The United States L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad operations for up to seven years. The US and non-US employers must be related in one of four ways; parent and subsidiary, branch and headquarters, sister companies owned by a mutual parent or ‘affiliates’ owned by the same or people in approximately the same percentages.
The company abroad of the company in the U.S. must have a majority stock holding position in the domestic company or vice versa, or a 3rd company must have a majority interest in both companies. In a larger company, less than a majority ownership may qualify if control of the affiliate company is established. Control may be proven by a common name, sharing and exchange of company personnel, cross directorships, or sharing of technical, financial and joint research.
If the U.S. Company has only been formed for less than one year, a lease must be submitted to indicate physical premises in the U.S. Both the U.S. Company and the foreign company must be engaged actively in business.
There are two types of L-1 procedures:
- Regular L-1 visas, which must be applied for and approved for each individual by the USCIS; and
- Blanket L-1 visas, which are available to employers that meet certain criteria.
For a regular L-1 visa, the company must file a petition with the USCIS and each petition is evaluated on its own merits.
If you would like to apply for an L-1 visa or if you have any questions in this regard, please feel free to contact us at +1 (212) 245-7070 or e-mail us at [email protected].