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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about L-1 Visa Application or Extension

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Q: What is the L-1 visa?

A: U.S. Congress created the L-1 nonimmigrant visa category in 1970 primarily to assist multinational companies that experienced difficulties, in bringing to the United States critical personnel temporarily from abroad. To be eligible for an L-1 visa, a foreign national normally must have been employed by the foreign company continuously for at least one year during the preceding three years in a managerial or executive position or in a position where he/she gained specialized knowledge. The individual must be coming to the United States to provide services to the same employer or a branch office, subsidiary or affiliate. For this reason L-1 visa holders are known as intracompany transferees. Either the employing entity abroad or the prospective U.S. employer may be the petitioner, assuming each is otherwise qualified. 

For many years, the L-1 visa has been a vital tool both for U.S. companies with an international presence and for international firms expanding into the United States. Although not a heavily used visa in terms of numbers, the L-1 visa has done much to help U.S. companies be competitive. It also facilitates foreign investment in the United States. In fact, it is the principal immigration vehicle U.S. companies use to bring in qualified personnel temporarily from their operations abroad to serve as managers or executives, or to apply certain specialized knowledge. 

Also, it is the principal nonimmigrant visa category that foreign companies use to build U.S. factories, open offices, and hire significant numbers of U.S. workers to staff their U.S. operations. Unless U.S. and foreign companies are able to bring key personnel to their American operations, U.S. companies will be put at a competitive disadvantage and foreign companies will be unlikely to establish or expand their presence in U.S.

Q. What is the difference between L-1A visa and L-1B visa?

A: Executives and managers enter the United States on an L-1A visa. Employees with specialized knowledge enter the United States on an L-1B visa. To qualify for specialized knowledge, the employee must possess special knowledge of the petitioning organization's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge in the organization's processes and procedures. 

Spouses and children of principal L-1 visa holders enter on L2 visas. An employee brought in on an L-1A visa in a managerial or executive capacity may work in the United States for up to seven years. L-1B beneficiaries may work in the United States for up to five years. 

Q: What are the general requirements for an L-1 visa application?

A: To qualify for the L-1 visa, the foreign national must have worked outside of the United States for a qualifying employer for at least one year within the three years prior to transferring to the United States. The time working in the United States will not count toward the one year of required employment.

Since the L-1 program's creation, U.S. Congress has consistently responded to the needs of the business community by facilitating the process by which multinational companies import key personnel via the L-1 visa. Originally, the L-1 beneficiary had to have worked for the company abroad during the year immediately before filing the L-1 petition. A later amendment broadened the qualifying period to one year during the prior three years, thus permitting a former employee to rejoin the multinational company in the United States.

An L-1 is an alien coming temporarily to perform services in a managerial or executive capacity, for the same corporation or firm, or for the branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the employer which employed him or her abroad, in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity. The employment abroad must have been as an executive or manager for an L-1A visa, or require specialized knowledge about the company's products, procedures or methods for the L-1B visa. The foreign citizen must be transferred to work for the same employer in the United States, or a parent, subsidiary or affiliate company. 

Q: What are the important requirements for an L-1 visa application?

A: To reply an L-1A visa or L-1B visa, you should know what are the USCIS requirements for L1 visa petition. Most L-1A petitions have difficulty on the requirement of L-1A regulation: a person who has worked abroad for one continuous year within the preceding three years in an executive or managerial capacity for a qualifying, related business entity.

The first requirement of L1 is that the intra-company transferee must have been employed in a qualifying company abroad in a managerial, executive capacity, or as a person with specialized knowledge, for at least one year within the past three years. The regulatory authority for the L1 visa is found in 8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(1). These regulations state that an alien who is eligible to receive an L1 intra-company transfer visa must meet the statutory requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Acts, which define a qualified alien as: 

“a person who has worked abroad for one continuous year within the preceding three years in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity for a qualifying, related business entity and who is being transferred temporarily to work in the United States to work in a executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity for a qualifying related business entity.”

