Special Rules For L1 New Office Petitions
- If the US business that you will be working for has been doing business” for less than one year, it is considered a new office, and special rules apply to get an L1 visa.
What is a New Office?
- A new office is a company that has been doing business in the US through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for less than one year.
- Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services.
- The mere presence of an office in the US does not qualify as doing business it must actually be conducting business activities.
New Office Petitions are More Strictly Scrutinized
- L1 petitions for new offices are more strictly scrutinized.
- In order to give yourself the best chance of approval, you should include a business plan with your L1 petition.
- Here are some of the factors that USCIS looks for with a new office L1 application: 1. the amount of your investment, 2. your intended personnel structure, 3. the physical premises you will be operating the business out of, and 4. the sustainability of the foreign company.
Special Rules for New Office L1A Managers and Executives
If you will be working for a new office in the US as a manager or executive:
- There must be a qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the US company.
- You must show that sufficient physical premises has been obtained to house the new office.
- Unlike with existing offices, the initial status granted for a new office L1 is 1 year.
What If The Office In The United States Is New
There are special provisions when a company opens a new office in the United States and wishes to employ a manager or executive. A new office is defined as an organization which has been doing business in the United States through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for less than one year.
The mere presence of an agent or office in the United States is not enough to satisfy the doing business requirement.
In order to qualify for an L-1 where a new office is involved, the following evidence must be submitted:
In order to meet the last requirement above, the employer must submit information regarding:
A new office L-1 petition may only be approved for an initial period of one year. Subsequent extensions can be obtained upon presentation of evidence that the business is active and operating.
How Long Is An L
The initial validity of an L-1 visa is determined by something called the âReciprocity Scheduleâ. Each country has its own reciprocity schedule for the L-1 visa. Some countries have longer than others, some examples are given below. You can find your country on the State Departmentâs website.
The reciprocity schedule determines the maximum length of validity for the initial visa. After this time period, an applicant can renew their L-1 visa up to a maximum of seven years for an L-1A visa and five years for an L-1B visa.
Applicants for âNew Officeâ L-1 Visas are all granted a one-year visa initially. This allows the authorities to check the progress of the establishment of the new U.S. office. If sufficient progress has been granted, it is possible to renew in increments of two years upto the standard maximum of five or seven years for L-1A and L-1B respectively.
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Does My Employee Qualify
Your employee may qualify if
- They have been working abroad for a qualifying organization for a minimum of one continuous year within the past three years.
- They will be working in a managerial or executive capacity, in the case of an L-1A Visa application, or in a specialized knowledge capacity, in the case of an L-1B Visa application.
Spouses And Dependents Can Work
If you are in the U.S. on L-1 status, you will be able to bring your spouse and children along with you through the L2 visa. Also, if they qualify for Employment Authorization Documents, they will be able to work in the U.S. as well. This is a great L-1 benefit because it allows your spouse and dependents to make supplementary income to help support the family if necessary.
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Requirements For L1 Visa
There are a number of basic requirements for l1 Visa and there are also certain specific necessities that are applicable to employers and employees.
The basic requirements include:
- The U.S company petitioning for the visa, must have a qualifying relationship with the parent company.
- There must be enough physical space for a new office .
- For the entire period of the visa holders stay in the States, the company that petitioned for this visa must be engaged in business as an employer in the States and a minimum of one other country.
What Is The Procedure For Obtaining L
Canadian citizens may file a petition for L-1 visa status at a port of entry on the U.S.-Canada land border or at a United States pre-clearance/pre-flight station in Canada. This petition must include all of the same documents and filing fees required of petitions filed with the USCIS. If the border official approves the L-1 visa petition, the foreign national will receive a Form I-94 Arrival Departure Record, showing the end date of the visa petition period. The border inspector forwards the L-1 petition to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center . The NSC will issue a receipt notice showing that the fees have been received, and send a Form I-797 approval notice to the petitioner or to the attorney.
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Limited Types Of Companies
While other visas such as the H-1B allow you to be employed with any U.S. employer, the company sponsoring you for an L-1 visa must be a multinational company that either has or is planning to have a branch, subsidiary, or office in the U.S.
