L1 visa

The L1 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa for intracompany transferees. L1A visas are for multinational managers and executives. L1B visas are for specialized knowledge professionals. There are common L1 visa requirements. For all L1 visas, the petitioning U.S. employer must have a qualifying relationship with the overseas company that employed the L1 beneficiary. L1 visa petitions are filed on the Form I-129 and no labor certification application is required. The maximum length of stay is 7 years for an L1A visa holder and 5 years for an L1B visa holder. Derivatives are eligible for L2 visas. It is possible to go from an L1 visa to a green card. L1A visa holders may apply for adjustment of status in the EB1C preference category. Canadians may acquire L1 status without a visa.

H1 and L1 Travel with Adjustment of Status Pending

Most adjustment of status applicants are required to obtain a grant of advance parole prior to departing the United States in order for the adjustment of status application to not be abandoned. However, in recognition of the fact that both the H-1 (H1) and L-1 (L1A and L1B) nonimmigrant visa categories recognize dual intent, in that it is permissible to apply for adjustment of status and remain in the United States on lawful H or L status, the rules regarding travel and H1 and L1 status are unique.

Applying for Work-Based Nonimmigrant Visa as an Investor or Entrepreneur

The primary nonimmigrant classification for investors and entrepreneurs is the E-2 (E2) Treaty Investors classification. However, provided that the requirements are met, an alien seeking to enter the United States as an investor or entrepreneur may instead apply for an H-1B (H1B), L-1 (L1A or L1B), or O-1 (O1) visa. This is especially important for investors and entrepreneurs who are not nationals of a treaty country in order to qualify for an E2 visa. However, because the H1B, L1, and O1 classifications all require an “employer-employee relationship” both in order to obtain a visa and to maintain status, investors and entrepreneurs may have difficulty meeting the requirements for those classifications where they have a significant ownership stake in the petitioning entity. This article will address special considerations for investors and entrepreneurs seeking to obtain one of those three nonimmigrant employment visas.

Ports of Entry Designated for Optimized L1/TN Processing for First-Time Canadian Applicants

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) designated fourteen ports of entry for optimized processing of first-time Canadian applicants for admission in the TN or L1 nonimmigrant categories. Although a first-time Canadian applicant for TN or L1 status may use any port of entry, the designated ports of entry for optimized processing will be able to process the application expeditiously.

Citizens of Canada Seeking L1 Status in Conjunction With Application for Admission

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows for a citizen of Canada to present a completed L1 visa petition to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in lieu of having the petition filed in advance with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center. This allows the petition to be adjudicated in conjunction with an application for admission. A Canadian citizen who is admitted in L1 status through this procedure will be admitted without having to obtain an L1 visa.

L1B Visa Overview

This article will provide an overview of the requirements for eligibility for an L1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Visa. The article will discuss eligibility requirements specific to the L1B (L-1B) visa, situations that may arise when an L1B beneficiary is working offsite from the petitioning employer, and rules for maintenance of and/or change or adjustment from L1B status.

L1A Visa Overview

This article will provide an overview of the requirements for eligibility for an L1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa, and explain what the petitioning entity and the L1A beneficiary must do in order for the beneficiary to remain in L1A status.

L Blanket Petitions

Certain qualifying petitioners are eligible to file an L1 visa blanket petition, wherein the petitioner may apply for blanket approval of many L1A and L1B visa beneficiaries. These articles will explain the eligibility requirements for L blanket petitions and the L blanket petition procedure.

Overview of Requirements for L1 and L2 Visas

The L1 nonimmigrant visa category is for intracompany transferees. A qualifying organization (for L1 purposes) may petition to transfer an employee from overseas to a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in the United States. There are two categories for beneficiaries. L1A visas are for persons who will work in a managerial or executive capacity and L1B visas are for those who will work in a capacity that involves “specialized” knowledge. In addition, certain relatives of L1 visa beneficiaries may be eligible for derivative L2 visas. This article will provide an overview of general requirements for L1 and L2 petitions.