Three positions, a manager, an executive, and a person with specialized knowledge, are considered employable by the USCIS, on the condition that the U.S. employer, which functions as the petitioner, meet the obligations of a qualifying organization. By working for a qualifying organization abroad for an entire year during the preceding three years, an alien can apply for a L1 intra-company transfer visa.

Q: What is the Specialized Knowledge required by USCIS regulation for L-1B visa?

A: The issue for L-1B visa application or extension is whether the petitioner has established that the beneficiary's position in the United States will involve specialized knowledge as required by the regulation. Section 214(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration Act provides the following:

“For purposes of section 101(a)(15)(L), an alien is considered to be serving in a capacity involving specialized knowledge with respect to a company, if the alien has special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets, or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.”

Furthermore, the regulation defined specialized knowledge as:

“Special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge, or expertise in the organization's processes or procedures.”

The petitioners requesting L-1B classification for an employee are usually faced with having to establish that the beneficiary possesses “specialized knowledge”, and the employee is coming to the United States to continue to render services requiring that specialized knowledge. A beneficiary is considered to be serving in a capacity involving specialized knowledge if he or she has “a special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets, or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.

Q: If I get L-1A visa approval, can I also apply for U.S. Green Card later? 

A: The L-1A visa is one of the most popular vehicles by which the owners of foreign businesses can obtain permanent status in the United States by expanding operations to the United States. The process is carried out in three steps:

  • First, the initial L-1A visa is issued for a period of one year to set up operations of the new U.S. branch;

  • Second, the L-1A visa must be renewed based in part on the first-year record of the U.S. branch;

  • Third, once renewed, for an additional 2 years, the L-1A visa holder may apply for permanent residency with the support of the U.S. branch.

Q: Why is the L visa important for some U.S. companies?

A: The L-1 visa for intracompany transferees has been a vital tool both for U.S. companies with an international presence and for international firms expanding into the United States. The L-1 visa enables U.S. companies to bring in qualified personnel temporarily from their operations abroad to serve as managers or executives or to apply certain specialized knowledge, thereby allowing U.S. companies to retain or develop new operations within the United States while expanding into foreign markets and promoting U.S. products. 

This, in turn, translates into more jobs for American workers. The L-1 visa also helps foster foreign investment in the U.S. It is the principal immigration vehicle foreign companies use to build U.S. factories, open offices, and hire significant numbers of U.S. workers to staff their U.S. operations. Also, the L-1 visa category is an essential part of this country's arsenal to create and keep jobs in the United States. For many years, the L-1 visa has been a vital tool for both U.S. companies with an international presence and international firms expanding into the United States. 

The L-1 visa has allowed U.S. and foreign companies to build U.S. factories, open offices, create new jobs in the United States and hire significant numbers of U.S. workers to fill these jobs. Properly administered, the L-1 visa category can offset concerns about globalization by keeping and adding jobs in U.S.

Q: What is the differences between H-1B visa and L-1 visa?

A: There are some major differences between the H-1B visa and the L-1 visa. The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire highly educated foreign professionals on a temporary basis who provide specialized or unique skills/expertise and relieve temporary U.S. worker shortages.   

The L-1 visa programs are designed for different purposes, and the requirements of each program reflect these differences. In most cases, the foreign national must have worked for the multinational firm abroad for a full year before being eligible for the L visa category. Multinational employers use the L-1 visa to transfer to this country their own foreign national executives or managers or employees who possess specialized or advanced knowledge. To be eligible for L-1 visa, you must be hired by a multinational foreign company at least one year during the last three years.

Q. How large is the L visa program?

A: L-1 visa holders make up only a small fraction of the U.S. workforce. In its peak year 2001, L-1 visa issuance accounted for 59,384 visas, less than 1% of the total number of visas issued by the U.S. State Department. In 2003, L-1 visas accounted for about 57,000 visas.

Only a portion of those visas were L-1Bs, intracompany transferees that entered the U.S. to perform work using their specialized knowledge.

