What is an L-visa for the United States?
The United States is an important hub of international business, and as a result many foreign companies have offices there. In some circumstances, these businesses may have to transfer workers from foreign offices to the United States offices. However, even if it is the same company doing the transfer they are required to obtain a work visa.
When expanding your business to the United States, or transferring to an office in the United States, the appropriate work visa is the L1 work visa. This visa is available for foreign employees who are being transferred to the United States and for business owners who are looking to expand to the United States.
Requirements for an L1 work visa in the United States
The company that the foreign worker is being transferred to must be related to the foreign company outside of the United States. For example, the United States office will need to be a branch, affiliate, subsidiary or joint venture partner of the foreign company.
Not just any employee can apply for an L1 visa. The applicant will have to be a manager, an executive or in a specialized knowledge position.
The employee cannot be a new employee, either. The employee will have to have been a full-time employee for at least a year, although this year of full-time work could be anytime within the last three years.
In addition, the company must be actively in business outside of the United States while the employee is working in the United States.
All kinds of foreign companies (and Canadian companies, too!) can apply for an L1 work visa, no matter what size they are. For assistance in applying for an L1 work visa, give our immigration law firm a call.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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