In the United States, the ability for foreigners to live and work in the country for an extended period of time is governed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which issues visas to individuals who meet certain criteria for work or residence. One of the most powerful temporary visas is the L-series visa, which allows certain foreigners to live and work in the United States for an extended period of time.
The L-1A visa is typically used between companies in order to transfer executives and/or managers. It is considered a speciality visa. By using the L-1A visa, U.S. companies can transfer executives from foreign offices to offices within the United states. Similar to H1B or L1B visa, the application for the L1A visa also requires filing of an I-129 petition for a nonimmigrant worker with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
To learn more about the L-1A visa filing process and requirements, visit the following sections:
The L-1B visa is very similar to the L-1A visa in that it is considered an intra-company transferee visa. The L-1B visa specifically applies to individuals with specialized knowledge in a certain area. Petitioners must prove that the employee being transferred does in fact possess specialized knowledge in the specific area. To learn more about L-1B visas, visit our following sections:
The L visa family also includes the L-2 Visa. The L-2 visa is a non-immigrant document which permits an L-1 visa holder to bring their dependent spouses or unmarried minor children to the U.S. to live with them for the duration of their stay. The L-2 visa is entirely dependent on the L-1 visa holder and does not allow for the L-2 visa to apply for a green card automatically. To learn more about L-2 visas, visit our sections on the following:
Benefits of an L Visa
A holder of an L-1 visa is entitled to work for the company that sponsored him for a set amount of time, which varies depending on which country the person is coming from. For residents of some countries, the initial time allotment is quite low; the validity of an L-1 for an Iranian national is only three months, for example. For residents of other countries, the allotment is more generous; Indian, Japanese, and German citizens are cleared for an initial period of five years. After exhausting all possible applications for extensions, the longest time period throughout which an L-1 visa can be valid is seven years.
Another benefit of the L-1 visa is that a visa holder’s spouse is automatically granted a similar working visa called an L-2 visa. The L-2 visa, along with supporting documentation, allows the spouse of an L-1 visa holder to work or study in the United States for the period of time that the primary (L-1) visa is valid. Children under the age of 21 are also given L-2 visas, although children are generally not allowed to work. (They may, however, attend United States schools.)
A final benefit of the L-1 visa is that it is considered an acceptable stepping stone to a green card. It is not considered visa fraud to use an L-1 visa as a means of securing a more permanent sponsorship for a green card. Thus, if the ultimate goal of a foreigner is to live permanently in the United States, he is allowed to make arrangements to achieve this goal while working in the United States with an L-1 visa.
How we can help you
Our professional staff and experienced attorneys are ready to help you with your L-1A, L-1B or L2 visa application. Contact us TODAY for a consultation by calling 703-594-4040 or by filling out our online contact form.