USA – L1 Visa - Nysa Global

USA – L1 Visa

The L1 visa benefits employers who want to establish an office in the US or already have one. As an employer, you can send your experienced senior-level employees to the US through the L1 visa in order to grow or expand your business there.
The L1 visa has two subcategories:

L1-A Visa

For Executives & Managers
An L1-A visa is a non-immigrant visa, that allows employers to transfer their employees of over one year in managerial or executive capacity to their US-based branch or affiliate office. Employers can also use an L1-A visa to send their employees to the United States to set up a new branch, affiliate or subsidiary in the US.
L1-A visa is also a low investment US work visa for business owners wishing to set up their branch or affiliate office in the US since they do not need to make a huge investment compared to the minimum of $500,000, as required under the EB-5 immigrant investor program.

L1-B Visa

For Professionals with Specialised Knowledge
Those with specialised knowledge of the company’s services, products, system, management, research and proprietary techniques are eligible for an L1-B visa. Professionals under this category are initially provided a work visa for three years, which can extend to five years.

*Nysa Global only offers immigration services and assistance for L1-A visas.

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Benefits of an L1-A Visa

As an L1-A US work visa holder, you can enjoy these benefits:

Live and work in the United States for extended time periods

Migrate to the US as an overseas employee or even as a business owner

Work in the US without a minimum salary requirement

Open your employer company’s new office, brand or subsidiary in the US

It does not require business owners to submit a Labour Condition Application (LCA)

Business owners can be issued any number of L1-A visas annually

The L1-A visa is eligible for premium processing

Apply for permanent residency

Get immigration benefits for your family members – for example, work allowance for the spouse or opportunity to study in the US for children

USA L1-A Visa Guidance

Everything you need to know about the L1-A visa, from eligibility factors, application process to timeline associated and much more.

  • Requirements
  • Visa Process
  • Visa Timeline
  • Cost Details
  • Visa Validity

Requirements for the L1-A Visa

To be issued an L1-A visa, the business owner must:
  1. Have a branch, parent company, subsidiary or affiliate (known as qualifying organisations) in the US.
  2. Be or will be, doing business in the US and one other country through a qualifying organisation for the duration of the L1-A visa holder’s stay in the US. The business need not be engaged in international trade.

L1-A Visa Process

  1. Submit filled DS-160 Form to the state department online along with two passport-sized photos of the transferee and passport copy.
  2. Fill Form I-129 on behalf of the employee at least 45 days (and not before 6 months) of the employment start date in the US.
  3. Provide documents supporting the lawfulness of the business in the US and the foreign country.
  4. Provide documents to prove candidate’s eligibility.
  5. Pay applicable fee.
  6. Submit a copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action showing approval of Form I-129 by the USCIS and apply for a visa at a US embassy.

L1-A Visa Timeline

  • 1 to 5 months
  • The premium processing program is for business owners who wish to expedite the L1 visa processing time by submitting Form I-907, Form I-129 and an additional fee.

Cost Details

To get an L1-A non-immigrant visa, business owners must pay:
  • A filing fee of $325.
  • An additional fee of $1,225 in case of a premium processing requirement.
  • $500 for fraud detection and prevention.
  • An additional fee of $2,250 for business owners who employ more than 50 workers in the US and have more than half the staff on L1 visa.
Note: The final cost will include Nysa’s processing fee and will change as per the case.

L1-A Visa Validity

L1-A visa holders who have entered the US to set up a branch or business are allowed an initial stay of 1 year and all others are allowed an initial stay of 3 years. The maximum duration is 7 years in increments of up to 2 years.

Documentation Required

  • All L1-A applicants
  • The US Company
  • Foreign Company
  • The Transferee

Basic documents required for all L1-A applicants:

  • Completed visa application Form DS-160
  • Form I-797 employee copy and Notice of Action by the employer
  • L supplement and a copy of Form DS-160

Documents required from the US company:

  • Stock certificates
  • Company description
  • Copy of business location lease
  • Proof of initial investment
  • Audited accounting reports
  • Employer's quarterly report Form 941 (if available)
  • Corporate income tax return Form 1120 (if available)
  • Commercial contracts, company letterhead, bank statements, invoices, etc.
  • Others (on case to case basis)

Documents required from the foreign company:

  • Article of incorporation
  • Business license
  • Past three years’ income tax filings
  • Audited accounting reports
  • Organisational chart, employee count, transferee’s position
  • Company introduction and letterhead
  • Proof of business transactions (contracts, bank statements, bills, LOC, etc.)
  • Others (on case to case basis)

Documents required from the transferee:

  • Diploma
  • Resume
  • Income tax records
  • Organisational charts that prove their place in the company
  • Letter of reference
  • Duty description
  • Employment verification letter from the foreign company
  • Appointment documents to verify the transfer
  • Documents to prove transferee's ability to conduct business at an executive position in the US
  • Others (on case to case basis)

Path to Permanent Residency

To go from L1 visa to Green Card, apply for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa through EB-1C visa program or EB-2, EB-3 or EB-5 visa programs.

EB-1C Visa Requirements

  • L1-A visa holder must be employed with the parent, sister, affiliate or subsidiary of the US employer for at least one year.
  • L1-A visa holder must be at an executive or managerial post.
  • L1-A visa holder must apply for EB-1C Green Card after two years of their entry in the US.
  • The foreign employer must make regular business transactions (product/service) with the United States and other countries.
  • The US employer must be established in the United States for over one year.

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FAQs

The visa office may deny the application if they believe that the petitioner or company’s branch or affiliate is not qualified.

With an L1 blanket visa approval, employees can apply for an L1 visa directly at the consulate without I-129 approval.

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