Businesses can easily span the globe in our modern world.  Sometimes specialists within the company need to be in a position in another country for a long period of time, from a few months to a few years.  The employee could be an executive who has been given a new region to administer, advise, or overlook or they could be an expert in their field of research or profession who has invaluable experience.  Entering the United States of America for a business trip is easy, entering to work at a company and living here for a few years is a bit more difficult if you don’t know the immigration laws and paperwork.  The moment you find yourself struggling with an L-1 visa you should seek the assistance of an immigration attorney in Greensboro, NC to help advise and represent you where you’re going to be living, but to help you get started we’ve put together a quick reference sheet on the L-1 visa.

  • L-1 Intra company Transferee Visa is a non-immigration visa and is designed for employees of businesses that are based partially in the United States.
  • There are two types of employees that will be given an L-1 are executive/managerial employees and specialized knowledge staff.
    • Managerial employees should be responsible for employees with a key function or supervise them in some direct way, such as observing a department or division within the company. Executive employees must be able to make large executive level decisions.  These types of employees are issued an L-1A visa.
    • Specialized knowledge employees must have detailed knowledge and experience with a product the company produces, a managerial or information system the company uses, or a technique the company employs. These types of employees are issued an L-1B visa.
  • L-1A visa holders are allowed to stay in the country for up to one year, and may request for more time in increments of two years. They may request an extension three times until they have been in the country for 7 years total, then they must remain out of the USA for 1 full year before requesting an L-1A visa again.
  • L-1B visa holders are allowed to stay in the country for up to one year with the possibility of a two year extension. They may request two extensions, but must leave the USA after they have stayed for 5 years.  They must remain out of the USA for 1 full year before requesting an L-1B visa again.
  • Within one year, employers of L-1 visa holders must provide a physical office space that is sufficiently large enough to conduct business and the employer must be able to financially compensate their employee. This makes sure that L-1 holders are not taken advantage of and are given all the tools to live a normal life in the USA while they stay here.
  • Families of L-1 holders may apply to become L-2 Non-immigrants. Only spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may follow L-1 holders.

This is just a quick sheet of facts to help clarify who may apply for an L-1 visa.  There are a lot finer definitions and clarifications on what an L-1 holder can do and the information they, and their employer, need to provide.  If you need any help, contact an immigration attorney to act as a guide through the application process.

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