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The L-1 visa is available to individuals who are transferred to a U.S. Company after having worked at least one of the last three years at a foreign subsidiary, affiliate, branch, or parent company. The L-1A visa is available to employees who will work in a managerial or executive capacity. The L-1B visa is available to employees who will work in a position requiring "specialized knowledge." If you are seeking a work-authorized U.S. visa, but don't qualify for an L-1 visa, you should consider other visa alternatives, such as the H-1B, H-2B or TN visa.
The L-1A Visa
The L-1A Visa is typically granted for an initial period of three years. An L-1A visa holder may extend his or her status for a maximum period of seven years.
A Manager or Executive who has held managerial/executive positions both with the U.S. Company and the foreign affiliate, branch, subsidiary or parent is eligible to be sponsored for a Green Card without first being the beneficiary of an approved Labor Certification Application. An individual in this situation is on the "fast-track," since an employer can sponsor him and her without first having to test the labor market to determine if there are any qualified U.S. workers willing to fill the position that is offered to the L-1A worker.
The L-1B Visa
The L-1B Visa is typically granted for an initial period of three years. An L-1B visa holder may extend his or her status for a maximum period of five years.
In order to establish that the L-1B position requires "specialized knowledge," an L-1B employer must show that the position requires knowledge or experience that is not typically transferrable in a regular training interval.
Employers seeking to sponsor an L-1B employee for a Green Card must first file a Labor Certification on behalf of the employee. The Labor Certification tests the labor market to see whether there are any qualified U.S. workers willing to do the job that is offered to the L-1B employee.
Give yourself the tools you need to make the most informed decisions about applying for the L-1 visa: Find out how the process works, what timing considerations are involved, and what forms and supporting documents must be submitted. Click here to get all the information you need to successfully get your L-1A or L-1B visa.
The L-1 Visa e-kit contains: