The U.S. government allots H-1B visas to aliens who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation. H-1B status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer to file a labor condition application (LCA) with the Department of Labor attesting to several items, including payment of prevailing wages for the position, and the working conditions offered. The spouse and children of an H1B visa holder may accompany the principal applicant.
The H1B visa holder may apply for lawful permanent residence via a family based petition or a labor certification, if s/he qualifies.
L Visa: Intra Company Transfers
The L visa is utilized to transfer executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers among affiliated companies. To qualify for an L visa, the petitioning company (the foreign “company”) must show that:
The foreign company and a U.S. entity have a qualified relationship.
Within the three years preceding the petition, the prospective transferee must have worked continuously for the parent foreign employer for at least one year in either an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge employee capacity.
The employee intends to enter the U.S. to work for the affiliated U.S. Company in either an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity.
The foreign company must continue to conduct business while the transferee is in the US working for the U.S. Company.
Executive or managerial transferee workers (and their immediate family members) may remain in the U.S. for a period not exceeding seven years; specialized knowledge employees for a maximum of five years.
If the U.S. company is a “new” office (i.e. has not been active for more than one year), the initial L visa will be granted for one year. After this one year period, the petitioner must show that the company is actively doing business (i.e. showing growth in the number of employees, increase in revenues and increase in the volume of goods sold or services provided). If the U.S. Company is not a new office, then the initial period of stay should be three years.
The great benefit of the L visa is that the transferee may apply for and obtain his/her lawful permanent residency (green card) through his/her continued employment with the U.S. company.
Spouses and children under the age of 21 years may accompany the L1 visa holder employee to the U.S. under the L2 visa category. As dependents of the L1 visa holder, the spouse may obtain work authorization once in the U.S. and children can remain in the U.S. legally and study.
The Law Offices of Lizette M. Sierra, P.A. is experienced in obtaining initial L visas and renewals thereof, as well as, lawful permanent residency (green card) for Beneficiaries of L visas.