An L-1A visa is used to allow an intra-company transfer of a qualified executive or manager within a multinational company. Essentially, an L-1A visa allows an employee of a multinational company to legally work for up to seven years in the United States for one of the company’s affiliated U.S. companies, or it allows the employee the opportunity to establish an office for the multinational company within the United States. In order for the employee to continue their seven-year legal stay in the United States, the company must continually operate as a multinational company for the duration of the employee’s seven-year transfer.
To receive classification as an executive or manager, the employee seeking to participate in the transfer must be employed in one of the following duties:
Additional requirements include:
A multinational company may be able to transfer as many employees as necessary to the United States affiliated company. There is no annual limitation on the number of L-1A employees that can be approved to transfer. Additionally, there are no specific wage requirements for the chosen L-1A employees. Thus meaning, while an employee may be transferred to a United States company, the company the transferee came from may still determine the wage the employee receives.
It is important for the transferee to understand that they will not be receiving a seven-year L-1A visa automatically. The visa is given out in increments. An employee that is transferred in order to establish a new office will only be allowed a maximum of an initial one-year visa. Any other employee will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. Whether an employee is sent to establish an office, or work with an already established office, each employee will have to request an extension to stay longer than their one or three-year visa allows. Requests for extensions will be granted in increments of up to two additional years. The increments will only be granted until the transferee has reached the maximum seven-year limit.
Moreover, the L-1A visa will also allow the transferee to be accompanied in the United States with his or her spouse and unmarried children who are under twenty-one years of age. These family members will have to seek an L-2 nonimmigrant classification visa. If approved, this visa will typically last the same period of stay as the employee. Additionally, spouses of the L-1A visa holder may also apply for work authorization.
If you are in the United States under an L-1A visa, or if you are trying to enter the United States under an L-1A visa, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. The New York immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have a long history of zealous, knowledgeable, and honest advocacy on behalf of immigrants. We can ensure that your visa stays up-to-date and that your entrance into the United States will go as smoothly as possible. To schedule your consultation, contact our qualified New York immigration lawyers today at (212) 267-2555 or fill out our contact form.