US L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa—Some Questions & Answers

US L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa is basically a non-immigrant category. It has become quite popular among the employees of certain class who wish to gain international experience. At the time of filling the petition, the aspirant must have worked for at least one year in the preceding three years for the similar company based outside US.

US L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa
US L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa

Initially, preference was given to large Multinational Companies (MNCs) to transfer their employees to join US operations, but lately small start up and small firms have also been applying for the L visa.

L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa In Depth

What are the different types of ‘L’ visa and what is their validity period?

There are two different kinds of ‘L’ visa and they are:

  • L-1A is for executives and managerial professionals, which can be issued in total for seven years.
  • L-1B is for specialized knowledge staff, which can be issued in total for up to five years.

What are the basic requirements Petitioner Company have to fulfill?

  • It is possible to apply for L-1 Visa only if the foreign based company and the US Company share the ‘qualifying relationship’.
  • Both the US Company and foreign company must share an equity link or else both the firms may be owned/managed/controlled by either the legal entity or same person, notwithstanding the fact if the parent company is based in the country or outside.
  • While filling the petition, the US office must submit an official letter that the services of the alien are formally required in the country.

What are the basic requirements candidate have to fulfill?

  • He must have worked for the qualifying company outside the US for at least one year in the preceding three years.
  • If he is an executive or a manager, he must be assigned responsibility to manage/operate a major subdivision of the US Company.
  • If he is a specialized knowledge staff, he must have experience of the US employers processing, process and products.

Can dependents travel along with the primary applicant?

No, if the dependents wish to travel along with the primary applicant, they will have to file a separate petition which is subject to approval.

Can the applicant change the status while he is in the US on L-1 visa?

Yes, it is possible to change the status of the visa condition but the aspirant must not have exhausted his maximum stay in the country, i.e., five or seven years depending on the duration of the visa. Once he has completed the maximum stay in the nation, it cannot be extended further any more.  Given this, a fresh application cannot be submitted until he has lived and worked outside the US for at least one year. But, of course, short business trip is always possible.

Does the L-a Visa have a cap?

Like the H Visas, L-1 visas do not have a cap. Petitioner companies may fie the application anytime round the year as the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues any number of visas throughout the year.

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