L Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

L-1 visa: Intra-company Transfers

What is an L-1 visa?

The L-1 visa is for an “intra-company transferee”. The L-1 visa was created to facilitate the transfer of personnel. Global multinational corporations are constantly transfering their staff:

  • In a managerial or executive capacity (L-1A)
  • Which entail specialized knowledge (L-1B).
  • If you have a company in your country and wish to open a subsidiary in the U.S., please contact us for assistance.


    Green Card processing is faster and easier because you may petition for a Green Card without having to go through the Labor Certification.

    L-1A visa: Managerial or Executive Capacity

    What requirements are needed to apply for an L-1A visa?

    - Work for a company abroad that is willing to transfer you to a U.S. subsidiary or wants to send you to the United States to open a branch of the company.

    - Be employed by the company abroad for at least one year within the past three years prior to the submission of the application of the L-1A visa.

    - Business persons who come to the U.S. so as to attend professional conferences, conventions, meetings or seminars in the U.S.

    - USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) will require additional information about the plans for the new office such as proof that office space has been obtained, that the applicant has had the appropriate experience with the foreign company and that the foreign company will remain in existence during the full period of the applicant's transfer to the U.S.

    How long can you stay in the U.S. on an L-1A visa?

    The L-1A visas are granted for a period of three (3) years. Extensions are usually given in three-year increments. Managers and executives are permitted to stay in the U.S. under an L-1A visa for a total period of seven (7) years. However, individuals coming to open up a new office in the U.S. (a start up) will only be granted a one (1) year stay in the U.S. for the first application.

    L-1B visa: Skilled Workers

    What is an L-1B visa?

    The L-1B visa is only granted to skilled workers, i.e. employees with special knowledge in the product made or the service offered by the company.

    How long can you stay in the U.S. on L-1B visa?

    For specialized workers, the total duration of an L-1B visa is five (5) years.

    L-2 visa : Spouses and children under the age of twenty-one (21) of L visa holders

    Spouses and children of L-1 visa holders who wish to accompany the principal visa holder are eligible for L-2 dependent visas. They may apply for employment authorization while in the U.S.

    <= Return to US visas list

    Law offices of Vanessa Elmaleh & Associates

    Citizenship and Immigration Legal Services, Inc. ( « CILS, Inc. » )

    Miami Florida Office: 407 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139    |    Los Angeles California Office: 18455 Burbank Blvd, Suite 314, Los Angeles, CA 91356     |    San Francisco California Office: 1419 Broadway Alameda, San Francisco, CA 94510    |    Paris Office : 43 rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris, France

    Tel: (001) 305 538 0009 / 1 888 US VISA3 - Fax: (001) 305 534 8810