What is the L-1 intra-company transfer visa?
The L-1 intra-company transfer visa is for companies who want to transfer an employee from an overseas office to the company’s in the U.S. office for a temporary period of time. Executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge who have worked for the overseas company for at least one continuous year within the last three years can qualify. The job with the overseas company must have been in either a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge role. The company the employee worked for overseas must be either a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of the U.S. company.
L-1 employees can obtain an initial period of stay of up to three years. An L-1 employee can extend their stay in two-year increments, with the maximum total time as an L-1A (manager or executive) being seven years and the L-1B (specialized knowledge) being five years. The time that one spends in the US on an L-1 visa is counted against the maximum time that one can be on the H-1B visa (6 years).
Spouses of L-1 visa holders can apply for work authorization to work in the U.S.
L-1 and/or EB-1 visas can be used by large multinational companies as well as employees/owners of private business. L-1 employees may be eligible for an employment based green card under the first preference category (EB-1). For nationals from countries like India and China, where the wait times for the second and third preference categories may be several years, the EB-1 is one of the fastest ways to obtain your Green Card.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a business with a global presence, contact us to see how we can help you achieve your professional objective while you permanently live in the US to manage your business.
Watch Attorney Sweta Khandelwal on Sitaare TV explaining how the L-1 visa can be a step towards obtaining permanent residency. This was aired on May 6, 2012.