L-1 Visa Lawyer USA
Our L1 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida USA have experience on the subject of L1 Visa for the United States for all those interested in applying and obtaining one with the help of an experienced L1 Visa Lawyer. The L1 visa is not limited to individuals with certain citizenships and our L1 Visa Lawyer can assist with understanding and getting the visa for Executives, Managers and Specialized Knowledge Employees, including for qualifying Entrepreneurs and Investors.
“As L1 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida USA, we use our expertise to advise you on all aspects of business immigration and visas, capital raising and daily business operations to business growth strategies.”
The L-1 Visa allows a U.S. employer to transfer an executive, manager or an employee with specialized knowledge relating to the company’s business interests from one of the employer’s affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. To learn more about the L-1 visa and requirements visit our L-1 visa page.
For those foreign businesses that do not have an affiliated office in the United States, the L1 Visa allows the foreign company to send an executive, manager or a specialized knowledge employee to the United States for the purpose of setting up a new US office. The foreign company can invest in an affiliated office in the United States and send a foreign employee to work for the new US office in an executive, managerial or specialized position. This includes sending the principal Investor or Entrepreneur to the US on an L1 visa.
There are two types of L-1 Visas – L-1A for executives and managers and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. The L-1A classification is for foreign citizens coming to the United States temporarily to perform services in a managerial or executive capacity and L-1B classification is for foreign nationals coming to the United States temporarily to perform services that require specialized knowledge. Specialized knowledge is either: (a) special knowledge of the petitioning employer’s product, service research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets or (b) an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the employing organization’s processes or procedures.
What Is The Best Advice that an Experienced L1 Visa Lawyer Can Give His or Her Clients?
This visa was initially intended and designed for large corporations to help facilitate easy transfer of employees from abroad to the United States. However, our experienced L1 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida USA explain clients that the L1 Visa also provides small and medium-sized companies with an opportunity to expand their business and service to the United States by transferring their foreign executives and managers to the Unites States, which oftentimes are the owners of the foreign company. Also, this visa allows smaller companies to bring their foreign talent to the US, the workers with specialized knowledge, to assist them in successfully developing the business in the United States.
For small to mid-sized businesses, the presence of an experienced L1 Visa Lawyer to assist with the case is almost imperative especially because these cases are a lot more scrutinized when compared to the L1 visa petitions filed by large corporations and companies.
Our best L1 Visa Lawyer advise to our clients is that L1 visa is appropriate when key employees can contribute executive, managerial or specialized knowledge skills to the U.S. business and their international operations are aligned in objectives and processes.
Our L1 Visa Lawyer explains that in order to be eligible to apply for an L1 Visa for Executive, Manager or Specialized Knowledge Employee, the US employer must meet certain minimum requirements including:
What Qualifying Relationship Does the U.S. Company and the Foreign Company Need to Have to Apply For an L1 Visa for USA?
The US-based employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company at the time of filing the L1 application. The foreign company must be a qualifying organization including a parent company, branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the U.S. employer.
In the context of this visa, our experienced L1 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida USA explain that the parent/subsidiary relationship between the US and the foreign company exists when:
- one of the entities owns more than 50 percent of the other entity or
- one entity is a 50 percent partner in the other entity (joint venture), as long as the parent entity has equal control and veto power over the venture, or when
- one of the entities owns less than half of the other, but in fact controls the other entity
When there is a branch of the foreign company in the United States or the the US company has a branch in a foreign country, then the branch office is viewed as an operating division of the same organization housed in a different location. Our experienced L1 Visa Lawyers will tell clients that the branch must be registered to conduct business in the United States or be authorized to operate in the foreign country in order to engage in business activities.
Our L1 Visa Lawyer explains that for an affiliate relation to exist between the US company and the foreign company there must be two subsidiaries, both of which controlled and owned by the same parent or individual, or the two entities are owned and controlled by the same group of individuals, with each person owning and controlling approximately the same proportion of each entity, or be certain multinational accounting firms.
The employer must be doing business or will in the future conduct business in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the L1 employee’s stay in the United States.
What Is the Best Advice That Our Experienced L1 Visa Lawyer can Give to an Executive, Manager or Specialized Knowledge Employee?
The L1 Visa Lawyer explains that the foreign company must have employed the executive, manager or specialized knowledge employee full-time for at least one (1) continuous year within the immediate preceding three (3) years before filing his or her application for transfer to the United States.
Our L1 Visa Lawyers in USA point out that the continuous employment requirement has some flexibility. If the individual to be transferred visited the United States, either for business while employed in the foreign country or for pleasure, then those visits to the United State do not break the continuous nature of the employment.
Furthermore, an experienced L1 Visa Lawyer will tell clients that the continuous 1 year employment can be gained at any time during the prior 3 years. It is possible for the employee to be employed by a different company or in a non-managerial, non-executive or non-specialized knowledge capacity at the time of applying for the L1 visa as long as the qualifying employment requirement was met during the prior 3 years.
For the foreign employee to meet the L1 visa qualifying employment requirement, he or she must have been employed full-time. According to our L1 Visa Lawyers several years of part-time employment that add up to one year do not satisfy this requirement.
