Intracompany Transferee – USCIS Guide (2024)

L1 Visa: Intracompany Transferee

What is an L-1 Visa?

An L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to transfer certain employees from a foreign office to a U.S. office. The L-1 visa is designed to help companies that operate in multiple countries by allowing them to transfer key employees from their foreign offices to their U.S. offices for up to seven years.

The employee must have been employed with the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years before the transfer. The employee must also have specialized knowledge or skills that are essential to the operation of the U.S. office.

The L-1 visa has two categories: L-1A for managers and executives, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. The L-1A category allows for a maximum initial stay of three years, while the L-1B category allows for a maximum initial stay of five years.

The L-1 visa holder’s spouse and children under 21 years old are eligible to apply for L-2 visa, which allows them to accompany the L-1 visa holder to the U.S. and authorizes them to work in the U.S.

Eligibility of L-1 Visa

The L1 Visa offers various benefits to foreigners that are explained below:

  • The L1 Visa holder can stay in the United States and work for his or her employer.
  • The L1 Visa also offers an extension in the period of stay in the USA from 3 years to 7 years.
  • The L1 Visa is a dual intent Visa which means you can work and live in the USA and have the intent to apply for permanent residence in the USA.
  • The L1 Visa does not require a set wage that means you are not required to disclose how much the U.S. company is paying you.
  • The L1 Visa holder can also apply for immigration of his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years.
  • The L1 Visa is also eligible for Premium Processing. After applying for premium processing you will get a response from the USCIS within 15 days.

Unlike other Visa categories, there is no restriction on the number of L1 Visas that can be issued.

L1 Visa Requirements

The main requirements to apply for an L1 Visa are given below:

  • There should be a strong collaboration between the foreign company (in which you are currently working) and the US Company (where you are willing to go for work). There should be one of the following relationships between the foreigner company and USA company: 1) Parent/Subsidiary, 2) Branch Office, 3) Affiliate
  • The relationship or collaboration of both companies should remain the same throughout the time duration of employee’s stay in the USA.
  • The second most important requirement for the foreign employee is that he or she must have been continuously employed full-time by the foreign company for at least 1 year within the last 3 years before filing the L1 petition.
  • To qualify for L1 Visa, you must have been working as a manager, executive or a specialized knowledge worker in the foreigner company.

The issues that you can face regarding managers, executives and specialized knowledge employees are listed below:

  1. L-1A: Manager or Executive
  • The employee must have been employed with the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years before the transfer.
  • The U.S. office must be a subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of the foreign company.
  • The employee must have held a management or executive position with the foreign company.
  • The employee must be coming to the U.S. to work in a similar management or executive position.
  1. L-1B: Specialized Knowledge
  • The employee must have been employed with the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years before the transfer.
  • The U.S. office must be a subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of the foreign company.
  • The employee must possess specialized knowledge that is essential to the operation of the U.S. office.
  • The employee must be coming to the U.S. to work in a similar position that requires the use of their specialized knowledge.

How to Apply for an L1 Visa

The process of applying for an L-1 visa can be complex and may require the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in immigration law. However, in general, the following steps may be involved in the application process:

  1. Obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer: The individual must first obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer who is related to the foreign company, either as a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office.
  2. Gather required documentation: The individual must provide all the required documents such as valid passport, completed and signed form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, a recent photograph, and other supporting documents that demonstrate the relationship between the U.S. and foreign company.
  3. File a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The U.S. employer must file a petition on behalf of the individual with the USCIS.
  4. Wait for the decision: After the petition is filed, the individual must wait for a decision on their application. The processing time will vary depending on the individual’s circ*mstances, the specific visa type, and the workload of the USCIS.
  5. Schedule an interview: If the petition is approved, the individual must schedule an interview at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.
  6. Pay the visa application fee: A non-refundable application fee must be paid at the time of the interview.
  7. Attend the interview: The individual must attend the scheduled interview at the consulate or embassy, where they will be required to present all required documents and answer any questions related to their application.

Required Documents

To get L1 Visa, your L1 petition plays an important role. The specific documents that are required to file a petition are listed below,

  • Copies of your passport
  • Resume or CV
  • A detailed job description
  • A detailed description of your position in the foreign company
  • General information for both the US company and the foreign company

Application Steps

Here is a simple and general breakdown of the process of applying for an L1 Visa.

  • You should hire an immigration lawyer because the L1 Visa process is very complex. Your lawyer will do your work step by step and will walk you through it.
  • Secondly, collect all required documents that will be identified by the immigration lawyer.
  • Form I-129 and L-Supplement will be filed to qualify for L1 Visa.
  • If you are not doing a Change of Status, then you will likely be applying for your L1 visa at the Consulate of your home country. You can apply for an L1 Visa when your I-129 form is approved. Required documents will be identified by the immigration lawyer.

