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Navigating the L1 Visa Process: Tips and Advice

All L1A Visa Executive or Manager employees, which includes business owners, or L1B Visa specialized knowledge employees must have been employed outside of the USA for one year in the last three years by a company that has common ownership with the (new or existing) US company they plan to work for under the L1 scheme.

Stringent documentation must be provided to show ownership and control of the overseas business and the US business and that the businesses are operational. Although for new US offices, the documentation requirements are lower for the US-based company. The documentation must be provided in duplicate for the USCIS unless it is a large company with blanket filing.


·        The overseas employment must have been for a consecutive period of at least one year in the last three years.

·        The overseas employment must have been in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge worker role to count towards L1 visa eligibility.

Those working abroad as specialized knowledge workers may be able to come to the United States as an L1A Manager or Executive, while those working previously abroad as a manager or executive can come as an L1B specialized knowledge worker.

You need to provide detailed documentation that the L1A executive's and manager's criteria are met – they must generally supervise other professional or managerial staff and/or direct and control the day-to-day operations of a significant function, unit, or subdivision of the overseas employer.

It can be even more difficult coming under the L1B specialized knowledge worker visa criteria. Under the L1B visa, you need to be familiar with the employer's specific products, procedures, or methods to qualify for this visa.

L1 visa required documents

Offer Letters, ID Cards, Business Hierarchy, Proof of Salary, Tax Returns, Employee specialized knowledge proofs, Job Responsibilities & many other documents are needed from the foreign company & US employer.

L1 Visa Validity

·        An L1A status is valid for up to seven years

·        An L1B status is valid for five years.

Family & Dependants

Family members, including spouses and dependent children, of L1 visa holders, can come to the US on an L2 dependent visa. L2 spouses must be legally married to the L1 visa holder, and L2 children must be unmarried and under age 21. L2 visa duration is for the same period of time as the spouse’s L1 visa.


Question: What is an L1 visa and who is eligible for it?

Answer: An L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows multinational companies to transfer their employees to the United States. To be eligible, employees must have worked for the company abroad for at least one year.

Question: Can L1 visa holders bring their dependents with them?

Answer: Yes, L1 visa holders can bring their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States on an L2 dependent visa. L2 visa holders are also allowed to work in the U.S. after obtaining proper work authorization.

Question: What is the maximum duration of stay on an L1 visa?

Answer: For L1A visa holders, the initial period of stay is up to 3 years, with a maximum extension of 7 years. L1B visa holders have an initial period of stay of up to 3 years, with a maximum extension of 5 years.

Question:  Is it possible to change employers while on an L1 visa?

Answer: No, L1 visa holders cannot change employers as the visa is specific to the sponsoring company. However, L1A visa holders have the option to file for an employment-based immigrant visa (Green Card) while remaining with the same employer.

Question: Can L1 visa holders apply for permanent residency in the U.S.?

Answer: Yes, L1 visa holders can apply for permanent residency (Green Card) through their employer by meeting the requirements of the employment-based immigrant visa category. This process involves obtaining a labour certification and complying with other immigration regulations.

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