L visas are reserved for foreign nationals whose companies wish to transfer them to a U.S. subsidiary, affiliate or branch on a temporary basis. These visas allow managers or executives to work in the United States if they have been in their current positions with the foreign company for at least one year.
Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A. assists employers who wish to bring managers and executives or employees with specialized knowledge to the United States for business purposes. Our lawyers also work with employees seeking EB-1 green cards — also known as green cards for multinational managers and executives. We also provide assistance with obtaining L-2 nonimmigrant classifications for spouses and unmarried children less than 21 years old.
L-1A visas are for intracompany transfers of executives or managers from a parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch in another country to a U.S. office. If granted, the L-1A visa will be issued initially for one year if the manager or executive is being transferred to open a new division, or for three years if the U.S. company has been actively doing business for at least one year. Extensions are done on a two-year basis up to seven years.
Companies who do not currently have a U.S. office can open one by sending an executive or manager to the U.S. on an L-1A visa with the express purpose of expanding the company’s business.
L-1B visas are used when companies decide to bring employees with specialized knowledge of an industry to the United States. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the specialized knowledge must be related to the employer’s “product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets”. The employee’s unique expertise makes him or her an invaluable resource for the employer. An L-1B visa is initially granted for three years with the option to file for extensions that could keep the employee in the United States for five years.
Like the L-1A visa, the L-1B visa allows companies to send employees with specialized knowledge to the United States with the intent of opening a U.S. branch.
Opening a new office in the U.S.
Employers who do not currently have a U.S. office can establish one by sending a manager or executive to the United States with an L-1A visa. However, they must first meet certain requirements:
- The employer must show they have purchased or leased real property where they can open their office.
- The employee must have been employed by the company in a managerial or executive position for at least one of the previous three years.
- The proposed office will be able to support an executive or managerial position within the first 12 months after the L-1A visa petition is approved.
If an employer sends an employee with specialized knowledge to the U.S. specifically to open an office, they must:
- Show they have purchased or leased real property from which to run their business
- Show they have the financial ability to run their business
If a new office is opened, the initial L visa may be issued for a one-year period of time if the visa is granted.
Contact Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A. today
Our law firm has the skill, expertise, attentive nature and dedication needed to successfully see your case through from the moment your consultation begins until its ultimate resolution. Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A. represents clients worldwide in matters relating to U.S. immigration and visa applications. Schedule a consultation by contacting us at 305-371-2777 extension 1 or contact us online to schedule a meeting at one of our offices located in Miami and Orlando, Florida, and Lima, Peru.
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