L-1 visa is an intra company transfer visa. It is a permit to work for a company in the U.S. for employees who are transferred from the parent company of the employees’original country. L-1 visa is filed by the employees’ company, and needs to be approved by the USCIS. The requirements for L-1 visa are:
- It can be issued only to an L1-A (Executive, Manager) or to a person with L-1B (specialized knowledge worker).
- Individuals cannot apply for an L-1 visa. Your employer must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf for L-1 sponsorship.
- The person must have worked for at least one year within the past three years and you will be performing duties in the U.S. for the same employer or an affiliate.
- Maximum limit for L-1(A) visa is 7 years for executives, and managers. And 5 years for people with specialized skills L1(B).
- The L-1 petition must specify that both the U.S. and the parent company involved are qualified organizations.
- A letter from U.S. based company, justifying the need of the person.
The L-1A Visa is for Managers and Executives. A benefit of being on an L-1A visa is the ability to apply for a Green Card (Permanent Residence), without going through the process of Labor Certification, after only one year in L-1A status. The L-1B Visa is for key employees (accountants, computer programmers, etc.).