If you are an executive or manager of a foreign company that has a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent company in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for an L-1 Visa. This visa allows you to transfer to the U.S. office and work there temporarily. It also allows you to bring your spouse and children under 21 years old with you. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the L-1 Visa application process and how we can help you navigate it.
What is an L-1 Visa?
An L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign workers who have specialized knowledge or executive or managerial skills to transfer to a U.S. office of the same company or organization that employs them in their country. There are two types of L-1 visas: L-1A and L-1B.
L-1A visas are for executives or managers who have authority and responsibility for the direction and supervision of a major function, department, or subdivision of the organization. L-1B visas are for workers who have specialized knowledge of the organization’s products, services, processes, techniques, or systems. If you currently work as a manager or executive, then the L-1A Visa is the one you need to apply for.
The Process of Applying for an L-1 Visa as an Executive or Manager
Step 1: The U.S. Employer Files a Petition with USCIS
The first step in the L-1 Visa application process is for the U.S. employer to file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS on behalf of the employee. The petition must include evidence of the qualifying relationship between the companies, the employee’s qualifications and duties, and the terms and conditions of employment in the U.S.
The processing time for Form I-129 varies depending on the service center and whether premium processing is requested. Premium processing is an optional service that guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time for an additional fee.
Step 2: The Employee Applies for a Visa at a U.S. Consulate
Once USCIS approves the petition, the employee can apply for an L-1 Visa at a U.S. consulate in his or her home country. The employee must complete an online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, pay the visa application fee, and schedule an interview appointment.
The employee must bring the following documents to the interview:
- A valid passport
- A confirmation page of Form DS-160
- A receipt of payment of the visa application fee
- A copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing approval of Form I-129
- A letter from the U.S. employer confirming the purpose and duration of employment in the U.S.
- Evidence of qualifications and experience in executive or managerial or capacity
- Evidence of ties to home country, such as family, property, or bank accounts
The consular officer will review the documents and ask questions about the employee’s background, intentions, and plans in the U.S. If approved, the employee will receive a visa stamp on his or her passport.
Step 3: The Employee Enters the U.S.
The final step is for the employee to enter the U.S. with the visa and present it to a CBP officer at the port of entry. The officer will inspect the visa and other documents and admit the employee for a specific period, usually up to three years. The officer will also issue an I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which shows the date of entry, visa category, and authorized period of stay.
The employee can apply for extensions of stay in increments of up to two years until reaching the maximum limit of seven years.
Jurado & Associates, P.A. Can Help You Apply for an L-1 Visa
If you are looking for a reliable and experienced law firm to help you apply for an L-1 Visa, look no further than Jurado & Associates, P.A. We are a team of dedicated and knowledgeable immigration attorneys who have helped many clients obtain their L-1 Visas successfully.
We will guide you through every step of the process, from preparing and filing the petition with USCIS to preparing you for the visa interview, and we will help you with any issues that may arise along the way, such as requests for evidence, denials, or delays.