Intracompany Transfer Visa, USA

Intracompany Transfer Visa, USA
Ozg Business Resource Links, London

US government provides an unlimited number of visas for managers and executives (called L-1 visas) transferring from the foreign branch or subsidiary of a company to a U.S. branch. Large multinational companies may apply for a blanket L-1 visa to expedite the processing of large numbers of employees,
L-1 Visa Quota: none
Length of L-1 Visa: 3 years

L-1 Visa Extensions: 2 years at a time, up to a total of 7 years (5 years for an L-1B visa

L-1 Visa Application Processing Times: Normally 30-90 days. For faster processing, a company may apply for Premium Processing Service, which speeds up USCIS response time to within fifteen (15) days of receipt of a petition, application or other documents.

In order to qualify for an L-1 visa you must:

(1) be a manager or executive, or person with specialized knowledge, who has been employed by the company continuously for at least one of the past three years.
(2) show that your non-U.S. employer is a currently operating branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or joint venture partner of the U.S. company to which you are transferring.

The two types of L-1 visas are:

(1) L-1 A visa - for foreign managers and executives transferring to the US to manage a company or a major function or division of a company; to supervise employees or manage an essential department of a company

(2) L-1B visa - for foreign employees with specialized knowledge of the company's products, research methods or marketing methods, which are important to the company's competitiveness

What is the difference between an L-1 A and an L-1B visa?

L-1A visas confer certain advantages that L-1B visas do not:

(1) Less paperwork: The petitioning company of an L-1B applicant must apply for a Labor Certification for the applicant in addition to the petition and application. L-1A applicants are not required to do so.

(2) More time: L-1A visa holders may extend their visas up to 7 years; L-1B visa holders may extend up to 5 years. Also, L-1A visa holders whose 7-year limit has been reached may re-enter the US for another full term as an L-1 holder after a one-year period of absence from the US.

L-1 visa applications involve two steps:

(1) the applicant's employer must file a petition with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). (A multinational company that regularly transfers many employees may apply for a blanket L-1 visa order to bypass the petition process.)

(2) Once the petition is approved, the L-1 visa application can be filed by the applicant.

*For L-1B applicants, the petitioning employer must also apply for a Labor Certification
Visas for accompanying relatives Dependent relatives (spouses or children under 21) of L-1 visa holders are eligible for L-2 visas. They may live and work in the U.S. In order to work, dependent relatives should apply for a Employment Authorization (EAD). 

Intracompany Transfer Visa, USA
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Accompanying Relative:
The spouse or child under the age of 21 of the holder of an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, who is accompanying them to the US

Labor Certification

The first step in receiving an employment-based immigrant visa for certain classes of workers. The potential US employer must first undergo an elaborate and often lengthy process of advertising the position, based on specific instructions from the US Department of Labor, to ensure that no qualified American workers are available to perform the job before hiring the foreign worker.

Blanket L-1 Visa:

Large multinational companies that regularly transfer employees to U.S. branches or affiliates may apply for blanket L-1 status to expedite the visa process by bypassing the petition stage.

The US company must:
  • be a branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the non-US company.
  • have been in business for at least one year
  • have a minimum of three branches, subsidiaries or affiliates
Both the US company and the non-US company must:
  • be engaged in trade or rendering of services
  • have successfully obtained visas for at least ten employees over the past 12 months
  • have combined annual sales of at least $25 milllion OR at least 1,000 US-based employees

Intracompany Transfer Visa, USA
Ozg Business Resource Links, London
Book Appointment Online