The L1 visa is for executives or employees with specialized skills of multinational companies who are being transferred from an office overseas to a US office. The visa may also be used by a manager or executive to open a new office in the US. The L1 visa is initially valid for three years and can be extended to a total stay of five years. There is no prevailing wage requirement for the L1 visa.
Although the L1 visa was deigned for large multinational corporations, it may also be used by smaller companies.
A petitioner which meets the following requirements may file a blanket petition seeking continuing approval of itself and some or all of its parent, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates as qualifying organizations if:
- The petitioner and each of those entities 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 obtained approval of petitions for at least ten “L” managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals during the previous 12 months; or have US. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or have a United States work force of at least 1,000 employees.
Spouses and children of the L1 visa holder may obtain an L2 visa to enter and remain in the US. L2 Spouses may apply for an EAD. L2 spouses and children may attend school in the US.