L1 Visa Qualification Requirements for Companies

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Are you a company looking to transfer an employee from a foreign branch to a US branch? If so, you may be considering the L1 Intracompany Visa. This visa allows multinational companies to transfer employees with specialized knowledge or executive/managerial roles to their US branches.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the requirements for qualifying for the L1 Intracompany Visa and how your company can successfully navigate the application process

What is the L1 Intracompany Visa?

The L1 Intracompany Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows multinational companies to transfer employees from a foreign branch to a US branch. This visa is divided into two categories: L1A for executives and managers, and L1B for employees with specialized knowledge.

The L1 visa is a great option for companies looking to transfer key employees to their US branches, as it allows for a seamless transition and continuity of operations.

Benefits of the L1 Intracompany Visa

The L1 Intracompany Visa offers several benefits for both companies and employees. These include:

Qualifying for the L1 Intracompany Visa

To qualify for the L1 Intracompany Visa, your company must meet certain requirements set by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These requirements include:

Qualifying Relationship

The first requirement for the L1 Intracompany Visa is that the US branch must have a qualifying relationship with the foreign branch. This means that the US branch must be a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch of the foreign branch.

To prove this relationship, the company must provide documentation such as articles of incorporation, stock certificates, and financial statements.

Doing Business in the US and Another Country

The company must also be actively doing business in the US and at least one other country for the duration of the employee’s stay. This means that the company must have a physical presence in both countries and be engaged in regular, systematic, and continuous business activities.

One Year of Employment

The employee must have worked for the company for at least one continuous year within the past three years. This means that the employee must have been employed by the company for at least one year before applying for the L1 visa.

Specialized Knowledge or Executive/Managerial Role

The final requirement for the L1 Intracompany Visa is that the employee must have specialized knowledge or executive/managerial role within the company. This means that the employee must possess knowledge that is not easily transferable to another individual and is essential to the company’s operations.

For executive/managerial roles, the employee must have supervisory or managerial responsibilities and have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the company.

The L1 Visa Application Process

Once your company has determined that it meets the requirements for the L1 Intracompany Visa, the next step is to complete the application process. This process involves several steps, including:

Filing Form I-129

The first step in the application process is to file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS. This form must be completed by the company and includes information about the company, the employee, and the job offer.

Submitting Supporting Documents

Along with Form I-129, the company must also submit supporting documents to prove that it meets the requirements for the L1 visa. These documents may include:

Paying Fees

There are several fees associated with the L1 visa application process, including the filing fee for Form I-129 and the Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee. These fees must be paid by the company and cannot be paid by the employee.

Attending an Interview (if required)

In some cases, the USCIS may require the employee to attend an interview as part of the application process. This is typically only required if there are concerns about the employee’s eligibility for the visa.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

While the L1 Intracompany Visa is a great option for companies looking to transfer employees to their US branches, there are some common challenges that companies may face during the application process. These include:

To overcome these challenges, it is important for companies to thoroughly review the requirements and provide all necessary documentation. It may also be helpful to work with an immigration attorney who can guide you through the application process and ensure that all requirements are met.

Conclusion

The L1 Intracompany Visa is a valuable option for companies looking to transfer employees to their US branches. By meeting the requirements and completing the application process successfully, your company can bring key employees to the US and continue to grow and thrive.


Find an Immigration Lawyer in Australia

Global Immigration Partners PLLC in Australia
Level 2, 215-219, George Street, Liverpool
New South Wales, Sydney 2170 Australia
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