L1-A, L1-B   Employee transfers between foreign and U.S. offices

This visa status applies to employee transfers between an Employer’s foreign office and their U.S. office.  The L-1A status applies to executives and managers.  L-1B status is for the transfer of specialized knowledge employees.  The classification also permits a foreign company with no U.S. office to send an employee to set up an affiliated office in this country.

L-1A Requirements: Employer

  • Employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company
  • Employer must be (currently or in near future) doing business both as an employer in the U.S. and in at least one other country while the employee stays in the U.S.
  • Employer’s business initiative is not required to be engaged in international trade
  • To establish a new office, employer must also demonstrate the acquisition of sufficient physical premises
  • Employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with fee, on employee’s behalf

L-1A Requirements: Employee

  • Employee must have been employed by the company for one continuous year out of the previous 3 years preceding admission to U.S.
  • Employee must be in an executive or managerial capacity

Period of Stay for L-1A Visa

  • Maximum initial stay for qualified employees is 3 years
  • Exception: employees entering U.S. to establish a new office have a maximum initial stay of one year
  • Extensions may be granted in increments up to 2 years (until employee reaches maximum limit of 7 years)

Family of L-1 Workers

  • Spouses and children (unmarried/under age of 21) may accompany L-1 employees
  • Family members may seek L-1 nonimmigrant classification as dependents
  • If L-1 classification is approved, family members generally are granted the same period of stay as the employee
  • Spouses of L-1 employees may apply for work authorization via Form I-765 and payment of fee

L-1B Requirements: Employer

  • Employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company
  • Employer must be (currently or in near future) doing business both as an employer in the U.S. and in at least one other country while the employee stays in the U.S.
  • Employer’s business initiative is not required to be engaged in international trade
  • To establish a new office, employer must also demonstrate the acquisition of sufficient physical premises
  • Employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with fee, on employee’s behalf

L-1B Requirements: Employee

  • Employee must have been employed by the company for one continuous year out of the previous 3 years preceding admission to U.S.
  • Employee must be seeking transfer to provide specialized knowledge services to a branch of the same employer (or one of its qualifying organizations)

Period of Stay for L-1B Visa:

  • Maximum initial stay for qualified employees is 3 years
  • Exception: employees entering U.S. to establish a new office have a maximum initial stay of one year
  • Extensions may be granted in increments up to 2 years (until employee reaches maximum limit of 5 years)

Family of L-1 Workers

  • Spouses and children (unmarried/under age of 21) may accompany L-1 employees
  • Family members may seek L-1 nonimmigrant classification as dependents
  • If L-1 classification is approved, family members generally are granted the same period of stay as the employee
  • Spouses of L-1 employees may apply for work authorization via Form I-765 and payment of fee

How Schunk Law Can Help

The visa application process for intracompany transfers application process is sometimes difficult to navigate.  Schunk Law can help with all aspects of the application and filing process for applicants, their employees and families.

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