L-1 petition is filled with CIS by a U.S. company for an employee who needs to be transferred from a foreign parent or sister company to the U.S. company. It is a permit for an employee to work for a company in USA.
In order to qualify for L-1 visa/petition the following are required:
• It can be issued only to an L1-A (Executive, Manager) or to a person with L-1B (specialized knowledge worker).
• Your employer must file L-1 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the employee who needs to work in USA.
• The person for whom the L-1 petition is filed must have worked for at least one year within the past three years and you will be performing duties in the U.S. for the same employer or an affiliate.
• The L-1 employee can be in L-1 status for a certain period. The L1(A) visa for executives and managers can work for maximum of 7 years. Individuals with specialized skills in L1(B) status can work for a maximum of 5 years.
• The L-1 petitioning employer must establish that both the U.S. and the parent company involved meet certain requirements and criteria to be a qualified petitioner. For example, a letter from the US based company is needed to justify the need for the person for a specified position.
L1 visas can also be applied by a company for an employee if the employee is chosen to set up a office in the United States.
• The company filing for such L-1A petition must have proof that the company has sufficient funds in order to maintain a U.S. office. The company has to give the proof of its offices in the U.S. in order to operate the business in the U.S.
Should you apply for L-1A Visa or L-1B Visa?
The L-1A Visa is for Managers and Executives. It is important to note that L1A is a preferred visa because after one years in L-1A status the company can file for a Green Card (Permanent Residence) for the employee who has been working in the U.S. under L-1A status. In order to receive a green card, there is no need of Labor Certification (PERM). The L-1B Visa is for the employees (such as computer programmers, and accountants, etc.) is only for five years and may not qualify for a green card without Labor certification.
Our Law office has extensive experience in filing L-1A and L-1B petitions on behalf of many international companies or their affiliates. Once the employee has been in L-1A status for more than one year, we have filed and successfully obtained a green card for such employees and their dependents. Contact us to discuss if your company and/or individual qualifies for L-1 petition.