L-1 – Visa for transfer within the company

L-1 visa for business in the USA. The presence of an L-1 visa can significantly facilitate the transfer of a foreign employee to the United States for further cooperation with the employer or the office, the company with which he cooperated until that time.l-1

It is necessary to distinguish between two main categories of the L-1 visa:

  • L-1A (for managers and managers);
  • L-1B (for workers with specialized knowledge).

The L-1 visa is considered nonimmigrant, but it has a period of up to three years. In some cases, L-1A can be extended for up to seven years and L-1B for up to five years. If the company is on the US market for less than a year, the initial period for issuing a visa is one year, with the possibility of a subsequent extension.

This type of visa is also available to private business owners whose companies are located outside the US but have been operating for at least one year, and the person wishes to open a subsidiary in the United States. Also, a person, having a business in a foreign country, can open a company in the US, but firms will produce different products.

The presence of the L-1 visa is the basis for obtaining the L-2 visa by the spouse or the spouse of the owner L-1 and his underage children. L-2 allows you to find a job legally.

Initially, the L-1 visa was a permit for transfer within multinational companies, and however, now it is available for small companies that would like to expand their business and be able to provide their services in America.

Visa L-1 does not have any restrictions regarding countries. That is, an applicant from any country in the world can become an employee of his own company in the United States.

Statistics show that applicants of nonimmigrant visas need to be considered as alleged immigrants, so applicants should be mindful of the need to provide evidence regarding the lack of intentions of immigration to the United States. But do not forget that a visa of class L is a visa with double intentions. That is, applicants may not support foreign residence, but they also do not renounce it.

Most owners of L-1, still apply for a green card, for permanent residence and employment in the US. To do this, they need confirmation of certification of employment, applications, some applications and forms, an application for obtaining an immigrant visa and so on. But collecting all the documents and applying to the migration service is not grounds for refusing entry into the United States on the basis of the L-1 visa.

The L status does not require full employment from the applicant, but the employee must devote most of his time to the company to maintain the location provided. There are also some nuances: the owner of L-1 does not have to work full time in the US, even if he had full employment in a company in another country. The visa holder can share his work activity between another country and the United States. That is, having a basic place of work, the applicant can obtain an L-1 visa for short-term work.

If the purpose of the arrival of an employee in the United States is participation in conferences, business meetings, meetings, the passage of training, and so on, then such activities cannot be called productive employment. In this case, you need to apply for a business visa.

Obtaining L-1: Basic Requirements

To the applicant:

Having a qualifying relationship between a commercial enterprise in the United States and a foreign company using an employee abroad. When submitting a petition, proof of the availability of qualifying relations must be attached.

The owner of the L-1 visa has the right to an extended stay in the United States if he qualifies as an employer in at least one country (directly or through a qualification organization).

To the employee (beneficiary):

The implementation of labor activity abroad, during one continuous year, to a qualifying foreign employer before admission to the USA (the summation of several short-term periods is not acceptable).

Work in a qualifying organization with the receipt of wages directly or through the agency, both with registration and on a freelance basis, under the supervision of management, during the qualifying year.

Periods of stay in the United States, permitted, as well as short trips of a business or entertaining nature, should not be grounds for interrupting a year of continuous work abroad. Also, these periods cannot be counted as qualifying employment abroad.

About the Author

Michelle Hill


  1. т.е. ген директор любого юридического лица из стран снг может при открытии филиала компании в сша расчитывать на такую визу?

    1. Не любого. Обязательно иметь структуру предприятия, положительный баланс и минимум 1 год деятельности.

      1. Игорь

        А ИП с оборотом ~ 35 тыс.дол. не подойдет?

        1. Все относительно. Есть другие детали более важные, как, например, покрывают ли доходы расходы, сколько работает предприятие, сколько сотрудников и какую сумму планируют инвестировать…

    2. Юридическое лицо не имеет значение, главное показать иерархию и средства на развитие американского офиса.

  2. Elena

    здравствуйте! у меня есть юр.лицо(ООО), я ген.директор. Организации уже 14 лет. Как я должна показать, что у меня есть работники и прибыль. Нужны ли выписки со счета организации. Если у меня работников нет, люди работают по краткосрочным контрактам, т.е. для каждой услуги я нанимаю людей.

    1. Здравствуйте. Ответы идут после вопросов. “Как я должен показать, что у меня есть работники и прибыль.” – договора, выплаты по зарплатам… “Нужны ли выписки со счета организации” – да. “Если у меня работников нет, люди работают по краткосрочным контрактам, т.е. для каждой услуги я нанимаю людей.” – тоже можно показать в дополнение к основному штабу.

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