L1 Visa Conversion to a Green Card

The L1 Visa is temporary and you cannot apply for the green card directly. To get a green card from an L1 Visa you have to apply for adjustment status to an immigrant visa abroad. It is not required to go abroad to apply for an immigrant visa abroad or adjustment status. The whole process is done in the United States.The L1 Visa is a great option for employees hoping to move from a foreign multinational company’s office to the US. L1 Visa holders can work and stay in the USA with their spouse and children. Most importantly, the employee can convert his or her L1 Visa to a green card by EB1C classification. A point to be noted is that currently, the L1 Visa is very complex and the USCIS has applied many restrictions on the petition for an L1 Visa. So it is suggested that to get L1 Visa, you should consult with immigration lawyers.

What is the L-1 Visa Interview Process?

The L-1 visa interview process is a mandatory step in the L-1 visa application process. The interview is conducted by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate where the employee is applying for the visa. The purpose of the interview is to verify the employee’s qualifications, to determine the legitimacy of the employer’s petition, and to ensure that the employee meets the requirements for an L-1 visa.

Here is a general overview of the L-1 visa interview process:

  1. The employee must schedule an appointment for the interview by following the instructions on the U.S. embassy or consulate’s website.
  2. The employee must gather all the required documents for the interview, including:
  • A valid passport
  • A copy of the approved L-1 visa petition (Form I-129)
  • A copy of the employee’s resume or CV
  • Evidence of the employee’s qualifications and specialized knowledge
  • Evidence of the employer’s ability to pay the employee’s salary
  • Evidence of the employee’s nonimmigrant intent (i.e., ties to their home country)
  1. The employee must attend the interview in person. The consular officer will verify the employee’s identity and review the employee’s documents. The consular officer may ask the employee questions about their qualifications, their job duties, and their intent to return to their home country after their stay in the U.S.
  2. After the interview, the consular officer will make a decision on the employee’s visa application. If the application is approved, the employee will receive the L-1 visa in their passport. If the application is denied, the employee will be given the reason for the denial and may be able to reapply.

What is the L-1 Visa Fee?

The L-1 visa fee includes a filing fee and a biometric services fee. The current fee for the L-1 visa is:

  • Filing fee for Form I-129: $460
  • Biometric services fee: $85

What is the L-1 Visa Processing Time?

The processing time for an L-1 visa will vary depending on the individual’s circ*mstances, the specific visa type and the workload of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Normally, the standard processing time for L-1 visa is around 3-5 months, however, it can be affected by factors such as the number of applications received, the completeness of the application, and the workload of the USCIS.

Additionally, the USCIS offers a premium processing service for an additional fee, which guarantees a 15-day processing time for the L-1 visa application. However, it’s important to note that the premium processing service is not always available, and the government can suspend it for certain periods of time.

L-1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an L-1 visa?
    A: An L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to transfer certain employees from a foreign office to a U.S. office. The L-1 visa is designed to help companies that operate in multiple countries by allowing them to transfer key employees from their foreign offices to their U.S. offices for up to seven years.
  2. Who is eligible for an L-1 visa?
    A: To be eligible for an L-1 visa, the employee must have been employed with the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years before the transfer. The U.S. office must be a subsidiary, affiliate, or parent of the foreign company. The employee must possess specialized knowledge or skills that are essential to the operation of the U.S. office.
  3. How long does an L-1 visa last?
    A: An L-1 visa is typically valid for the duration of the job, up to a maximum of seven years. The L-1A category allows for a maximum initial stay of three years, while the L-1B category allows for a maximum initial stay of five years. After this period, the employee may apply for an extension.
  4. Can L-1 visa holders bring their families with them?
    A: Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21) of L-1 visa holders can apply for L-2 visa, which allows them to accompany the L-1 visa holder to the U.S. and authorizes them to work in the U.S.
  5. Can L-1 visa holders change jobs while in the U.S.?
    A: L-1 visa holders are not allowed to change jobs while in the U.S. without first obtaining permission from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  6. Can L-1 visa holders apply for a green card?
    A: L-1 visa holders are eligible to apply for a green card while in the U.S. using the EB-1C category for multinational managers and executives.
  7. What are the requirements for an L-1 visa interview?
    A: The requirements for an L-1 visa interview include a valid passport, a copy of the approved L-1 visa petition (Form I-129), a copy of the employee’s resume or CV, evidence of the employee’s qualifications and specialized knowledge, evidence of the employer’s ability to pay the employee’s salary, and evidence of the employee’s nonimmigrant intent (i.e., ties to their home country).
Intracompany Transferee – USCIS Guide (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated:

Views: 5987

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.