An L1 visa is a work visa, temporary in nature, for important employees working for international companies. This allows the employees to be transferred to the US to continue working for their employer.
An L1 visa is also suitable for significant employees working for an international company who are transferred to the US to establish a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the company. The international company may be either an US or foreign enterprise.
L1 Visa Requirements
The main criteria to qualify for an L1 visa is that, the applicant must be employed by the company for at least one year without a break or within the preceding three years in a managerial capacity or in any specialized knowledge capacity. Furthermore, the applicant must be intending to hold a similar managerial or a major position within the company.
L1 visa applicants may also be obliged to meet certain health and character requirements.
L1 Visa Entitlements
An L1 visa is of a temporary nature allowing the visa holder to stay and work in the US temporarily.
If the company is already established in the US then a L1 visa is usually granted for 3 years. If the company is new then a L1 visa is granted for 1 year. Extensions of an L1 visa may be also be granted.
Intercompany transferees holding an L1 visa are allowed to maintain L1 visa status, while applying for a Green Card, which allows permanent US residency.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (L2 visa) to join their spouse or parents in the US.
Spouses and children accompanying their spouses or parents respectively are allowed to undertake employment with an approved employment authorization or study in the United States without procuring a student visa.