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Bay Area L-1 Visa Immigration Attorney
If your company is planning to expand to the U.S. – or already has an office in the U.S. – bringing employees over from your headquarters or another overseas branch is a logical step. The L-1A work visa is available to executives or managers who have worked for your company for at least one year out of the past three years. They can also be employed at a subsidiary, parent company, or affiliate.
To be considered an executive for the purposes of an L-1A visa, the employee must have the authority to make decisions. Managers can manage professional employees, or can manage a department or function of the organization. Neither executives nor managers may be directly supervised by others.
If you have an employee who has knowledge of your organization’s products, research, management, or equipment that is not readily available in the U.S., then they may qualify for an L-1B visa. Like the L-1A applicant, the L-1B applicant must have worked for you for one of the previous three years. To establish that they have specialized knowledge of your company, you might include in your L-1B application documentation of the inhouse training that the person received and why it is not feasible to replicate that training for a U.S. employee. You must also prove that your employee won’t be supervised by a third-party company and will not be an independent contractor of another company.
New to the U.S.?
If your company is not yet established in the U.S., then you must demonstrate to the USCIS that you have a physical location and that the transferred employee has worked for you for at least one year out of the prior three years. If you’re filing for an L-1A visa, you need to show that your new office will be up and running with a manager or executive within a year of your petition being approved. If you’re filing for an L-1B visa, you have to prove that you have the wherewithal to pay the employee. The Bay Area immigration attorneys at Silver Law Firm can ensure that your application includes the necessary documentation – such as your business plan or financials – so that you’ll be greenlighted as a new U.S. employer.
Visa Time Periods
For established companies, an L-1 visa is good for three years. L-1A visa holders can apply for two two-year extensions, for a total seven years maximum. L-1B visa holders can receive incremental extensions up to a total of five years. For companies that are new to the U.S., an L-1 visa is good for one year.
The L-1 visa process is extremely complex. The immigration attorneys at Silver Law Firm can help ensure that the process goes smoothly, whether through helping you submit a blanket petition that paves the way for future employee transfers or through shepherding your first manager’s petition so that you can launch your company in the U.S.