Foreign nationals who would like to reside in the United States have many options to choose from, but not all fit within their specific situations. L visas are one of the most effective US visas for long-term stays, as L-1 visas allow foreign nationals to enter the United States for work for an extended period of time—up to seven years in some cases.
L-1 Visa Benefits
Those who come to the United States to live and work often face a significant issue: after spending so much time in the US, they have built a life and community where they live, and it can be challenging to leave. One of the benefits of an L visa is that it is a valid stepping stone to legal permanent residence, a green card.
In addition, an L visa holder’s spouse and family are automatically granted a similar visa, which reduces the stress associated with moving to the US for work. This family visa, called an L-2, allows a spouse to live, work, and attend school in the United States for the duration of the L-1 visa holder’s stay. In addition, any children may attend US schools as well.
Types Of L-1 Visas
These benefits alone make the L visa categories attractive options for many looking to move to the United States. Adding in the lengthy stay options of up to seven years, the L visa may be a good choice for many foreign nationals if they can qualify. In both L-1A and L-1B cases, an employer must petition on behalf of the employee to transfer that worker to the US.
L-1A visas are issued to executives and managers who are being transferred from a foreign company to a US branch or subsidiary of that company. The petition requires that proof of executive duties be provided and that the employee has worked for the company for at least one of the past three years.
L-1B visas are similar to L-1As but with a difference in employee knowledge; instead of being an executive, L-1B candidates must demonstrate specialized knowledge in their area of business. This can be challenging to prove, as specialized knowledge does not necessarily equate to an advanced educational degree.
Those who are selected for a visa will be required to attend an interview. Questions vary broadly, from discussions about the employee’s current role in a company to whether the employee has the authority to hire or fire people. What the interviewing officer asks will depend heavily on which visa the applicant is working toward.
Request A Consultation Today
Qualifying for an L visa can seem complicated because the rules for what qualifies as “proof” of executive and managerial positions or specialized knowledge are not entirely clear. The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge can guide you through creating a compelling and comprehensive petition that demonstrates all the required proof for your L-1A or L-1B visa. Reach out to discuss your situation by calling 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.