U.S. immigration policy can be very protective concerning even the temporary admission of foreign workers. This can pose a problem for companies that operate in multiple countries and need to maintain mobility in their high-level workforces. Thankfully, immigration authorities are aware of these issues, and in response, have instituted the L-1 visa program for intracompany transferee employees seeking to work in the United States. At Bretz & Coven, LLP our attorneys have assisted businesses in NYC and throughout the United States in understanding all the features this program has to offer and how they can take full advantage of it to increase their productivity and decrease their administrative burden.
Unlike other types of visas for temporary workers, L-1A and L-1B visas do not require the petitioner to obtain a Labor Certification or Labor Condition Application from the U.S. Department of Labor. As a second benefit, certain companies that have had offices in the United States for at least one year may qualify for blanket L-1 visa approval, reducing the time required for processing individual applications as long as they meet one of the following criteria:
The L-1 visa program is not available to all employees. Only executives and managers (L-1A) or employees with unique knowledge of the employer’s products or operations (L-1B) can qualify. In this way, the L-1 program cannot be used to circumvent U.S. Department of Labor requirements for rank-and-file workers. U.S. immigration authorities specifically cracked down on L-1B visas in recent years, especially in relation to employers who subcontract L-1B workers to other companies in the United States. To avoid this, U.S. immigration law nowadays stipulates that a third-party company cannot principally supervise L-1B workers.
L-1 visa authorizations are initially valid for three years (one year if the employee is opening a new office), but they are renewable for increments of two years for a maximum of seven years for L-1A holders and five years for L-1B holders. Immediate family members may enter and live in the United States under L-2 visas. Spouses living in the United States under L-2 visas may apply for authorization to work in the United States during their stays.
With a strong appreciation of the contributions foreign investment and commerce make to our economy, our attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP are proud to assist businesses in NYC and throughout the United States in managing intracompany transfers of foreign employees. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 212-267-2555 or online for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems. For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.