Overview of L-1 Visas

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L-1 Visa Attorneys

The L-1 visa is well-suited for multinational managers, executives, and key employees with specialized knowledge transferring between branches of companies. We have worked alongside several startup founders who have used this visa to launch new offices in the United States and scale their companies in the American market. This option is also beneficial for sales engineers, for instance, who work with clients to determine technical needs based on the employer’s proprietary products. Many of our clients with later-stage and publicly traded companies utilize the L-1 visa to bring key employees to the United States and scale their operations in the U.S. market.

Alcorn Immigration Law provides immigration legal services to companies, employees, investors, founders, and others seeking visas and green cards. L-1 visas are for employees transferring to the U.S. to work in an office related to a foreign company where they have previously been working.

If employees are coming to run, manage or set up a U.S. office or unit, they could qualify for an L-1A Visa for Intracompany Transferee Managers and Executives.

If they’re coming because they possess unique knowledge of a company’s procedures, products, or other important information, they could qualify for an L-1B Visa for Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Workers.

Spouses and children can come, too, under both L-1A and L-1B visas.

If you are an employer who frequently petitions to transfer employees from your multinational offices to the U.S. as managers, executives, or individuals with specialized knowledge, you might consider a Blanket L petition. A Blanket L petition is a group petition for your employees to apply directly for their L-1 visas at consulates without first waiting for USCIS to approve an individual L petition approved.  It is initially valid for 3 years but later may be valid indefinitely.

What are the Benefits of the L-1 Visa?

When comparing the L-1 visa to other employment visa classifications, you will find that it has certain benefits that others do not. Some of the key benefits of the L-1 visa include:

  • Low eligibility requirements. Compared to other visa categories, which may require a worker to demonstrate extraordinary ability or provide a substantial investment into the U.S. economy, the L-1 category only necessitates that the candidate is a manager, executive, or specialized employee with at least 1 year of employment abroad in the last 3 years.
  • Employment relationship. You already have an employment relationship with the beneficiary so there’s less risk about whether things will work out.
  • Period of stay. L-1A visa holders are granted an initial stay of three years, which can be extended to a maximum of 7 years. L-1B visa holders are granted an initial three-year period as well, and it can be extended to a maximum period of 5 years.
  • No degree requirement. Unlike other visa categories, there is no degree requirement for the L-1 visa.
  • Family privileges. The spouse and children of an L-1 visa holder are eligible to travel with the visa holder to the United States. The worker’s spouse automatically qualifies for Employment Authorization, so they are free to pursue self-employment or a job in the United States.

Transitioning from L-1A Visa to EB-1C for Multinational Managers

The L-1A visa provides a valuable opportunity for managers and executives who wish to immigrate to the United States on a permanent basis to apply for permanent residence. Given the similar eligibility requirements, many L-1A visa holders pursue the EB-1C Green Card for multinational managers after the company has been doing business in the United States for at least one year. This process of transitioning from the L-1A visa to an EB-1C Green Card is relatively smooth, requiring the employer to submit the I-140 petition on the worker’s behalf, wait for the priority date to become current, then file for adjustment of status. No PERM labor certification is required and Premium Processing is available.

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How to Select the Best L-1 Visa Lawyer for Your Needs

For companies that depend on the L-1 visa to bring their key employees to the U.S. for manufacturing, sales, or other key roles, securing approval quickly and efficiently is important. For this reason, your choice of legal representation is one of the most important decisions you can make. When selecting an attorney to handle your L-1 visa case, it can be helpful to consider: 

  • Does the attorney put your interests first?
  • Can they relate to business and tech-minded entrepreneurs? 
  • Have they worked with founders in all phases of startup growth, including the seed stage, series A stage, venture-funded stage, and expansion stage, as well as through acquisition and/or IPO?
  • Does the attorney transparently communicate all potential challenges in your case?

Immigration Law for Tech Startups

We are passionate about advocating for immigrant startup founders and helping invigorate the growth and prosperity of startups in the United States. This passion is reflected in our esteemed interview-based podcast, Immigration Law for Tech Startups. Here, we speak to the foremost leaders in the tech industry about their immigration journey and how they have successfully scaled their companies by hiring the best and brightest talent from around the world. With over one hundred episodes and new conversations weekly, consider listening wherever you stream podcasts. 

The Alcorn Method

With over a decade of experience, we understand the formula for United States immigration. While we approach every case with a fresh perspective and personalized approach, we implement a unique four-step framework to help our clients understand the process. When you work with the Alcorn team, you can expect the following experience: 

  • Strategize. At the initial stages of the process, we will take time to understand your professional goals and vision. Taking your company’s growth trajectory and industry trends into account, we will offer a tailored legal strategy to help meet your needs. 
  • Prepare. Adequate preparation is critical to the success of a case. We will holistically review all documents and supporting evidence, providing suggestions for how to improve the application based on U.S. immigration law and precedence. 
  • File. Securing approval for an L-1 visa requires careful attention to detail when filing the application. We will ensure that your petition is filed properly, help prepare the candidate for their interview, and keep you up-to-date regarding all matters related to your case. 
  • Win. With our demonstrated record of success, although we can’t make any guarantees, we are confident in our ability to win your case and help scale your business in the United States. 

Accomplish, Together

We have worked alongside prominent startup founders looking to expand their operations into the American market, raise venture capital for their companies, and build their products to fit U.S. markets. With our industry expertise and breadth of knowledge on the U.S. immigration process, we can help you sponsor key employees for the L-1 visa. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting our offices in Silicon Valley, CA, or New York, NY at +1(855) 546-0015 today.

For More Information

Alcorn Immigration Law supports immigration for innovation. Our team can help you find the best option for yourself or your employees. Please see our pages for each type of employment-based visa to learn more about the requirements, forms, filing fees, and other details.