An L-1 visa is a temporary work visa for key employees of international companies who are being transferred into the U.S. to continue work with their employer. The L-1 visa can also be used by key employees of international companies to come into the U.S. to establish an affiliate, branch, parent or subsidiary of the company. This company can either be a U.S. or foreign company.
L-1 Visa Entitlements
An L-1 visa entitles the holder to live and work in the US temporarily. An L-1 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 L-1 visa may be granted. Intercompany transferees with an L-1 visa are permitted dual intent, meaning the applicant can maintain L-1 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 (L-2 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.
Requirements Of An L-1 Visa
Applicants in this category must have been in continuous employment with their organization for at least one year within the preceding 3 years of their application in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity. Also, the applicant must be willing to or intending to hold a similar managerial, executive or key position within the company. L-1 visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.