One of the business visas that is used for intra-company transfers is the L-1 visa. It is a non-immigrant visa that allows the individual to stay and work in US but does not directly lead to attaining citizenship. The visa is typically used by US-base companies with corporate offices throughout the world. The L-1 visa is granted to employees who are being transferred from the US to an overseas branch office. It is imperative that the employee who petitions for this visa has employment records that prove they have been working for at least 1 year in an affiliate or branch office of the company. Schengen Visa
Although the individual cannot directly file for the L-1 visa themselves, the US-based company sponsoring them has to contact the USCIS service center when an employee from overseas is going to work in the US. This particular visa is issued for at least 3 years and the employees that are approved for the L-1 are staff members with excellent management skills. Apart from the basic requirements of the visa, the definition of the executive’s and manager’s key responsibilities must be provided in detail. Executives that are sponsored for L-1 visas are given key responsibilities within the company including managerial and supervisory positions in the company’s facilities and offices.
Employees are initially approved for an L-1A visa for three years and that can be extended for an additional period of 2 years, until the total tenure of 7 years has been completed. The L-1B visa is only approved for those employees that have expertise or skill in the areas of company products, proprietary techniques, and research. The difference is that the L-1B visa has a complete tenure of 5 years. After the 7-year tenure period (see above) is completed, the employee must work for another year before they can be considered for the L-1 visa again, or any other type of work visa for that matter. However, there are some companies that can be approved for a blanket L-1 visa based on the qualifying criteria of US Citizenship and the Immigration Services.
The blanket L-1 visa or Intra-company Transferee visa is provided by the USCIS for companies that meet the prerequisites set by the US government. Companies that are approved for blanket L-1 visas require their employees to submit proper documentation to the US Consulate along with a copy of the company’s blanket L-1 visa and personal documentation.
Once the L-1 visa application is filed, the employee needs to start petitioning the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Form I-129 and other documents must be filed in order to be eligible for this visa. The USCIS approves and provides Form I-797 for those individuals that are not here in US. But those individuals who are in the US when filing Form I-129 can ask the US Consulate directly for a change in status.
Once the individual is approved for the L-1 visa, their immediate family members automatically receive the L-2 visa which allows them to enter the US. With the L-2 visa, the spouse is eligible to work in the US, but their children cannot. Additionally, if you are looking for assistance with your work visa, you can contact an immigration attorney directly to assist you throughout the process.