This rule usually excludes businesses that are too small to have international branches as well as small business owners. Make sure to speak with your immigration attorney to determine if your business qualifies for this visa.
Does Your Business Qualify For An L1 Visa
L1 visas are available to employees working for companies outside the United States such as in Canada that have BRANCHES, SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES OR JOINT VENTURE PARTNERS in the United States.
Each type of business relationship is precisely defined by U.S. Immigration Regulations and legal advice is required to determine whether the business relationship complies with the INS definition.
It is also important to note that the foreign business outside the U.S. must continue to operate during the L-1 transfer to the United States. This means that while the foreign worker is in the United States pursuant to the L-1 visa, the business outside the United States must be ongoing. The foreign business outside the United States should therefore retain at least one employee abroad during the duration of the L-1 visa status.
NOTE: Your Canadian Business does NOT have to be a large business to qualify for an L1 Visa. However, it is important that your Canadian or non-U.S. business still operates while you are in the U.S. on your L1 Visa.
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Can I Extend My L1a Visa
If the requirements for extensions are fulfilled, USCIS will grant the L1A visa status for an additional 2 years. USCIS allows two extensions for L1A visas, which means that you can extend your period of stay in the US for another 4 years. Based on this, the maximum amount of time you can to stay in the US with an L1A visa is 7 years. After that, you will either have to go back to your home country or seek other permanent solutions to staying in the US.
Further Information Help And Advice On L1 Visa
Workpermit.com’s team of specialists has over 25 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a US qualified lawyer who is typically also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association .
For more information and advice on US immigration law and US visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at
What Is The First Step In Getting The L
The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, on behalf of the employee. After that, my friend, you will get pretty excited.
Everything started with this form, but unfortunately, it is not simply a paper that must be filled and sent. You need the support of a good immigration lawyer to start the process.
In my case, I started to call different immigration lawyers in Brazil to find out how to begin the process, and I heard people with other versions of how I should proceed .
Lawyer costs, fees, and documents varied so much that I was completely lost on how to proceed and which immigration lawyer I should use.
Can L1 Visas Be Issued If The Person Is Chosen To Set Up A Office In Usa
Yes, one can also be given L1 visa, if he is sent to set up an office in US for his company.
In this situation the conditions to be fulfilled are:
- The concerned company must have proofs for sufficient funds, in order to maintain a US office.
- The company has to give the proof of the infra structure in USA, in order to run the business.
L1 Visa Guide: Everything You Need To Know About The L1 Visa
The L1 visa is a powerful immigration option for people looking to live and work in the USA. The L1 visa allows foreign businesses to transfer certain employees to a US branch, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate company.
In this guide, I will discuss what you need to know about the L1 visa.
If you have any questions about the L1 visa, email me directly at . My team of US immigration lawyersand I would be happy to help you get your L1 visa.
1. What is the L1 Visa?
2. What are the Benefits of an L1 Visa?
3. What are the L1 Visa Requirements?
4. Common Issues Regarding Managers, Executives, and Specialized Knowledge Workers
5. Special Rules for L1 New Office Petitions
6. What Documents are Needed to Apply for an L1 Visa?
7. How to Apply for an L1 Visa
10. How to go from an L1 Visa to Green Card
What Are The Required Conditions For L1 Visa
L1 visas is filed by your company, and needs to be approved by the USCIS. The requirements for L1 visa are:
- It can be issued only to an L1-A or to a person with L1-B .
- Individuals cannot apply for an L1 visa. Your employer must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on your behalf for L1 sponsorship.
- The person 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.
- Maximum limit for L-1A visa is 7 years for executives, and managers. And 5 years for people with specialized skills L-1B.
- The L-1 petition must specify, that both the U.S. and the parent company involved are qualified organizations.
- A letter from US based company, justifying the need of the person.
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Timeline For The Average L
To apply for an L-1 Visa, petitioners must submit the following documents to USCIS for review:
- Form I-129
- L Classification Supplement to Form I-129
- Employment Verification Letter
- Complete and thorough Employer supporting documentary evidence to demonstrate the I-129 Requirements for the L-Visa
The average processing time for these L-1 Visa application materials which also include supporting documents of the Employee such as passports, contact information, and copies of pertinent educational certificates and degrees depends largely on the manner in which you applied. While the duration of each review varies on a case-by-case basis, USCIS usually processes blanket L-1 petitions much more rapidly than their standard counterparts: one to three weeks for the average blanket petition, versus four to six months for the average non-blanket petition.
