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Home > > Immigration > Business Immigration > L 1 Visa

L-1A and L-1B Visas

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L-1 Visa Lawyers in Boston, Massachusetts

If you are considering applying for an L-1A or L-1B visa, please contact one of our experienced immigration attorneys for a consultation at 781-462-1346 or online.

Overview of L-1A and L-1B Visas

The L-1 visa is for intra-company transfers of executives, managers and employees with specialized knowledge that have been employed by a company abroad for at least 1 continuous year in the past 3 years.

For Executives and Managers

L-1A visas allow U.S. employers to transfer their executives and managers from another country to the U.S. This can happen in two ways. A U.S. company can bring an executive or manager from one of its foreign offices to an office in the U.S. Or a foreign company can move one of its executives or managers to the U.S. to create an office here, if the company does not already have one.

For Specialists

L-1B visas enable U.S. employers to move a professional worker with specialized knowledge pertaining to the organization's interests from one of its overseas offices to one in the U.S. It also permits a foreign company that does not currently have an affiliated U.S. office to send an employee with specialized knowledge to the U.S. to help establish one. The standards used to show specialized knowledge are very technical and must be properly addressed for a successful outcome.

Family Members (L-2 Visa)

An L-1 employee can bring his or her spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age to the U.S. These family members would fall under the L-2 nonimmigrant classification, with generally the ability to remain in the U.S. for the same amount of time as the L-1 employee. L-2 visa holders are eligible to apply for employment authorization while in the United States.

Period of Stay

L-1 employees can stay in the U.S. for up to one year if coming to the country to establish a new office. All other L-1 employees can remain for up to three years. USCIS may grant extensions in increments of up to two extra years, until reaching the limit of 7 years for someone on an L-1A visa or 5 years for someone on an L-1B visa.

Eligibility Requirements for L-1 Visas

Our Boston L-1 visa attorneys can help you determine whether an L-1 visa is appropriate in your specific situation. It's best to speak with a lawyer if you're considering applying for an L-1 visa, given the complexity of the eligibility requirements and the high stakes associated with bringing an employee to the U.S. The following is a quick summary of what's involved.

To be eligible for L-1 classification, the employer has to:

  • Have a qualifying connection to a foreign company, e.g. branch, subsidiary, parent company, or affiliate; and
  • Be doing business, either now or in the future, in the U.S. and in at least one other country for the duration of the person's stay in the U.S. on the L-1A visa.

The employee seeking an L-1A visa must:

  • Be coming to the U.S. in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organization; and
  • Have been working for that organization in another country for one full year within three years of his/her admission to the U.S.

The employee seeking an L-1B visa must:

  • Be attempting to enter the U.S. to provide services related to his or her specialized knowledge to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations; and
  • Usually have been employed with the qualifying organization in another country for one continuous year within the three years immediately before his or her entry to the U.S.

Blanket Petitions for L-1 Visas

Our L-1 visa lawyers may be able to help you apply for a blanket petition for an L-1 visa, establishing the necessary intracompany relationship before filing an L-1 petition for an individual employee. A blanket L-1 certification does not guarantee that an employee will receive an L-1 visa, but it does give the employer the flexibility to transfer employees to the U.S. quickly and without having to file an individual petition with USCIS.

A company may be eligible for an L-1 blanket certification if:

  • The petitioner has an office in the U.S. that has been conducting business for a year or more;
  • The petitioner and each qualifying organization are providing services or engaged in commercial trade; and
  • The petitioner and other qualifying organizations have any of the following: 1) at least 10 L-1s during 12 previous months, 2) U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with total annual sales of at least $25 million, or 3) a U.S. workforce of at least 1,000 employees.

Boston L-1 Visa Attorneys

The Law Offices of Jacob D. Geller, located in Boston, Massachusetts, has experienced immigration attorneys ready to assist you with applying for an L-1 visa. Please contact us at 781-462-1346 or online for a free consultation.