L-1A Visa

The L-1A visa is a crucial avenue for multinational companies aiming to transfer executives or managers from their foreign operations to the United States. This visa category facilitates the movement of the managers and executives within the organization, allowing them to oversee or manage operations in the U.S. offices. 

What is the L-1A Visa?

The L-1A visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows multinational companies to transfer their executives and managers to the United States. This visa category facilitates intra-company transfers, enabling companies to expand their operations and utilize the expertise of key personnel.

Who Qualifies for the L-1A Visa?

To qualify for the L-1A visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Employment Relationship

The applicant must have been employed as a manager or executive by a qualifying foreign company for at least one continuous year within the past three years.

Executive or Managerial Role

The applicant must be coming to the United States to work in an executive or managerial capacity for a qualifying U.S. company that is a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch of the foreign employer.

Company Relationship

There must be a qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. entity, such as parent company, subsidiary, affiliate or branch.

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    How Does the Application Process Work?

    The steps for applying for an L-1A visa, whether through a change of status or a visa application, are outlined below.

    Step 1: Determination of Eligibility

    First, we confirm eligibility, ensuring that the applicant meets the criteria for an L-1A visa, including having a managerial or executive role and being employed by a qualifying multinational company for at least one continuous year in the last three years.

    Step 2: Collection of the Documents

    We collect required documents, such as proof of employment, evidence of managerial or executive role, company information for the qualifying U.S. and foreign companies, and personal documents for the applicant.

    Step 3: Preparation of the Application Package and Filing of the Petition

    We compile the application package including a cover letter explaining the eligibility of the applicant for the L-1A, supporting evidence of the qualifying relationship, managerial or executive role, business plan for the U.S. Company, personal documents, forms, proof of payment of fees, and submitting the application package to the USCIS.

    • Change of Status Application: If the applicant is already in the United States under a different non-immigrant status, such as B2 tourist status, they may apply for a change of status to L-1A, and submitting the L-1A application will be sufficient to change the status if approved by the USCIS. 

    Step 4: Submission of DS-160

    We submit form DS-160 to the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa application will be made after the approval of the initial L-1A petition by the USCIS.

    Step 5: Visa Interview

    We schedule the visa interview for you to attend at the U.S. embassy or consulate by bringing the visa application notice, initial application package, approval notice issued by the USCIS, and other documents to the interview.

    Applicants must be ready to answer questions about their managerial or executive role, and provide additional documentation as requested.

    Step 6: Visa Issuance

    If the visa application is approved, the applicant will receive the L-1A visa stamped in their passport.

    What Are the Benefits of the L-1A Visa?

    The L-1A visa offers several advantages to executives and managers seeking to work in the United States:

    a. Intra-Company Transfer

    The L-1A visa allows for the transfer of key personnel from a qualifying foreign company to a related U.S. entity.

    b. Duration of Stay

    The L-1A visa is initially valid for up to three years, with extensions available, for a maximum of seven years. However, in the case of an L-1A new office application, the initial period of stay with the L1-A visa is one year, with two-year extensions up to seven years in total.

    c. Dual Intent

    L-1A visa holders may have dual intent, meaning they can pursue permanent residency in the United States while maintaining their non-immigrant visa status.

    d. Path to Permanent Residency

    L-1A visa holders may be eligible to apply for permanent residency through the employment-based immigrant visa categories, such as the EB-1C visa.

    What Are the Required Application Documents?

    When applying for the L-1A visa, applicants must submit a comprehensive set of documents to support their eligibility and intra-company transfer. The following documents are commonly required:

    a. Company Documentation

    Documentation demonstrating the qualifying relationship between the foreign employer and the U.S. entity, such as articles of incorporation, stock certificates, or financial statements.

    b. Job Offer and Description

    A letter from the U.S. employer detailing the job offer and describing the executive or managerial role to be undertaken in the United States.

    c. Employment History

    Proof of the applicant’s employment with the qualifying foreign company, such as employment contracts, tax returns, or payroll records, and job description of the applicant showing the managerial or executive role.

    d. Organizational Charts

    Illustrating the hierarchical structure of both the foreign employer and the U.S. entity, showcasing the applicant’s position as a manager or executive and the relationship between the companies.

    e. Passport and Identification

    A valid passport and identification documents to establish the applicant’s identity and citizenship.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    No, the L-1A visa is designed for executives and managers being transferred from a qualifying foreign company to a related U.S. entity. Self-employment does not meet the eligibility criteria.

    Yes, L-1A visa holders may be eligible to apply for a green card through the employment-based immigrant visa categories.
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