The basic requirements for obtaining the L-1 visa are the following:
- A qualifying relationship of either a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or a branch must exist between the U.S. company and the foreign company abroad;
- Both the foreign company and the U.S company must remain open, active and viable for the entire duration of your employment in the U.S. Failure to maintain required levels of operation results in the loss of L1 status
- The foreign worker must have been employed by the overseas organization for at least one year within the past three years as a manager, executive or a specialized knowledge employee and
- the worker will be performing similar duties in the U.S. for the same employer or an affiliate, subsidiary, parent or a branch
For foreign employers who are seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager in order to establish a new office, it must be shown that
- Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured;
- The individual has been employed overseas as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
If the U.S. company is new or has been operational for less than one year, the initial L-1 visa is issued for a 1- year validity period, but can be renewed in 2-year increments, for up to a total period of 7 years. If the U.S. company has been operational for more than one year at the time of applying, the L-1 visa will be issued for a 3-year validity period.
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