International Business Law Advisor Insights on International Litigation & Transactions

The U.S. L1 Visa is the Best Choice for International Business Executives.

Posted in Business Transactions, immigration, International Investments, international law, Uncategorized

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 I received a call last week from a gentlemen with an established business in Country X who sought my advise for obtaining an L1 intracompany visa to work in the U.S.

It was clear from my conversation with him that he already knew how the L1 Visa could benefit his international business.
In today’s fast-paced, global economy there is no better vehicle for allowing companies to transfer key employees to the United States than the L1 Visa.

The L-1 visa serves as an essential vehicle for worldwide companies to transfer managers, executives, and employees with specialized knowledge of the company and its operations for temporary assignments in the United States.

The L-1 visa provides companies with the flexibility to better utilize existing human resources in order to maintain a competitive advantage  for up to seven years.

The employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of your US company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.

Companies operating in the US can apply to the relevant USCIS service center for an L1 visa to transfer someone to the US from their overseas operations.

Employees in this category will, initially, be granted an L-1 visa for up to three years.

There are two types of employees who may be sponsored for USA L1 visas:

  • L1A

An international manager or executive may obtain an L-1A visa if he/she is coming to the United States to manage their organization or a major component or function of their organization.

The legal definition of management and executive roles for these purposes is quite strict, and a detailed description of the duties attached to the position will be required.

In particular, the executive or manager should have supervisory responsibility for professional staff and/or for a key function, department or subdivision of the employer.

Such personnel are issued an L1A visa, initially for a three year period extendible in two year increments to a maximum of seven years.

  • L1B

A foreign national may obtain an L-1B visa for a maximum of five years if he/she has specialized knowledge of their company, its product or service(s) and their application in international markets, or if the employee has an advanced level of knowledge of their employer’s processes and procedures. This category covers those with knowledge of the company’s products/services, research, systems, proprietary techniques, management, or procedures. Staff in this category are issued an L1B visa, initially for three years extendible to a maximum of five years.

On completing the maximum allowable period in L-1 status, the employee must be employed outside the United States for a minimum of one year before a new application is made for L or H status.

If you are a foreign business owner or employee looking to expand your business into the U.S., applying for an L1 Visa may be your fastest gateway to the U.S.

Required Documents

An international business person wishing to obtain an L1 Visa must provide the following documents:

Articles of Incorporation of the Foreign Company
Most recent Balance Statement and Profit and Loss.
Organizational chart which indicates the position s and names of the persons in each position , and the percentage of time divided during the day breaki ng down the managerial and executive duties
Most recent bank accounts, indicating deposits, and withdrawals for the past two years, including the names and titles of signatories on the bank account.
Listing in the yellow pages, brochures, marketing, newspaper articles or local articles.
Copy of the current lease or purchase documents of the premises of the business.
Proof of payment of any government taxes during the last two years.
Invoices and Contracts for Services.
List of employees, including the positions of the employees.
Copies of service invoices for at least 3 months.
Photographs of the interior and exterior of the business.
Salary during the past 12 months of the beneficiary
Salaries of all of the employees of the company
Documents related to the US Entity for the L-1
Articles oflncorporation or Formation of the Company
Perspective Organizational Chart indicating positions including university degrees of the employees and the percentage of time in each day for each of the managerial responsibilities.
Bank Statements of the U.S. Company, authorized signatures of each bank account, and authorized signatatories of each bank, and a letter of reference from each bank account
Copy of the current lease or purchase document for the physical premises of the business.
Copies of commercial licenses.
Internal and external photographs showing the name of the business.
Detailed business plan with projections from one to five years.
Payroll of all employees for the past two years.

Tax records for the past two years.