Multinational companies utilize the L-1A intracompany visa to transfer executives or managers outside of the country to the United States to either establish a new branch of the company or work at an existing branch. The L-1A applicant must have worked for the beneficiary company for at least one year within the three years prior to the application process. Most L-1A petitioners are permitted to stay in the United States for three years, with extensions allowing them to stay up to a maximum of seven years.
Eligibility for the L-1A Visa
Only full-time executive or manager-level employees are eligible to receive the L-1A visa. These are employees who supervise staff and oversee key functions of the business. They make important decisions that impact the company’s progress, establish organizational policies and procedures, and make decisions about hiring and termination.
Workers who perform primary tasks of the business are generally not considered managers or executives and therefore cannot apply for the L-1A visa. Those seeking to visit the United States for short-term or one-time training programs or conferences are also not eligible. Precise guidelines for what are considered executive or managerial roles are outlined in the L-1 program. Those who do not qualify for the L-1A visa may be granted another type of work visa.
Applying for the L-1A Visa
There are four steps to the L-1A application process that involve both the employee and the worker:
- Form-129 is completed and filing fees are paid
- A receipt for Form-129 is issued
- Form DS-160 is completed online
- The visa interview is scheduled and conducted
Employers seeking to open an office in the United States must show they have already secured the physical premises to house this location. The new location must be able to support a full-time executive or managerial position within at least one year upon approval of the petition. Employers and employees should consult their immigration lawyer in Philadelphia to better understand what they can expect from their visa interview.
Benefits of the L-1A Visa
The L-1A visa allows companies to establish or expand their presence in the United States under the direction of employees who are familiar with the corporate culture, mission, methods, and goals. The visa allows global companies to transfer employees within different offices, giving them valuable insight into how locations throughout the world operate. Because workers from smaller, lesser-known companies are less likely to be approved for the L-1A, they should consider working with an immigration law attorney prior to beginning the application process.
Workers receive many different benefits with the L-1A visa. The holder’s spouse and their dependents are also permitted to reside, work, and travel within the United States. Workers holding the L-1A visa can apply for permanent resident status without having to wait for a visa number once their green card has been approved. And professionally, L-1A holders can pursue their career goals and become an essential part of their company’s growth.
Immigration Lawyers in Philadelphia at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Guide Clients through the L-1A Visa Process
To learn more about the L-1A visa process, schedule a consultation with a qualified immigration lawyer in Philadelphia at Surin & Griffin, P.C. We work directly with foreign-born employees applying for or extending their stay on the L-1A visa so they can pursue their career goals. Based in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania and nationwide. To schedule your appointment, call 215-925-4435 or contact us online.