The L-1 Visa – Transferring an Employee from a Foreign Office to the United States

Businesses are becoming more globalized every year as countries seek markets overseas.  Many United States businesses have offices abroad, and many foreign businesses have offices in the United States.  United States immigration law allows global businesses to transfer employees from a foreign office to a United States office when such a decision is necessary to the interests of the business.  To transfer an employee, the United States employer must file a petition for the foreign worker requesting either an L-1A or L-1B visa.  After the petition is approved, the foreign worker may apply for the visa and relocate to the U.S. to work with the petitioning company.

A potential L-1 visa employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (whether that company is a parent company, a branch, a subsidiary, or an affiliate), and must be doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country. The latter can be done directly or through a qualifying organization so long as it is for the duration of the L-1 visa holder’s stay in the United States.  The business in question need not be one that participates in international trade.

L-1A visas are for company executive transferees coming to work in the United States. The L-1A visa applicants must be employed abroad with the foreign company in an executive or managerial capacity for at least one year out of the past three years prior to the application or last admission to the United States. The L-1A visa lets a company which does not have an office in the U.S. send an executive or manager to the U.S. to help establish one. The L-1A visa is granted initially for one year to U.S. employers with a new company and three years for a company established for more than one year.  Visa extensions are available upon application in two-year increments, but the total stay in this status cannot exceed seven years.

The L-1B visa allows a company to transfer an employee with “specialized knowledge” to come work in the United States.  Just as with the L-1A, the employee must work for the foreign organization abroad for at least one continuous year within the three years preceding entry into the United States.  They must be entering the United States to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.  Regulations state that “specialized knowledge” is considered as (1) specialized knowledge possessed by an employee of the organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets; or (2) an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.  Proving this can often be tricky and confusing for many employers, and it is a common reason for application to be denied if it is not carefully and meticulously explained through documented evidence.  Visa extensions for L-1B are also permitted but may not be renewed past five years.

There are numerous visas that apply to very specific criteria when entry into the United States is necessary for a business to further its goals. You should consult with a qualified immigration attorney to fully understand the L-1 visa process and determine whether this visa is right for you and your business.

BUSINESS OWNERS AND HR MANAGERS: FIND OUT WHERE YOU STAND!  Your company’s foreign employees may already qualify for a benefit that you are not aware of yet.  If you have never talked to an immigration attorney about your situation before, now is the best time to do so – before the new administration starts making changes that may affect your employees and your business.  Contact an experienced, licensed attorney to find out what YOU can do to help your situation.  If you would like our assistance, contact our office today at 210-932-3600 to set up a consultation.

The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Sep 17, 2021,
(Translated by Google) Highly recommended. Thanks for everything. (Original) Muy recomendado. Graci...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Sep 10, 2021,
(Translated by Google) My experience is one of total satisfaction, a great team of professionals, at...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Sep 7, 2021,
(Translated by Google) They are VERY GOOD immigration attorneys. We have had a professional experien...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Aug 25, 2021,
(Translated by Google) Good attention, professionalism, good price (the good costs) also very access...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Aug 1, 2021,
Cómo contribuir para cuidar el agua. No entiendo porque sigan publicando el panorama obsesivo compu...
Facebook
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jul 14, 2021,
(Translated by Google) Excellent Service and Follow-up, If you need advice on immigration issues, th...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jun 3, 2021,
Mr. Lozano is extremely kind, professional, and more importantly HUMAN! I was very anxious and conce...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
May 25, 2021,
Law Firm Owner Alfredo Lozano and I have been in different Professional Workshops together over the ...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Feb 13, 2021,
The Lozano Law Firm is a great resource for anyone with immigration needs. They were professional, q...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Sep 30, 2020,
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jun 23, 2020,
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jun 1, 2020,
Alfredo and his staff’s services are unmatched. Friendly team, knowledgeable attorney, and dedicated...
Facebook
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Apr 28, 2020,
muy buen abogado de inmigration, y todo su despacho muy amables, y muy buena informacion!!! lo recom...
Facebook
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Apr 28, 2020,
(Translated by Google) Mr. Lozano is an amazing lawyer. He's so intelligent and caring. I can't than...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Apr 24, 2020,
Fue mi abogado q me ayudó con el caso de mi esposo, se los recomiendo es un buen abogado de inmigrac...
Facebook
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Apr 3, 2020,
Great customer service and are willing to help right away!
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Feb 22, 2020,
I had a very good experience with this lawyer. I am rating it a 5 star rating, only for the outcome ...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Feb 19, 2020,
I would like to thank the Lazano Law Firm for handling my wife's case. Everything went very well for...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jan 25, 2020,
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jan 24, 2020,
Janethe Mata es la mejor, siempre me hizo sentir confianza.Todo muy bien buen servicio y atención gr...
Facebook
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jan 24, 2020,
(Translated by Google) Excellent, work is inesplicable everything they did for me ... my most sincer...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Dec 18, 2019,
Es un Abogado Recto y Formal Considerado y Justo, te Dice si oh no, no te tiene Dando Vueltas, Bendi...
Facebook
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Nov 17, 2019,
Was one of the best experiences working in this company! The staff was super friendly and always nic...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Nov 15, 2019,
All experience is good with this law firm. My case is marriage-based green card after 3 years marria...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Oct 30, 2019,
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Oct 25, 2019,
(Translated by Google) Alfredo and his team are really the best when it comes to immigration issues....
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Sep 30, 2019,
Best Immigration Attorney, Always on top of my case, really helpful and patient with all my question...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Sep 3, 2019,
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Aug 25, 2019,
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Jul 28, 2019,
(Translated by Google) He is a good lawyer my case was lost and now I have a chance to have a better...
Google
The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC
Scroll to Top