The L1 Visa
The L1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to noncitizens of a U.S. employer who wish to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its United States offices.
To qualify for an L1 visa the employer must meet the following requirements:
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, and
- Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L1.
The employee must meet the following requirements:
- Must have been working for the qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States, and
- Be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
How to Apply for an L1 Visa
If you meet the requirements for an L1 visa, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- Fill out a Form G-28. This form entitles your attorney or accredited representative to act on your behalf,
- Documentation that you are eligible to apply for a visa,
- Information about the business you intend to work with or for (name, location, type of business, business owner, etc.),
- U.S. Company Support Statement. This document is supplied by the U.S. employer and explains why your services are necessary for the business,
- Evidence that you plan to leave the United States after your L1 visa expires or is terminated.
If you are outside the United States, you should apply for your L1 visa at a consulate or embassy. It is recommended to work with a qualified immigration attorney to ensure your documents are filed correctly and expeditiously.
An L1 visa comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States,
- Your immediate family (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age) can also qualify for an visa. While in the United States, your children can go to school and your spouse can apply for an EAD, employment authorization document, giving them permission to work legally in the United States.