Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
FAQs about the L-1 by Employers
Corporations, partnerships, government-owned entities and non-profit organizations are all eligible to sponsor an L-1 visa. The organization must be ‘doing business’ in the United States, meaning more than simply the presence of an agent or representative in the United States. The sponsoring organization must continue to do business outside of the United States for the duration of the worker’s L-1 status. The sponsoring organization is not required to be United States-owned or incorporated, but there must be some equity or ownership link between the foreign and U.S. organizations. (See below). The employee must qualify for either the L-1A as a multinational manager, or an L-1B specialized knowledge employee.
What relationship is required between the U.S. and foreign organization to qualify for the L-1 visa?
A qualifying relationship includes a parent-subsidiary, affiliate companies, or a branch office.
These ownership requirements are not as strict in the case of very large corporations. In these cases, a substantial minority shareholding could create a qualifying relationship.
No, there is no wage requirement for the L-1 visa. However, the USCIS would view the petition suspiciously if the company paid L-1 workers significantly below the usual wage, or below the wages of your U.S. resident staff. This practice could also lead to an investigation by the USCIS or Department of Labor.
Yes, a company may move an L-1 employee to different sites, so long as the employee remains under the sponsoring company’s management and control.
Yes, an L-1 employee may work part-time.
If I own a company in a country outside of the United States, may I create a subsidiary in the United States and apply for an L-1A visa for myself?
Yes, you could obtain an L-1A Executive visa to open up a new office in the United States. Your L-1A visa petition should include a business plan with financial projections for both the U.S. subsidiary and the foreign parent company. For a new office, the term of the L-1A visa would be for one year. You could renew your L-1A visa to stay in the United States up to seven years, in three year increments. Your business in the foreign country must continue throughout your stay in the United States. You could also apply for permanent residency as a Multinational Manager or Executive. (See the FAQs on permanent residency for L-1 holders for more information).
There is no set amount of capital required for the L-1 visa. It is recommended that you invest the amount that is normal for your industry.