The requirements for an L-1 visa are relatively straightforward:The L-1 Visa is an important visa category to consider in evaluating the correct visa strategy for a foreign worker. L-1 visas were created to accomodate the needs of multinational companies and assist them in transferring executives, managers, or special knowledge workers in and out of the United States.
HILE SIMPLE ON THE SURFACE, A MULTIPLICITY OF INTERPRETATION PROBLEMS LURKS BEHIND EACH OF THE SIMPLE TERMS LISTED ABOVE. What is executive capacity? Does managing first line supervisors qualify as managerial capacity for L-1 visa purposes? What is “special knowledge” in the L-1 visa context? Are trips to the United States interruptive of the one-in-three years employment abroad for L-1 visa purposes? L-1 visas can be granted in various increments up to a total of seven years for managers and executives and five years for special knowledge workers.
The spouse and dependents of the L-1 visa holder can follow the principal alien and will be issued an L-2 visa and, in a relatively recent development, L-2 spouses have been given the option to request employment authorization while in the USA.
OMETIMES, L-1 visa and H1-B visas requirements can be coextensive and a particular candidate may qualify for more than one visa. This situation needs to be evaluated carefully. Since the number of years of maximum authorized stay, employment authorization options for spouses, and the possibility of obtaining an extension beyond the maximum period of stay vary depending on the visa classification, it is important to examine these issues in depth to establish the immigration strategy that best fit the client’s needs.
For the same reasons sometimes it may be worth it to consider a change of visa status while the employee is employed in the US in L-1 or H1-B or E-2 capacity. All these immigration issues are best addressed as soon as possible in the employment relationship and not left to rotten and arises as an afterthought when the immediate problem arise. It pays off to develop an ongoing, continuous relationship with a skilled immigration lawyer that can not only respond to the last minutes emergencies of your business but can guide you through the maze of immigration laws and regulations.