Q. What is specialized knowledge for L-1B?

A: An L-1B visa is an alien coming temporarily to perform services which entail specialized knowledge, for the same corporation or firm, or for the branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the employer which employed him or her abroad for one continuous year.

When first enacted in 1970, the statute did not define “specialized knowledge.” Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations in the 1980s interpreted the term narrowly, requiring the employee to have proprietary knowledge of the company's product or services. The INS also claimed that only a few employees in the company could have such knowledge. In 1990, U.S. Congress defined specialized knowledge simply as “special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.”

Thus, the specialized knowledge is the knowledge of the employer's product or its application in international markets or an advanced level of the knowledge of the employer's processes and procedures. 

A previous memorandum highlights USCIS position on what constitutes specialized knowledge: the alien should possess a type of specialized or advanced knowledge that is different from that generally found in the particular industry. The knowledge needs not be proprietary or unique. Where the alien has specialized knowledge of the company or product, the knowledge must be noteworthy or uncommon. Where the alien has knowledge of company processes or procedures, the knowledge must be advanced.”

Q. Why not codify a list of skills that constitute specialized knowledge?  

A: The law is clear that specialized knowledge is not the general knowledge of employees. The law does not include a list of what constitutes and what does not constitute specialized knowledge, because no laws can keep up with the speed of innovation which is reflected in the changing knowledge base that constitutes “specialized knowledge” and businesses needs. 

Any attempt to do so would both not reflect the marketplace and stifle the U.S.'s competitiveness in the global economy. Instead, this visa program chose to burden U.S. companies with the task of proving that each L-1B visa applicant possesses specialized knowledge.  

Q: Why does the L visa not require a labor certification?

A: When properly issued, L-1 intracompany transferees do not constitute new hires that could displace U.S. workers. Rather, the L-1 employee is being transferred temporarily within the company to add value or provide expertise based on his or her international experience with the company. Moreover, speed and efficiency are necessary components of the L visa program.

Inserting a labor certification requirement into the process would lead to significant visa processing delays and would subject companies to bureaucratic requirements before they could gain access to their own employees. A labor certification process would not protect U.S. workers, but it would hurt the arrival of foreign workers that could create new jobs.

Q: Why does the concept of a numerical cap not apply to L visas?

A: In current law, the L visa is not only a relatively efficient visa but it is also an uncapped visa category. The absence of such an artificial restriction has allowed international companies to transfer their key employees, when a need arises without the long delays that are often associated with burdensome petitions and caps. 

If a cap were placed on the L-1 program, the result would be two-fold. First, uncertainty about whether a company would be able to transfer its key personnel would deter foreign companies from investing in the U.S. and developing U.S. based operations. Second, U.S. based operations that use the L-1 program might decide to move their operations overseas, if they were not certain that they could access their key managers, executives and employees with specialized knowledge.

Q: Why is there no prevailing wage requirement for the L visa program?

A: The prevailing wage concept, identifying an average wage for similarly situated occupations in a specific geographic location, is incompatible with the purposes behind the L-1 visa category, in which visa holders are company employees who are transferred within their own company's corporate structure. Since many of the L-1 intracompany transferees do not intend to remain in the U.S. permanently, they often prefer to remain compensated through the overseas company.

The alternative requiring L-1 employees to be paid by the U.S. based operations is undesirable. A disruption in their home country compensation may have negative consequences on their social benefits and retirement packages. In many cases, the particular foreign state's social welfare laws make these benefits more valuable than the benefits offered by U.S. employers. This salary is paid in foreign currency and established by the cost of living and established wage rates there.

Layering prevailing wage requirements on top of this existing structure would force the Labor Department or the immigration agency to become expert in foreign currency fluctuation/conversion and comparative international costs of living.

Q: Has there been abuse in the L visa category?

A: According to reports, some L visas were granted under which the L-1B visa holder was assigned to a third party site, was not using specialized knowledge, and was not under the control of the petitioning employer. These visas appear to have been erroneously granted, since using an L-1B visa for in such a manner is clearly forbidden under both current law and State Department guidance. The U.S. State Department already has taken steps to close this loophole.

