Experienced Los Angeles L-1 Visa Lawyer
If you work for or own an international company with offices here in the United States and abroad, you may be interested in learning more about L-1 visas. The L-1 is a non-immigrant visa that allows employees of international companies to move to the U.S. to live and work for the company in the U.S. for a set number of years.
L-1 visas are not available for all employees of an international company, though. Employees must meet certain specific criteria to obtain this type of immigration status. One of those requirements is that the employee must work for the company in its foreign office for at least one whole year out of the three years immediately preceding the filing of the L-1 application.
At the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we have helped many businesses and individuals successfully navigate the L-1 visa process. If you would like to discuss your L-1 visa needs, contact one of our highly experienced LA immigration attorneys at (213) 626 – 2000 for more information today.
Types of L-1 Visas
- L-1A — This visa allows executives or managers working in the foreign office to come work in the U.S. office for a period of time. There are specific definitions for “executives” and “managers,” so simply giving an individual a certain title is not enough to make the person eligible for the visa. For example, an executive or manager must have the authority and discretion to make important and varied decisions about the business with little to no oversight. An executive or manager must also supervise other employees and manage the operations of a department (or the entire organization), among other qualifications.
- L-1B — An L-1B visa allows employees of an international company who have specialized knowledge of the business and operations to transfer to the U.S. location for a set period of time. While no formal education requirements exist, the employee must play a key role in the company and must have advanced knowledge of the company’s products, processes, research, services, or management, among other things. The types of employees who are often considered for L-1B visas include accountants, programmers, designers, and engineers.
Blanket L Visas
In addition to obtaining individual L-1 visas for certain employees, a business can transfer multiple employees from the foreign office to the U.S. office more efficiently by applying for and obtaining a “blanket” L visa. A blanket L visa petition allows a company to transfer both L-1A and L-1B employees without having to file separate petitions for each individual. The blanket L visa acts as a kind of pre-certification for the company to transfer these employees.
For a company to qualify for a blanket L visa, it must meet specific eligibility requirements, some of which include:
- Regularly engage in commercial trade or services;
- Have a United States location that has been operational for at least one year;
- Have at least three domestic or foreign subsidiaries, locations, or affiliates;
- Satisfy one of the following three requirements: 1) prove annual sales in the U.S. of at least $25 million; 2) have obtained a minimum of 10 L-1 visas for individuals in the past year; OR 3) employ at least 1,000 people at the U.S. locations.
Types of Evidence in the L-1 Visa Application Process
Whether you want to apply for an L-1A, L-1B, or blanket L visa, the application process can be complex. You will have to submit a number of different documents in order to demonstrate the validity of the relationship between the U.S. company and the company located abroad.
Some documents that are often used as evidence of this relationship include:
- Proof of company ownership and incorporation;
- Permits or licenses issued by the local government;
- Leases, real estate titles or deeds, and other proof of ongoing business expenses;
- Proof of profits and losses, expenses, bank statements, corporate tax returns, and other financial documents;
- Proof of workforce and employment agreements;
- Letterhead and other marketing materials.
Time Limits and Extensions of Your L-1 Visa
Depending on which country an employee is coming from, the L-1 visa will be granted for different lengths of time. L-1B visas are available for a maximum of five years, and L-1A visas are available for slightly longer, for a maximum of seven years. Extensions are sometimes available, as well, and are typically granted for up to two years. If you have not yet reached the maximum amount of time on your L-1 visa, we may be able to assist you in applying for an extension.
L-2 Visas: Spouses and Children
An L-1 visa holder’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years old may accompany the employee to the United States, as well. These relatives may apply for L-2 visas so that they can join the L-1 visa holder during their time in the U.S., and it provides them with the ability to work and go to school while here. The L-2 visa is tied to the validity period of the L-1 visa. This means that when the L-1 visa expires, the L-2 also expires.
Contact a Los Angeles L-1 Visa Lawyer Today
If you’re interested in filing an L-1 visa application, our attorneys are here to help. Many issues can arise during the L-1 visa application process that are only apparent to a skilled immigration attorney. At the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., our attorneys can help you identify and overcome potential pitfalls in the application process so that your company and employees are able to get the L-1 visas they need. Call our Los Angeles office at (213) 262-2000 to schedule a consultation today.