Unfortunately, the blanket petition is not a suitable choice for every application scenario. Blanket petitions are utilized by large companies with numerous employees or annual sales of greater than $25 million, thereby allowing the employer to avoid the hassle of filing dozens of separate applications. This also explains the significant difference in processing times which exists between standard and blanket petitions.
Uscis Expedited Premium Processing Service
The short answer to this question is yes but expedited processing comes at a price. For a fee of $1,225, you may file via USCIS Premium Processing Service, use of which guarantees your application will be processed in 15 days or less .
The 15-day period begins counting down once USCIS receives your completed Form I-907 , a simple two-page form which requires information such as the form and receipt number of the related L-1 application, and the type of visa classification you are requesting. Form I-907 can be filed by the petitioning employer or by his or her attorney, and may be filed with or separately from Form I-129 and its supporting documents.
While L-1 Visas are not subject to annual USCIS approval caps, petitioners who are interested in applying for other visa types should be advised that use of the Premium Processing Service does not waive, supersede, or otherwise affect USCIS caps on annual visa approvals.
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What Kinds Of Specialized Knowledge Are Needed For L
Generally the specialized knowledge needed for an L-1B visa consists of knowledge of the companys product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests, and its application in international markets.
An advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company can also be viewed as specialized knowledge. This knowledge should help the employer remain competitive in the marketplace, and be distinct from the knowledge typically found in the industry though this knowledge does not need to be proprietary or unique.
Specialized knowledge of a company product must be noteworthy or uncommon. If the specialized knowledge is of a companys process and procedures it must be advanced, but it does not necessarily need to be narrowly held. A key determinant of specialized knowledge is the idea that it would be difficult to impart the knowledge to another party without substantial economic hardship for the United States or foreign firm.
An employee with specialized knowledge is not just a skilled worker. Her/his knowledge of the companys product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other crucial aspects of the business is not easily found in the United States labor market.
Key characteristics of an employee with specialized knowledge include:
Additionally, the specialized knowledge must be integral to continued operation of the specific business or project that the transferee will work on.
After The Petition A Lot Of Documentation
The lawyer advised me that the next step would be to prepare all the documents for the American consulate interview and send him the personal information and documents he requested for the trial.
That was my expression when I saw so many documents arrive in the mail.
Obviously, the picture is illustrative, but it really was a lot of paperwork prepared by the US lawyers. It was about 100 pages that contained the company balance sheet, business details, contracts, photos, job charts, etc.
I was frightened by the volume of information in that process, but on the other hand, I was confident that it contained so much detail that certainly nothing was missing for the day of the interview.
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What Are The Benefits Of An L1 Visa
i. Ability to Live and Work in the USA
- With an L1 visa, you are authorized to live in the United States and to work for your L1 employer.
ii. Extended Period of Stay
- The L1A visa for managers and executives is initially valid for a period of 3 years and can be extended for a total of 7 years.
- The L1B visa for people with specialized knowledge is initially valid for a period of 3 years and can be extended for a total of 5 years.
iii. Dual Intent Visa
- Many non-immigrant visas, such as the B1/B2 visitor visa, require that you have non-immigrant intent. This means that you must intend to return to your home country and that you do not intend to immigrate to the United States.
- The L1 visa is a dual-intent visa, meaning that you may have the intent to temporarily remain in the United States while simultaneously having the intent to possibly immigrate to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident in the future.
iv. No Set Wage Requirements
- The L1 visa does not require that the US company pay you a certain wage.
- Some visa categories require that you get paid a wage commensurate with your position and job title. The L1 does not have this requirement.
- Your US employer will still have to comply with state and federal minimum wage laws.
v. Immigration Benefits for Your Family
- Your spouse and unmarried children would obtain L2 status as your dependents.
- Your spouse can obtain employment authorization to work in the United States.