The State Department's investigative teams focus on catching visa fraud. By enforcing the laws and guidance and taking proper precautions to make sure only legitimate L visas are issued, the benefits of the L visa can be enjoyed without negative consequences.

Q. What are the L visa petition requirements for an U.S. employer or foreign employer?

A: An U.S. employer or foreign employer may file the petition, but a foreign employer must have a legal business entity in the U.S. The petition must be filed with:

1) evidence of the qualifying relationship between the U.S. and foreign employer based on ownership and control, such as an annual report, articles of incorporation, financial statements or copies of stock certificates;

2) a letter from the alien's foreign qualifying employer detailing his/her dates of employment, job duties, qualifications and salary, demonstrating that the alien worked for the employer for at least one continuous year in the three-year period preceding the filing of the petition in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity; and

3) a description of the proposed job duties and qualifications and evidence that the proposed employment is in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity.

Q. What are the L visa petition requirements if the alien is coming to the U.S. to open a new office?

A: If the alien is coming to the U.S. to open a new office, the petition should include the following documents:

1) already has sufficient premises to house the new office;

2) has or will have the qualifying relationship to the foreign employer;

3) has the financial ability to pay the alien and to begin doing business in the U.S., including evidence about the size of the U.S. investment, the organizational structure of both firms.

Q. What is the blanket L visa petition?

A: An L visa blanket petition simplifies the process of later filing for individual L-1A workers and L-1B workers who are specialized knowledge professionals.

A blanket L petition must be filed by a U.S. employer who will be the single representative between USCIS and the qualifying organizations. A company that wishes to establish itself, its parent, its subsidiaries, and/or its affiliates as qualifying organizations under the blanket L program must first file a blanket L petition with an USCIS Service Center. This blanket petition must identify a petitioner in whose name the petition is being filed. The petitioner must be a member of the company's corporate family, but it needs not be the parent or the principal office.

Q. What are the requirements for blanket L petitioners?

A: Under USCIS regulations, a blanket L petitioner must meet the following four conditions:

  • The petitioner and each of the entities included in the blanket L petition are engaged in commercial trade or services;

  • The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more; 

  • The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and 

  • The petitioner and the other qualifying organizations have done at least one of the following: (a) obtained approval of petitions for at least 10 L managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals during the previous 12 months; (b) have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; (c) have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees. 

Q. What are the critics of L-1 visa program by some labor organizations?

A: The L-1 visa program has come under scrutiny, primarily because of the economy and the continuing shift toward outsourcing and off-shoring work. Critics of the program allege that the L-1 visa is being used to import low-cost foreign contract workers to replace U.S. workers.

Current immigration law prohibits using an L-1 visa to send a foreign national to the United States simply as contract labor to work alongside the workforce of a third party, under the control of the third party, performing the same kind of work done by the third entity's employees and displacing U.S. employees.

According to law and guidance issued by the State Department, an L-1 visa holder can visit a third party site only when the petitioning organization controls the time, place, and content of the work assignment. In the case of an L-1B visa, if the visa holder possesses specialized knowledge, for example, if an international company has developed proprietary computer software that will improve a U.S. company's production capabilities, it is permissible for an L-1B visa holder to install the software at the third party client site and train the client's workforce in its specialized uses.

Q. What is the relationship between L-1 visas and foreign trade agreements?

A: Some international free trade agreements (FTAs) contain immigration provisions. Members of Congress have complained about immigration provisions being included in FTAs, arguing that Congress should decide immigration policy after due deliberation and debate, not have it imposed unilaterally by executive agreements. Nevertheless, several existing FTAs already contain immigration provisions, any changes to immigration law should not violate those bilateral or multilateral agreements.

For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the United States signed with Canada and Mexico, has an immigration provision concerning intracompany transferees. NAFTA requires the three signatory countries to grant temporary entry to business persons employed by a foreign enterprise who seek to render services to that enterprise or its affiliate or subsidiary, in a capacity that is managerial, executive or that involves special knowledge.