What Requirements Does A Business Executive or Manager of a Foreign Company Need to Meet to Establish a New Office in USA and Qualify for the L1 Visa?
In addition to the requirements above, our L1 Visa Lawyer holds that foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to set up a new office, must also meet the following requirements:
- The employer must have secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office
- The employee was employed abroad as an executive or manager for one (1) year within the three (3) years immediately preceding the application; and
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition
L1 Visa Duration and Extension
Qualified employees entering the United States on an L1 Visa to establish a new office can be granted a maximum initial stay of one (1) year. All other qualified employees are allowed a maximum initial stay of three (3) years.
After the initial period is over, the L1 Visa can be renewed for two years at a time. The maximum period of stay on an L1 Visa status for a Manager or Executive is seven (7) years, while for a Specialized Knowledge Employee is five (5) years with an initial L1 visa of 3 years and one extension of 2 years. Foreign nationals with L1 visa can recapture any time spent physically outside the United States during their stay on L1 visa.
Dependent spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) can apply for extensions to match the period of stay of the L1 visa holder as long as the dependent are accompanying the visa holder or joining him or her in the United States.
An experienced L1 Visa Lawyer will tell you that an extension of L1 visa status can be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) up to six (6) months in advance of the initial L1 status expiration date. A timely filed L1 visa extension will provide the employee an additional 240 days of employment authorization with the petitioning employer after the expiration of the current L1 visa status and while the L1 extension is pending.
L1 Visa Benefits
According to our L1 Visa Lawyers, there are a number of benefits to apply for the L1 visa, including:
- L1 visa is dual intent, meaning that the foreign investor, entrepreneur or employee can pursue a green card (lawful permanent resident status) while maintaining an L1 visa
- Employers are not required to formally test the U.S. labor market to sponsor the foreign employee and obtain an approved Labor Condition Application from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
- Allows a foreign investor or entrepreneur to establish a new office in the United States for their foreign company
- Applicant can work in the United States full-time for the petitioning company
- Applicant can bring his or her spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) to the United States
- Spouse of an L1 visa holder is employment authorized incident to status and can work in the United States part-time or full-time or be self-employed. Spouses no longer need to apply for work authorization in the US. The work authorization is automatic upon entry into the US and issuance of I-94 record in L-2S classification.
- Spouses can also attend public or private U.S. schools and universities.
- Dependent children can attend U.S. schools and universities, full-time or part-time, without the need to obtain a student visa, but are not authorized to work in the United States.
- An L1 visa holder and his or her family, spouse and unmarried children, can travel internationally and re-enter the United States multiple times during their stay.
- International travel is permitted for L1 visa holders and dependents while a green card petition is pending
Spouse and Children of L1 Visa Holders
In terms of the spouse and children, our L1 Visa Lawyers point out that the beneficiary of an L1 Visa can move to the United States to live and work temporarily together with their spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21). Dependent spouses and unmarried children receive L2 visa. The spouse is eligible to work in the United States and children can attend school.
An experienced L1 Visa Lawyer tell clients that a spouse of an L1 visa holder is now automatically authorized to work following admission to the United States in L-2S status. Spouses no longer need to apply for employment authorization after arriving to the U.S.
L1 Visa Process
Our L1 Visa Lawyers in USA explain that to apply for an L1 visa, the company must file the application with USCIS together with all credible evidence to show that the company and the employees are eligible for L1 visa. If USCIS approves the petition, it will issue a notice of action that can be used to apply for a visa at the US Consulate or Embassy in the employee’s home country. If the beneficiary of an L1 visa application is in the United States, then he or she does not need to go through consular processing but instead has to apply for change of status with USCIS while on US territory.
Our L1 Visa Lawyers explain that the processing time for L1 visa at USCIS varies depending on USCIS service centers that processes the L1 application – the California Service Center or the Texas Service Center – which in turn depends on the petitioning company’s primary office location. For example, if the primary office of the company applying for L1 visa is in Miami, Florida, then the application must be sent to the California Service Center. Generally, regardless of the service center, standard processing time for L1 visa is 4 to 6 months, with many L1 visa attorneys accounting for 6 months when considering processing time.
In addition, L1 visa applications are eligible for premium processing. With premium processing, the processing time for USCIS to review and make a decision on the L1 visa application is 15 calendar days from the date the application was received. The premium processing service for L1 visa is available to applicants for an additional fee.
Regarding Canadian citizens, our L1 Visa Lawyers explain that they are exempt from applying for the initial L1 visa with USCIS, and instead may present the completed application form and supporting documents to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at certain ports-of-entry on the United States-Canada land border or at a United States pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station in Canada, in connection with an application for admission to the United States in L1 status.
Work With An Experienced L-1 Visa Lawyer in USA
Our L1 Visa Lawyers in Miami, Florida USA can assist with the complexities of applying and obtaining an L1 visa, including advising on the L1 visa process and requirements, proactive steps to take and courses of action, preparing the necessary documentation for the L1 visa and communicating with USCIS and U.S. Embassies. For more information about the L1 Visa for Executive, Manager or Specialized Knowledge Employee or to speak to our experienced business immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida, USA contact us now or schedule a consultation.
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers