L-1 for Multinational Company Employees

The L-1 classification is popular with multinational companies because it is designed for intra-company transferees - employees who work for companies operating both in the United States and abroad.

There are many advantages to the L-1 visa classification:

Employers must file applications for L-1 employees on Form I-129, Petition for Alien Worker and complete the "L" Supplement. Applications must be filed with the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over the place of intended employment. Extensions are filed also filed on Form I-129.

To qualify for an L-1 visa, an employee must
L-1A Managers and Executives

Managers and Executives are issued L-1A visas, which are valid for up to seven years. Unlike the H-1B visa for professional workers, current law does not permit L-1A visa holders to apply for an extension beyond the seven-year period.

To qualify as a manager, an employee must hold a position in which the employee primarily:
To qualify as an executive, an employee must hold a position in which the employee primarily
L-1B Specialized Knowledge Professionals

Specialized knowledge professionals are issued L1-B visas, which are valid for up to seven years. Unlike the H-1B visa for professional workers, current law does not permit L1-B visa holders to apply for an extension beyond the five-year period.

To qualify as a specialized knowledge professional, an employee must
Blanket L Visa Petition

Large companies that frequently bring many employees to the United States may want to file a blanket petition. An approved blanket petition means a company does not have to individually petition for each employee it needs to bring to the United States.

To qualify for a blanket petition, a company must meet the following requirements

A blanket petition is valid for three years but may be extended indefinitely. Blanket L-1 employees are admitted for the same time periods as individually petitioned for L-1 employees: executives and managers are admitted for seven years, and specialized knowledge professionals are admitted for five years.

New U.S. Office L-1 Petition

Special rules govern the transfer of an L-1 employee coming to the United States to start a new office. 

Generally, a new office petition must

New office petitions are approved for an initial period of only one year.

Extensions require the filing of a new Form I-129, Petition for Alien Worker, along with the "L" Supplement. 

To obtain an extension for a new office petition, a company must:

L-2 Status for Family members of L-1 Visa Holders: Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of L-1 visa holders are eligible to apply for L-2 status. It does not matter if the L-1 visa holder came to the United States under an individual or blanket petition.

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