Temporary entrants must have worked continuously for one year out of the past three in a foreign country for the same enterprise that they are seeking to serve here in the United States.

Q. What are the major differences between the H-1B visa and the L-1 visa? is it possible for me to change from current H-1B visa to L-1 visa after reaching 6-year limit of H-1B visa? 

A: There are some major differences between the H-1B visa and the L-1 visa. The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire highly educated foreign professionals on a temporary basis who provide specialized or unique skills/expertise and relieve temporary U.S. worker shortages. 

In contrast, multinational employers use the L-1 visa to transfer to this country their own foreign national executives or managers or employees who possess specialized or advanced knowledge. To be eligible for L-1 visa, you must be hired by a multinational foreign company at least one year during the last three years.

Q. I have a J-1 visa right now, with 2-year home country service requirement. A company in my home country may be able to apply for L-1 visa for me to work in U.S. What are the general requirements for an L-1 visa application?

A: The L-1 visa allows foreign nationals working abroad for a multinational company to be transferred to work in the United States. To qualify for the L-1 visa, the foreign national must have worked outside of the United States for a qualifying employer for at least one year within the three years prior to transferring to the United States. The time working in the United States will not count toward the one year of required employment. 

The employment abroad must have been as an executive or manager for an L-1A visa, or require specialized knowledge about the company's products, procedures or methods for the L-1B visa. The foreign citizen must be transferred to work for the same employer in the United States, or a parent, subsidiary or affiliate company. 

Q. I am in a B-1 visa now, a US company wants to hire me and apply for a L-1B status for me as a specialized knowledge professional with an approved blanket L visa petition. Please let me know more about the blanket L visa petition.  

A: An L visa blanket petition simplifies the process of filing for individual L-1B workers who are specialized knowledge professionals who possess specialized knowledge employed in positions, which require the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge.

A blanket L petition must be filed by a U.S. employer who will be the single representative between USCIS and the qualifying organizations. A company that wishes to establish itself as qualifying organizations under the blanket L program must first file a blanket L petition with an USCIS Service Center. This blanket petition must identify a petitioner in whose name the petition is being filed. The petitioner must be a member of the company's corporate family, but it need not be the parent or the principal office.

Q: What are the challenges for L-1A visa / L-1B visa application and extension?

A: Obtaining approvals for L-1A/ L-1B applications have become much harder in recent years. The alien employee must have also worked in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity for the foreign entity for at least one year in the past three years, and is being sponsored to work in the same capacity for the U.S. entity. Most of the issues that we see in L-1 Request For Evidence (RFE) challenge whether the L-1 employee will be working in a managerial, executive, or specialized capacity.

Q: What are the major challenges for L-1A visa extension?

A: It would not be an exaggeration to state that the USCIS often approves the initial L-1A visa on a vision -- supported by a well drafted business plan and a convincing amount of money in the bank. However, if getting ones foot in the door seems easy, renewal of the visa frequently turns out to be a nightmare after the issue of Request For Evidence (RFE) from a USCIS Service Center, for the applicant who has uprooted hearth and home with the intention of permanently relocating to the United States.

Based on cases published by the USCIS' Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), the reasons for most of the denied L-1A visa application or extension were virtually identical:

  • The petitioner did not establish that the beneficiary will be employed in a primarily managerial or executive capacity;

  • The petitioner did not employ adequate or sufficient personnel;

  • The petitioner did not establish physical offices;

Q: What should I know for the Request For Evidence (RFE) of an L-1 visa application?

A: After the USCIS Form I-129 - Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker submission, it is not very rare that the petitioner receives a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice from an USCIS Service Center for your L-1A / L-1B visa application or extension. In some occasional situations, a few petitioners may receive a letter of Intent to Deny (ITD). The possibility that an L1 visa application may get RFE changes from one USCIS Service Center to another USCIS Service Center.

