L visas allow multinational companies to transfer employees to a division, affiliate, or joint venture partner in the United States. A nonimmigrant visa, the L visa allows these intra-company transferees to live and work in the U.S. for up to five (L1-B) or seven (L1-A) years.
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To qualify for an L visa, the employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of a U.S. company outside of the United States for at least one out of the past three years.
The L-1A visa is reserved for executives and managers in a supervisory capacity with a firm. The L-1B visa is available to highly skilled workers with specialized knowledge. For a complete discussion of the definition of “supervisory capacity,” “executive capacity,” and “specialized knowledge,” please visits our L Intracompany Transferees page.
The spouse and dependent minor children of the intracompany transferee qualify for L2 visas, which allow the spouse to work in the U.S.
L-1 Blanket Petition
When companies need to transfer a number of foreign employees on short notice, the L-1 blanket petition’s provisions permit intracompany transferees to apply for L-1 visas directly at the U.S. consular facilities abroad without the prior approval by USCIS of an individual petition. For more information on L-1 blanket petitions and other helpful information, visit our L Intracompany Transferees page.
From L Visa to Green Card
People working in the U.S. on an L visa may apply for permanent legal residence status; those with an L-1A visa will be given priority over those with an L-1B.
For experienced assistance in petitions for L-1 visas, please contact an immigration attorney at NPZ Law Group, the global mobility lawyers.