The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to qualifying intra-company transferees (employees) coming to the U.S. to continue to work for the same, related or affiliated company (employer). Three types of employees may be sponsored for L-1 visas, Managers, Executives and those possessing Specialized Knowledge.
Executives are classified by those individuals who are involved in the strategic planning and development of the business, Managers are individuals involved in the day to day direction and administration of people, and specialized knowledge applies to someone with unique knowledge of the employer’s products, research, proprietary techniques, operational procedures or industry standards.
Do You Qualify?
A qualifying company in the U.S. can sponsor an employee for an L-1 visa, provided that the employee qualifies in either the above cited managerial, executive or specialized knowledge categories and the employee has worked at least one year during the last three at the non-U.S. office. The sponsoring company must continue to do business outside the U.S. for the duration of the employee’s L-1 status. There is no requirement that the sponsoring company be U.S. owned or incorporated. However, it is required that there exist an equity or control relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company; which is best reviewed by competent legal counsel.
Fast-Track to a "Green Card." A Unique opportunity to the beneficiaries of the L visas based on executive or managerial positions is that a petition for lawful permanent residence can be made after one year of employment in the U.S, without the need of a labor certification. This is a direct and faster method to permanent residency.
Ashley D. Dworsky , Esq. is Of Counsel with BoltNagi PC and handles all areas of immigration law, with an emphasis on business and family immigration and visa law. BoltNagi PC is a full service business law firm located on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.