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USA L1 Visa: A Step-By-Step Guide To Apply For USA Intra-transfer Visa  In 2021

Know about eligibility & application procedure for changing an US L1A Visa to a Green Card.

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The L1 is a dual-purpose, temporary nonimmigrant visa. A dual-purpose visa doesn’t have to prove that you intend to return back to your country of origin. Many holders of L1 visas eventually apply for a green card, and in fact the process of going from an L1 visa, especially an L1A visa, to a green card is relatively easy.

The United States has always been an excellent place for many companies (including start-ups) and skilled workers. As the demand for skilled workers in USA based organizations increases, the employers have to think beyond the H1B Visa for a short time employment. The USA L1 Visa is the answer to such a demand.

What is a United States L1 visa ?

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The United States L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows overseas companies to transfer employees to the United States on a managerial capacity or specialized field of employment basis.

One of the greatest L-1 visa benefits is the fact that you do not need a degree to qualify. Unlike the H1B visa that only allows you to work on the payroll of a US company, L1 visa workers can be on the payroll of the US company or an overseas company.

What are the Types of USA L1 Visas?

To apply for an L1 visa the employee must have worked for an overseas subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of the US company they are transferring to for at least one year out of the last three years. The employee must have worked as a manager, executive, or specialized knowledge worker for this time.

L1 Visa Types:

The L-1 visa has two subcategories: the L-1A for managers and executives, and the L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. L-1 holders can also pursue a lawful permanent resident status during their stay.

L1A visa: Up to years of stay in the US for executives, managers and business owners

L1B visa: Up to 5 years of stay in the US for specialized knowledge employees

Duration of the L1 USA visa:

For the L-1A visa, holders will be granted an initial three years of stay in the U.S. They can then extend their stay to a maximum of seven years, this surpasses the H-1B’s maximum of six years and the J-1’s maximum of five years. However, the L-1B visa can only be extended to a maximum of five years.

Here are the 2 Types of L1 Visas:

This visa is for managers and executives. They are the people who might be transferring to either a US office or entering the US on the purpose of setting up an office. The visa grants a maximum stay of up to 7 years.

This visa refers to specialized employers or knowledge workers having experience in specific skills. L1-B visa grants a maximum stay of up to 5 years.

If you have already worked in the US on an H1B visa, then the time allowed to stay can be deducted.

However, to qualify for the L1-A and L1-B visa, you must be having work experience from a corporation for a continuous twelve-month period in your previous 36 months.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for an L1-B Visa?

For the L1-B Visa, both the employer and employees have to meet the eligibility requirements, which are mentioned below:

The qualifying employers need to meet the below L1-B visa requirements for the employers:

  • Acceptable relationship with a foreign affiliate or company or branch.
  • The employer is currently holding a business or maybe holding business in the US.

If the employee is transferred in a purpose to set up a new business in the US, then the employer must possess the below needs:

  • Need to have premises of property to set up a business.
  • Must have financial ability to pay for the employee.
  • He/she needs to have work experience from a qualifying organization board for a minimum of one continuous year within 3 years (before entering the US).
  • Planning to enter the US to serve with specialized knowledge.
  • Companies with a global network.
  • Companies which are accredited by the native authorities.
  • Companies that show promising growth.

What Documents are Required for the L1 Visa Application?

The essential documents which are needed during the L1 visa application process include:

  • Visa application Form DS-160 with complete details.
  • Copy of Form DS-160 and L-Supplement.
  • The employee copy of Notice of Action, Form I-797

Documents from the US company:

  • Lease of the Office Location.
  • Stock Certificates.
  • Bank statements.
  • Accounting reports.
  • Form 1120 – Employer’s Income Tax Return (if applicable).
  • Form, 941 – Employer’s Quarterly Report (if applicable).
  • Explanation on the Company’s Business.
  • Invoices, Bills of Lading, commercial contracts, letters of credit, etc.
  • Company letterheads.
  • Bank Statements.

Documents from foreign company:

  • Article of Incorporation.
  • Past 3 years Income tax filings.
  • Business license.
  • Organization chart, position held by the transferee, total number of employees.
  • Brochure of the company or product description.
  • Documents related to business transactions.
  • Transactional records.
  • Letterheads with company logo, name and address.

Documents from the Transferee:

  • Diploma
  • Payment Statements
  • Resume
  • Income tax reports
  • Company charts which depicts your role in the organization
  • Reference letters from colleagues, supervisors
  • Your roles and responsibilities in a managerial/executive role
  • Verification letters from the foreign company
  • Appointment or Board resolution documents
  • Other documents which show your capability to conduct business in the executive position.
  • If you have any specialized knowledge, then you need to provide registrations by you for your company.

Related FAQs

How to Apply for a L1-A Visa?

If you are setting up to apply for the L1-A visa, then, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Need to complete and submit the Form I-129 with the required filing fees.
  2. Get the receipt number of the Form I-129 and print it on the approved petition of the Form I-129.
  3. Should complete the Form DS-160 online.
  4. Need to arrange an appointment for a visa interview.
  5. Go for the interview as scheduled with required L1 Visa documents.
  6. After receiving a visa, the passport will be provided via a courier service.

Related FAQs

Going from L1-A Visa to a Green Card

You can easily change your L1A Visa to a Green Card by proving your intent to return to the U.S as a citizen.

Here’s what you need to change your L1A visa to a Green Card:

  • Employment outside the U.S for at least 1 year.
  • You need to be of a managerial or executive post with specialized skills.
  • You and your foreign employer must have a valid relationship.
  • You and your foreign employer should be in touch throughout the application process.

With a LI1 A visa, you’ll have several advantages like:

  • You won’t have to go through the Permanent Labor Certification program (PERM).

The L1B Visa doesn’t necessarily give these advantages.

Related FAQs

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