L1 Visa to the United States
At Pilkington Law Firm, we provide the most qualifying L1 visa lawyers in Calgary, AB, and we are ready to take on your case. The L-1 visa to the United States enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager or specialized knowledge worker to the United States to establish one. To begin, the L-1A visa is designed for managers and executives, while L-1B visas are for people with specialized skills. For help and information on receiving a foreign employee visa for the United States, count on our team to guide you in the right direction.
The L-1 visa enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager or specialized knowledge worker to the United States to establish one.
To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, the employer must:
Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations)
- Currently, be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.
- Doing business means a qualifying organization's regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services. It does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.
To qualify, the named employee must also:
Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding their admission to the United States.
- Be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.
Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others.
For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to establish a new office, the employer must also show that:
- The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office.
- The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the petition filing.
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the petition's approval.
Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.
The transferring employee may be accompanied or followed by their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age. Such family members may seek admission in L-2 nonimmigrant classification and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the employee. Spouses of L-1 workers may apply for work authorization after the primary L1 visa holder is approved.
There is no transferring of an L1 visa to a green card; there is an application process. The L1 visa is temporary, but the application process for the green card may take less than a year.
Contact Our Firm
If you have questions regarding L1 visas for the United States, call our office or fill out the online form on this website for a no-pressure, initial case consultation. If you’re seeking help with receiving a foreign employee visa for the United States, come to Pilkington Law Firm. We will review your case and your options with their respective benefits and drawbacks and any alternatives that you may have.
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