Generally, RFE will ask the petitioner to submit specific supplement materials, such as evidence to show the U.S. company will grow to a size to support a managerial position, or submit evidence for the duties of general managerial functions, or submit probative evidence verifying that the beneficiary's specialized knowledge is uncommon and noteworthy. For the RFEs asking for particular evidence or supporting materials, sometimes it is difficult for a petitioner to provide the exact required documents.

Q: For Request For Evidence (RFE) of an L-1A visa or L-1B visa application or extension, what are the general RFE requests for the beneficiary?

A: For many L1 RFE requests, USCIS wants to make sure the beneficiary can meet the basic requirements for obtaining L1 visa:

  • The employee must have worked abroad for the overseas company for continuous period of one year during the preceding three years;

  • The employee must have been employed abroad in an executive or managerial position (L-1A), or a position involving specialized knowledge (L-1B).

  • The employee must be coming to the U.S. company to fill one of these capacities - Executive, Managerial, or Specialized Knowledge;

  • The employee must be qualified for the position by virtue of his or her prior education and experience;

  • The L1 visa holder must intend to depart the United States upon completion of his or her authorized stay. 

Q: For Request For Evidence (RFE) of an L-1A visa or L-1B visa application or extension, what are the general RFE requests for the employer?

A: In many RFE requests, USCIS also wants to make sure the petitioner can meet the basic requirements for sponsoring the L1 visa:

  • The company at which the employee fulfilled the work requirements must be related to the U.S. company in a specific manner, such as parent/subsidiary, sister companies with common parent;

  • The company must be a qualifying organization - one that is doing business in the United States and one other country throughout the entire period of transfer;

  • The prospective U.S. employer has been doing business for at least one year;

  • The company has an office in the United States, as well as in the home country of the petitioner.

Q: For RFE of L-1A visa application or extension, what kind of evidence are requested in the RFE?

A: The additional evidence requested in the RFE notice of L-1A visa application or extension often includes the following categories:

  • The beneficiary's duties of as an executive or manager in entities inside and outside the United States;

  • Company structure and organizational chart for entities inside and outside the United States;

  • The beneficiary's subordinates information;

  • The beneficiary's employment evidence;

  • Additional evidence for opening a new office/business in United States;

  • Evidence that establishes the financial status of the U.S. organization.

Q: For RFE of L-1B visa application or extension, what kind of evidence are requested in the RFE?

A: The additional evidence requested in the RFE notice of L-1B visa application or extension often includes the following categories:

  • The beneficiary's specialized knowledge;

  • Evidence to show the scope and duties of the position held by the beneficiary in a qualifying capacity;

  • The beneficiary's one year employment with L1 visa sponsor outside the United States;

  • The beneficiary's job description, the percentage of time to be spent on each duty, level of responsibility;

  • Beneficiary's training or experience;

  • Employer's Information.

Q: After my employer submitted my L-1B visa renewal application, we got an Request For Evidence (RFE) from USCIS Vermont Service Center asking for my Specialized Knowledge. What should I know before we reply the RFE?

A: The USCIS regulations elaborate on the definition of Specialized Knowledge by including knowledge of the petitioner's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets. According to a USCIS Memorandum, specialized knowledge must be ''different from that generally found in the particular industry'' and ''need not be proprietary or unique, but it must be different or uncommon,” and held at an “advanced” level. There is also no need to show a labor shortage for this particular skill in the U.S.

To serve in a specialized knowledge capacity, the foreign national's knowledge must be different from or surpass the ordinary or usual knowledge of an employee in the particular field, and must have been gained through significant prior experience with the petitioning organization. A specialized knowledge employee must have an advanced level of expertise in his or her organization's processes and procedures or special knowledge of the organization which is not readily available in the United States labor market. 

When drafting a response to an RFE questioning whether a beneficiary will be employed in a specialized knowledge capacity, the practitioner must clarify that the knowledge possessed was gained within the employment of the foreign entity, not on the employer's client site.

Q: I will soon work in U.S. with an L-1 visa. I have a few questions: can I work for other employer at the same time working for the L-1 visa sponsor? can I work for the L-1 visa sponsor part-time? and can my spouse get the work permit to work in U.S.?

