The L1 visa, also known as intercompany transfer visa, is a temporary nonimmigrant visa that allows international companies with offices in the US and offices overseas to transfer certain qualified employees to their US office.
Spouses and children of L1 visa holders are eligible to apply for L2 visa, allowing them to enter and stay in the United States for the duration of the L1 visa holder's status. L2 visa application may be submitted with the spouse's L1 visa application if all family members are applying simultaneously.
L2 visa holders can stay in the US for maximum 7 years if spouse has L1A visa, or maximum 5 years if spouse has L1B visa. L2 visa holders may only stay in the US as long as the L1 visa holder has valid L1 visa status. L2 dependents may work and study part-time or full-time in the US, excluding children, who may only attend school.
There are two types of L1 visas:
1. L1A Visa: Executives and Managers
The L1A Visa is designed for executives and managers who have supervisory responsibility for a key function or a department of the employer. It facilitates the transfer of managers and executives to a US branch to work or establish a new branch of the company. L1A visas are issued for up to 1 year for start-ups and 3 years for existing companies. The L-1A visa is valid for up to 7 years, with extension.
2. L1B Visa: Specialized Knowledge
The L1B Visa is designed for professional employees with specialized knowledge whose skills can be related to a service or product of the company, or is necessary for the operation or expansion of the US business. It facilitates the transfer of employees to impart their knowledge of their company's product to new US employees. L1B visas are issued for up to 1 year for start-ups and 3 years for existing companies. The L-1B visa is valid for up to 5 years, with extension.
Employers and employees that meet all the following L1 visa requirements are eligible for an L-1 visa.
L1 visas may be beneficial for the following reasons.
Employees working in the US on L1 visa may stay for a maximum for 7 years, depending on their L1 visa type.