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L-1 visa - Employment Immigration

The L-1 Work Visa & Multinational Executive Immigrant Visa Process

L-1 Work Visa & Multinational Executive Immigrant Visa Process

Whether you are establishing a new U.S. office or buying an existing company, Pedersen Law will take care of the entire L-1 Visa Immigration process from start to finish, including forming your new company, obtaining the Tax ID and providing legal advice and guidance every step along the way from obtaining the L-1 Visa to U.S. Residency …


The L-1 work visa and Multinational Executive visa process is one of the fastest and most convenient Immigration routes to obtain a Green Card in the U.S. (U.S. Residency). The L-1 visa in conjunction with the Multinational Executive visa allows foreign companies with existing subsidiary offices in the U.S., or those seeking to establish a new office, to transfer Executive and Managers to live, work and obtain Residency in the U. S.. The foreign employees to be transferred to the U.S. office must qualify as either executives, managers or specialized knowledge personnel.

For companies with an existing office in the U.S. (open at least one year), the L-1 visa is issued for an initial period of three (3) years, then an extension is made for executives and managers up to a total of seven (7) years, and up to five (5) years for specialized knowledge personnel. For establishing new U.S. offices, the L-1 visa is utilized by foreign companies to provide immediate transfer of its key executives and managers to the U.S. to establish subsidiary operations. The initial L-1 visa is issued for only one year, then after nine months, an extension of the L-1 is made. If U.S. Residency is desired, upon approval of the L-1 extension, as the final step, an application for a Multi-National Executive (I-140) Immigrant Visa and U.S. Residency application is filed, in order to allow the employees (and their qualifying family members) to gain U.S. residency.

The Process - From L-1 To U.S. Residency:

L-1 Work Visa & Multinational Executive Immigrant Visa Process

The path to U.S. residency follows this step-by-step process:

1) Application and approval of an L-1 visa (processing time: 15 days);

2) For new U.S. offices (open less than one year) the L-1 worker receives a one year visa which must be extended. In order to qualify for an L-1 extension, the new office must undertake full-scale operations with employees, for nine months, then file an application for an extension of the L-1 extension (required 90 days prior to first year expiration). (processing time: 15 days);

3) For an existing U.S. office which has already been in full-scale operations with employees for at least one year, the L-1 worker receives a two year visa. Once the L-1 is approved, if the L-1 worker is a manager or executive, the Multi-National Executive “Immigrant Visa” and Green Card “U.S. Residency” application can be filed. Green Cards are generally approved within a year.

Family Members

Spouses and children (under age 21) of L-1 workers are issued L-2 visas. A great benefit of this type of visa is that spouses can work (if an application for work authorization is made) and children can legally attend school. Once the Multinational Executive Immigrant visa is approved for the Executive or Manager, his or her spouse and children are also included in the U.S. residency application.

Qualifying Relationship Between The Companies:

L-1 Work Visa & Multinational Executive Immigrant Visa Process

Generally, in order to qualify, the companies must prove that the requisite relationship exists, by qualifying in one of the following relationships: Either, a) Both the U.S. entity and the foreign company must be part of the same corporation, company or entity; or b) Either the foreign company or the U.S. company owns more than 50% of the other; or c) Both the U.S. company and the foreign company are owned (more than 50%) by a third company or group or d) Either the U.S. company or the foreign company are owned (50%) by two Joint-venture companies.) The transferring company must have “effective control” over the other company.

L-1 Employee Requirements:

In order to qualify as an L-1 worker, the petitioning U.S. company must show that:  a) The employee worked abroad for the overseas company for a continuous period of one (1) year in the preceding three (3) year period, must have been employed abroad in an “executive”, “managerial” or “specialized knowledge” position and  must be coming to the U.S. company to fill the capacity of either an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge.

Important Considerations Before Beginning The Process:

While the L-1 is a very convenient work visa and a great vehicle for obtaining U.S. Residency, it is also not the right choice for everyone. In recent years, processing of L-1 visas has become very challenging, due to tightening USCIS immigration policies. The first important issue to understand is that the U.S. company must be a real, operational company, with an office, telephones, employees, occupational licenses and full-scale business operations. Since immigration regulations only give a new U.S. company (sponsoring an L-1 worker) less than one year to operate before the L-1 visa extension must be filed for the L-1 worker, the extension request must include substantial evidence of business operations, including financial statements and tax returns, employee payroll records, bank statements, etc.

We Can Help You Make Your Immigration Dreams Come True!

For more information on Business Immigration, call or email our office to schedule an Attorney Consultation so that we can fully review your circumstances and give you the best, most honest advice concerning what steps you can take to obtain an L-1 and Multinational Executive Visa. To help you succeed in obtaining your Work Visa and Green Card, our Firm will carefully review your eligibility, provide valuable advice regarding your qualifications, prepare a professional case, properly support your case with all the required documentation, respond to all requests from the USCIS, represent you through the proceedings and support you through the entire immigration process. We look forward to meeting you and helping you to achieve your immigration dreams!

Find out how Pedersen Law can make your Immigration dreams come true! Your Success Is Our Greatest Reward – see you soon...

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