Area of Law: USA Travel and Immigration
Answer # 1044
Employee Transfer L-1 VisaRegion: Ontario Answer # 1044
Who can apply for an L visa?
Individuals who have been employed abroad in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity for at least one year within the past three years may be eligible to transfer to a qualifying USA entity.
The applicant must be transferred to the USA to work temporarily in a similar executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity. Executives are usually considered to be high-level employees who make major decisions for the company, without a great deal of oversight. Managers are employees who supervise others. They may also be individuals who manage the organization or a major sector of the organization (such as a department, function or component). Specialized knowledge usually refers to special knowledge related to the company’s services, product, techniques, management or a high level of expertise in the organization. The applicant’s qualifications should be included in the application. It is also important to include additional evidence of the applicant’s role, such as detailed job descriptions, and or organizational charts.
Examples of qualifying relationships between the USA entity and the entity abroad include parent, subsidiary, affiliate and branch. The qualifying relationship should be outlined in the company letter and evidenced through documentation such as incorporation documents, shareholder information and related ownership documents.
Under certain circumstances, a foreign company may be permitted to transfer a qualifying employee to the USA to open a new office. In these circumstances, it is important to include evidence of the new office space, such as photos and proof that the office will sustain an executive or managerial position within one year of approval. This can be outlined in a detailed business plan and related documentation.
Canadian citizens can apply for admission to the USA in L status at a pre-clearance unit or port of entry into the USA Applications can also be submitted to USCIS. If approved, applicants form countries requiring a visa will be required to apply for the L-1 visa at a consulate abroad.
How long are L visas valid?
Generally, L visas are granted for a maximum initial period of three years. Applications to open a new office are generally only approved for one year initially.
Two year renewals may be granted up to a limit of reaching a maximum stay of seven years for L-1A applicants (executives and managers). The maximum stay is five years for L-1B applicants (specialized knowledge employees).
Spouses and children of applicants
Spouses and children may be eligible to accompany the applicants to the US and remain in L-2 status for the duration of the visa. Spouses may also apply for permission to work in the USA.
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For legal advice and assistance with your USA work visa application, contact Bright Immigration Consultants .
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