Salt Lake City Immigration Attorney Explains L-Visas
According to the Department of Homeland Security's 2011 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, there were a total of 788,187 L-category nonimmigrant employment visas issued in 2011. Out of these, 562,776 were for issued to the employees, and 225,411 were for the employees' spouses and children. The L-visa status is reserved for intracompany transferees, rather than being used to hire foreign nationals as new employees as is the case with the H-1B and many other types of work and employment visas. It is used for transferring existing employees from offices abroad to work at a branch, parent, affiliate or subsidiary of the current employer in the United States. This type of visa can also be used for employees who plan to come to the U.S. for the purpose of establishing a new office for the employer. To be eligible for an L-visa, the worker must have been employed with the current company for at least one continuous year out of the past three years. There are three types of L-visas:
L-1A Visa for Intracompany Transferee, Executive or Manager
Employees who may be eligible for the L-1A visa include people who hold executive positions for which they have the authority to make decisions of wide latitude and with little or no oversight. The L-1A is also available for managers who supervise and control the work of professional employees and who have authority over the organization or a significant segment thereof.
L-1B Visa for Intracompany Transferee with Specialized Knowledge
For purposes of the L-1B visa, specialized knowledge consists of knowledge of the employer's products, services, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests, or an advanced level of understanding or expertise in the employer's processes and procedures.
L-2 Visa for Spouse or Child of L-1 Visa Holder
The spouse and any children who are not married and are younger than 21 years of age may apply for the L-2 visa in order to accompany the primary visa holder to the United States. An L-2 visa allows the holder to remain in the country for the same period as the L-1 holder is permitted to stay. By filing a Form I-765, the spouse may receive employment authorization, in which case he or she may work anywhere without restrictions.
From L-Visa Holder to Permanent Resident in Salt Lake City
An L-visa is approved for an initial stay of up to three years, though it is only valid for one year in the case of employees coming to the U.S. for the purpose of establishing a new office. After this period, it may be extended up to a total of five years for the L-1B or seven years for the L-1A. The L visa is a dual-intent visa, meaning that the holder may use it as route to adjustment of status in order to obtain a green card and eventually pursue naturalization and citizenship. Whether you represent an employer needing to transfer employees from abroad or are an L-visa holder seeking employment authorization or adjustment of status, contact us at Keen Law Offices, LLC. Our Salt Lake City immigration attorneys have more than a decade of experience, and we look forward to guiding you through the complexities of the U.S. immigration legal system.