic requirements of an L1 petitioner are that they have a qualifying

relationship with a foreign company and are doing business in the US and in a

foreign country for the entirety of the visa holder’s stay in the U.S. Additionally, to

obtain a L blanket approval a petitioner must be engaged in commercial trade or

services, have an office in the United States that has been doing business for at

least a year, and have three or more domestic and foreign branches,

subsidiaries, or affiliates. Lastly, the organization must have obtained approval of

petitions for at least ten employees holding either an L1-A or L1-B visa, have

combined annual sales of at least $25 million between U.S. subsidiaries or

affiliates, or have a workforce of at least 1,000 employees.

A spouse of an L1-A visa holder will be able to work in the United States.

Dependents, children under the age of 21 and spouses, of a L1-A visa

holder are able to apply for a L2 visa. The visa will remain valid for the entire

duration of the L1 visa holder’s eligibility. A spouse is able to work in the United

States using her L2 status if she obtains an Employment Authorization Document

first. Dependent children do not qualify for work authorization, but are allowed to

attend school during their stay in the country.

Obtaining an L1-A visa in a new office has a few different requirements.

An office is considered newly formed if it has been operating in the U.S.

for less than one year. Applicants who work at a new office are initially only

granted a L1-A visa for a single year; however, at the end of that year they will be

able to renew their visa for up to three years. The major difference for a new

office seeking to transfer employees on a L1-A visa is that the required business

plan is especially important. The business plan serves to prove that the company

is large enough to support the executive position. Having L1-A visa in a new

office renewed is largely based on how many new employees have been hired

and can often be more difficult.

Without losing visa status, a L1-A visa holder can obtain a permanent residency in the United States.

EB1-C is a category under the Employment-Based Visa, which was

created specifically for multinational executives and managers. The advantage to

trying to obtain a green card on a L1-A visa is that a person holding a L1-A visa

is allowed to have immigrant intent and the requirements

Interested in finding out more? This D’Alessio Law Group blog is here to educate our readers on all work visa topics but we understand that sometimes this can create more questions. We can guide you through the steps you need to take in order to be informed about your visa options. Give our office a call at (310) 909-3934 or e-mail workvisa@dlgimmigration.com for more information so we can book you a consultation with one of our attorneys!


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