If you plan to build your career by working in America, you need to secure an L1 Visa. This legal endorsement allows a holder to work and stay in the US. Plus, its benefit extends to the family members giving them the chance to accompany the holder.
However, this visa entails burdensome processes, as shown by the number of applicants who failed. So, many people become afraid of going through it and stay in their comforts zone.
For this reason, it is essential to know and review the qualifications and procedures on how to obtain an L1 Visa is. Hopefully, this guide may educate you further in this field.
What is an L1 Visa?
According to Ashoori Law, an L1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to workers sent by foreign companies to a US company. Thus, holders may stay and work in the US in that capacity, along with their spouses and their unmarried, underaged children may receive education from any US academic institution.
Specifically, the worker must be a manager or an executive, categorized as L1A when granted the visa. Likewise, the worker is someone with specialized knowledge, classified as an L1B Visa holder.
However, the burden of application and proof lies on the foreign company that is sending the worker. Hence, the law does not allow self-application for this type of non-immigrant visa.
Benefits of L1 Visa Holders
Upon approval, holders may enjoy several benefits like employment, residency, the possibility to stay in the US for good, no set wages, and family immigration.
To further explain, of course, they may work in the US but only to the sponsoring US company. So, they may not work for other companies or any extra job. Along with it, they may stay up to a maximum of seven years for L1A and five years for L1B, without extension.
However, holders may benefit from the dual intent provision. It means they may opt to reside in the US temporarily or work on applying for a green card to assume permanent residency.
Furthermore, the set wages policy does not apply to L1 Visa holders. Therefore, they may receive higher pays than the usual wage commensurate to their position. After all, these workers are either executives or persons with specialized knowledge.
Moreover, their spouses and children may qualify for dependent visas relative to the holder’s classification. It means that spouses may apply for work authorization, and children may receive education from any US school or university. However, children must be unmarried and still below 21-years old.
Indeed, these benefits are remarkable. Somehow, they compensate for the rigid processes applicants undergo.
How to Obtain an L1 Visa?
The description of an L1 visa is has given us clues on what criteria to satisfy to qualify for the application. Thus, the discussion below is a detailed discussion of such standards.
Foreign and US Company Relationships
As a primary rule, the US company, who would receive the foreign worker, must belong to any of the following categories: affiliate, a US-based branch, subsidiary, or parent company of the foreign company. These categories are bases to prove the qualifying relationship between the foreign and US company.
As an affiliate, the two companies are either subsidiaries of a parent company or controlled by the same organizations with equally distributed powers and control or global accounting consultancy companies.
However, the law defines a branch as belonging to the same company present in another location. Therefore, it could be that the headquarters are in a foreign country and the extension is in the US or vice versa.
Parent or Subsidiary Company
Ultimately, a parent company or subsidiary refers to which entity has more control. The former has beyond majority supervision than the latter. For example, the parent company could be in a foreign land while the subsidiary is in the US or vice versa.
Nonetheless, the US-based affiliate, branch, parent company, or subsidiary is the petitioner and the worker sent is the beneficiary. But the applicant is the foreign company and not the worker because it is not a self-application visa.
Classification of the Worker
The US immigration law imposes that foreign companies send full-time employees who hold executive or managerial positions or experts, classified as possessing specialized knowledge.
With Full-time Status
The employee assigned to work in the US must have been employed in the foreign company for a year or more during the last three years before the day of filing the visa application. In addition, such worker/s has full-time status, which means having 35 work-hours or more in a week.
Also, there should be no trips to the US within that year, whether for business or personal purposes. Otherwise, such occasions count as interruptions and legally disqualify for that rule of one-year continuous work. Satisfying this rule means that the US company did not hire a foreigner.
Besides, the Immigration Law prohibits US Companies from hiring foreigners if locals are available who possess similar qualifications.
With Executive or Managerial Capacities or Specialized Knowledge
In addition, the beneficiary must be holding either a managerial or executive position.
As defined, capacity refers to powers to supervise and control a department or subdivision of a company over its daily operations, including discretions on hiring and terminating employees.
Meanwhile, executive roles pertain to the overall management of the organization or one of its primary functions, including setting the directions and having a more blanket authority in decision-making.
Therefore, a manager or an executive is not someone who performs clerical or day-to-day routinary activities. So, the job description must support the position title to comply with this requirement.
Finally, workers who have superior intelligence or skills that are vital in the development and progress of the company belong to the classification of persons with specialized knowledge.
Indeed, getting an L1 visa appears to be difficult, regardless of the privileges the holder may benefit from. However, bear in mind that the sending company is responsible for providing all-out support in carrying out all the processes to ensure the granting of the visa.