L Visa: Non-Immigrant Visas for Intra-Company Transferees

Cleveland Immigration Attorney

The provisions of U.S. immigration law make special accommodations for the needs of multinational corporations. Given that the effective operation and smooth expansion of companies with offices in more than one country often makes it necessary to transfer employees between offices, the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a special type of visa for intracompany transfers to the United States from abroad. There are two types of L visa, the L-1 and L-2. The former is for the employee who is being transferred, while the latter is for the spouse and minor children of the transferee. There are two further subcategories of the L-1 visa:

For this type of non-immigrant visa, you must be able to demonstrate that your position in the company gives you the ability to make decisions of "wide latitude without much oversight," or that you supervise and control the work of employees within the organization. The L-1A visa enables you to transfer from one office to another within the United States or to travel to the U.S. with the purpose of establishing new offices in this country. In this case, the visa will allow you to stay here for up to one year, but if you are coming to work in a preexisting office, then you can stay for up to three years with the possibility of extension.

To qualify as a skilled worker, you will have to supply evidence that you possess specialized knowledge and understanding of your company's products, services, research, equipment management, or other aspects of the company's operations. As with the L-1A, this visa enables the holder to transfer to an existing office or to assist in establishing a new location for the company.

More About the L Visa Category

It is a general requirement of the L-1 visa that the employee must have been working abroad continuously for at least one of the past three years at an office abroad and that the proposed transfer will be to a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the transferring employer. The employer must submit a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker at least six months before the transfer. Once the petition has been approved, the employee can apply in person at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in the country of origin. L-2 visa holders accompanying the transferee may apply for employment authorization and may stay for as long as the L-1 visa holder is in this country.

The attorneys of our firm - Robert Brown, Rishi Oza, Aleksandar Cuic, Erin Brown, and Kathryn Russell - work closely together as a team, developing effective strategies to ensure swift and meaningful results for our clients. We represent both individuals and employers, and our services are available for everything from application preparation to representation with immigration officials to resolve any complications that may arise during the process.

Contact the Ohio immigration lawyers at Brown Immigration Law today for an initial consultation to discuss your requirements and to learn more about how we can be of service.

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