L-1B Visa

The United States L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to the US operations for up to seven years. Staff classified as having specialized knowledgeare issued an L-1B visa, initially for three years extendible to a maximum of five years. 

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Investor Visas (L1)

The L-1B nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. 

Intracompany Transfers

This type of visa allows business entities to transfer employees from abroad to the U.S. under two circumstances:

  1. If the business entity is a U.S. Employer, it may transfer an employee serving in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity from a foreign office to an affiliated U.S. office. The visa allows this type of transfer for an initial three-year period. However, there is an opportunity for an extension of stay that can be granted for two-year periods until the employee reaches the respective time limit of seven or five years in total.
  2. If the entity is a foreign entity that does not yet have a U.S. office but is looking to establish one, it may send employees to do so. An employee acting as an executive or manager may establish this office and an employee with specialized knowledge may help with establishing the office. The visa allows for an initial set up period of one year for the new U.S. office. At the one-year mark, the office must be considered active and operating. The employee may still, however, be granted extension of stay for periods of two years until the maximum time limit

The following are some of the eligibility requirements for an L-1 Visa:

  • The Employer must already be doing or will be doing regular continuous business in the U.S. and at least one other country during the employee’s time in the U.S.;
  • The U.S. office and the foreign entity must have a corporate relationship where there is a subsidiary, affiliate, parent, or branch relationship; and
  • Employees must have one year of continuous work abroad with the foreign entity within the last three years.

Period of Stay

Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year.  All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years.  For all L-1B employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years.

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