This type of non-immigrant visa allows employers overseas transfer their executives and managers for up to 7 years under the L-1A Visa and specialized employees for up to 5 years under the L-1B Visa to a new or existing office. The L-1 applicant is qualified to apply for this visa if they have worked with the parent company, a subsidiary, affiliate or the US branch office for at least a year in the three preceding years from filing the petition. This is considered as one of the most suitable options for business owners who want to expand their business to the US with minimum investment. The employer is required to file a Form I-129 petition for the non-immigrant worker with a fee.
Some of the criteria to qualify as a foreign employer are listed as follows:
- The paperwork or the articles of incorporation with which you opened the company with the State government.
- Certificate of registration which was filed during registering the business with the government.
- California start-up business board authorization.
- List of shareholders that company engaged with.
- Recent tax returns filed by the company
- Proof or lease of occupying the physical office premises
- Contact listing on yellow pages with directions to the premises or telephone bills
- Profit and loss statements, balance sheets, bank statement from the past 12 months
- Company brochures and color photos of the interiors and exteriors of company premises showing company logos, products, and employees.
- Organizational chart with all employee names, their job titles and a brief description of them.
For a US company to qualify as an employer, the following is the list of required items:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Organizational Minutes
- IRS Letter for EIN issuance
- Stock Ledger
- Copies of all Issued Stock Certificates
- Bank Statements
- Business License
- Seller’s Permit
- Organizational Chart (for all current employees and future positions)
- Commercial Lease for Business Premises, with square footage and floor plan
- Utility bills
- Sales report/any other evidence confirming that business is real
- Color Photographs of Business Premises (15 to 20 inside & outside – also include photos of company logos, emblems, products, and employees), please mail because we cannot print these out
- Business Plan
The beneficiary requires the following list of items to be eligible:
- Color Copy of Passport I.D. Page
- Color Copy of Visa Page
- Color Copy of Form I-94
- Employment Verification Letter
- Payroll Summary for the last year or whatever is similar to our W-2
- Payroll Stubs/ Earnings Statements for the last thirteen months
- Resume / Curriculum Vitae
- Proof of working within an executive or managerial capacity with a branch of the same employer or one of its organizations with the same qualifications
Duration of Stay
The employees entering the US to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year and all other employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. The extension on the L-1 Visa is granted in increments of up to an additional two years until the employee reaches the limit of seven years.
L-1 Workers Family Stay in the US
The employee might be able to accompany their spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age. Family members are usually categorized under the L-2 Visa for non-immigrants and if approved their duration of stay is the same as the employee.
In order to renew the visa, similar documentation is required but the company’s records should prove that the company has advanced over the period of time.
To convert the L-1 Visa into a green card, following criteria should be met:
- Proof of the existence of the business and paid taxes.
- Growth of business
This article is not a legal advice, just my 2 cents.