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At Tanner Law Offices, LLC, we provide the legal information, answers and advice you need to reach your goals.

L visas

L visas are nonimmigrant visas which allow foreign companies, or United States companies with offices in foreign countries, to send foreign employees to the United States to work in, or to establish, their United States offices.  It is the responsibility of the employer to file a petition for an L-1 visa on behalf of their employee, and the employee will subsequently participate in an interview at the consulate or embassy abroad before being issued their visa, if successful.

L-1A visas allow a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.  L-1A visas also allow a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing a U.S. office.  To qualify for an L-1A visa, an employee must:

  1. Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately prior to their admission to the United States; and
  2. Be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

Qualified L-1A employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be granted a maximum initial stay of one year.  Once the office is established, all other qualified L-1A employees will be granted a maximum initial stay of three years.  For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

L-1B visas allow a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.  L-1B visas also allow a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one. To qualify for an L-1B visa, an employee must:

  1. Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately prior to their admission to the United States; and
  2. Be seeking to enter the United States to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

Qualified L-1B employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be granted a maximum initial stay of one year.  All other qualified L-1B employees will be granted a maximum initial stay of three years.  For all L-1B employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of five years.

For both L-1A and L-1B employees, it is possible to obtain derivative visas (L-2 visas) for their spouses and unmarried children under twenty-one (21) years of age.  Spouses may also apply for work authorization to work in the United States; if approved, there is no restriction on where they may work.

If you are interested in learning more about L-1 visas, please contact Tanner Law Offices at 717-731-8114 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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