A: The L-1 visa holder should only work for the U.S. employer which is the L-1 visa sponsor. The L-1 visa employer should be a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate that employed the L-1 visa holder outside the U.S. Generally, the L-1 visa holder is expected to work full-time in United States. But the alien can also work less than full-time, if he or she uses a major portion of time to the job. 

The L-1 visa holder can travel out of the United States before the L-1 status expires; and the L-1 visa holder's spouse can apply for employment authorization to work in U.S.

Q: We recent got an RFE notice for my L-1A visa extension, what kind of help we can get from your service?

A: If you get a Request For Evidence (RFE) notice for your L1 visa application or extension from an USCIS Service Center, it is necessary that you must work hard to provide requested evidence in a short time, and persuade the USCIS adjudicators to approve your case. It is critical to appropriately and proficiently reply the Request For Evidence. Incorrect response of the RFE will directly result in your L1 visa application or extension rejection.   

To help you replying the RFE, we provide the high quality and case-proven Complete Do-It-Yourself Package of Request For Evidence for L-1A / L-1B Visa Application or Extension. In the RFE package, we present methods of analyzing RFE questions, RFE replying strategies, means of strengthening your case, detailed RFE cases analysis, sample cover letters, and more. With the RFE package, you get all the information you need and step-by-step knowledge and strategies of how to prepare an efficient, professional, and complete response to your RFE notice of L1 visa application or extension, and eventually get your L1 visa approval.

Q: My employer filed a renewal application for my L-1A visa, and we got a notice of Request for Additional Evidence from USCIS Vermont Service Center. The RFE requests include the organizational charts of my employer in and outside U.S., and my position in the charts. What I should know for this kind of L-1A extension RFE?

A: To replying the REF requests, the organizational charts are important pieces of the New Office L-1 visa application or extension. Every company should submit two organization charts, one for the home country office and the other for the company in the U.S. They are especially important when the company seeks to send an executive or a manager to the U.S. on an L-1A visa. When transferring persons from higher company ranks, the role of the organization chart is to show that the concerned person is an executive or a manager, and to present a clear view to USCIS about the company’s personnel expansion plans in the new U.S. office.

When it comes to RFE request of organization charts, creativity is highly discouraged and the best organization charts are those that provide a clear hierarchical view of the company’s leadership from top to bottom. One common problem in making organization charts is that companies often insist on including department or divisions on the chart. This should be avoided, because it only provides a confusing picture to USCIS. 

The various departments or divisions should be represented by its personnel on the chart and not as separate entities by the name of the division. The idea behind the organization chart as used in the immigration context is to show the personnel reporting structure in your home company and the U.S. entity.

Q: Currently, I am working on a L-1B visa in U.S. I had applied for my H-1B visa through another consulting company, because my L-1B employer would not sponsor my Green Card application. I have got my H-1B status application approved yet. In addition, given the current situation, I am not planning to resign from my present company where I am working with L1B visa, until I get he H-1B approved through the consulting company. My question is: can I continue to work for my L-1B employer after my H-1B status approval? Please help me. 

A: Many people with an nonimmigrant status in United States sign up with another company and have no idea what their obligations and responsibilities are. These people may think "I want an H-1B status or visa because of the Green Card application and my L-1 employer would not sponsor me." But H-1B visa or status are not supposed to be obtained as an option for employment at some point in the future convenience of Green Card application. The H-1B petitions are supposed to be filed for specific job openings, not speculative employment.

If a H-1B application is filed in United States for requesting "Change of Status" and the alien applicant is given a Form I-797A with new I-94 card at the bottom, as opposed to Form I-797B with a request for U.S. Consular Notification abroad. After the H-1B status change approval in United States, the alien applicant can only work for the H-1B employer, and can no longer work for the L-1B employer. In another words, an alien worker definitely cannot have 2 nonimmigrant status (L-1B and H-1B in this case) in the U.S. at the same time, although an alien can potentially have 2 H-1B employers at the same time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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