Do you work for a large company with locations worldwide and within the United States? If so, you may be eligible for an L visa. An L visa allows large companies to send their workers to locations within the United States for specific work opportunities. Not everyone qualifies for an L Visa though, so you need to go through the requirements first before talking to your employer about this type of visa.
Are you a manager, executive, or a worker with specialized knowledge or specialized skills? This is the first question you must answer before you can start to think seriously about the L visa.
The L-1A nonimmigrant visa allows U.S. employers to transfer executives or managers from one of the foreign offices to one of its offices located in the United States. This type of visa also enables foreign companies that do not currently have a U.S. office to send an executive or manger to the U.S.A. to help establish an American office or location. The employer must file the form I-129 “Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker” to start the process for sponsoring an employee on the L visa.
If you have a family and you want them to accompany you to the United States during your stay, luckily there is an L-2 visa that allows for this! The L-2 Visa will allow you to bring your spouse and your children under the age of 21 to live with you while you are working for your company and doing business in the United States.
The L visa process is lengthy and requires a great deal of documentation. You and your employer must be ready to show evidence of your specialized skills, your work experience with the company, and why your expertise is required for the business the company plans to do in the United States. This is not the type of visa application that you can do by yourself. It is highly recommended to seek professional legal advice to make sure your application is done correctly the first time, or you could face denials or receive an RFE seeking additional information and evidence.
The L-1A visa also has many options for extensions, in 2 year increments, up to 7 years total, so you can make sure that you have enough time to complete the work for your company. Also, spouses coming on L-2 visas may apply for work authorization and can gain legal employment during your stay in the United States. If you need help with L visa extensions, Form I-765, or Form I-539, we are here to help!