L-1 - INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE

L-1 visas may be granted to individuals who, within 3 years preceding his/her application for admission, were employed abroad continuously for one year by a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the U.S. petitioning company. The individual must seek to enter the U.S. temporarily in order to render his/her services to a branch of the same employer or a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge.

An individual may come to the U.S. to open or be employed in a new office. Generally, L-1 is initially approved for a period not to exceed one year, after which the petitioner may demonstrate that he/she is conducting business in a regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the U.S. and abroad.

The L-1 visa has two subcategories: L-1A for executives and managers, and L-1B for workers with specialized knowledge. L-1A status is valid for up to 7 years, L-1B for 5. After the expiration of the 7 or 5 years respectively, the foreign national can generally only qualify for L-1 status again by working abroad for at least 1 year for the parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch office of the U.S. company.

L-1A VISA

L-1A visas are for those who seek to enter the U.S. to render services in an executive or managerial capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations. Qualified employees entering the U.S. to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

L-1B VISA

L-1B visas are for those who seek to enter the U.S. to render services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations. Qualified employees entering the U.S. to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1B employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years.

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