An L1 visa is a temporary work visa for key employees of an international company to be transferred to the US to continue work with their employer. An L1 visa is also suitable for key employees of an international company to come to the US to establish a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the company. The international company may be either a US or foreign organization.
L1 Visa Requirements
To qualify for an L1 visa, the applicant must have been continuously employed by their company for at least one year within the preceding three years in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity. Furthermore, the applicant must be intending to hold a similar managerial, executive or key position within the company.
L1 visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.
L1 Visa Entitlements
An L1 visa entitles the holder to live and work in the US temporarily. An L1 visa is usually granted for 3 years if the company is already established in the US or 1 year for a new company. Extensions of an L1 visa may be granted. Intercompany transferees with an L1 visa are permitted dual intent, meaning the applicant can maintain L1 visa status while applying for a Green Card to remain in the US permanently.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (L2 visa) to join their spouse or parent in the US. Accompanying spouses and children are entitled to study in the United States without obtaining a student visa and accompanying spouses may undertake employment with an approved employment authorization.