L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to the US operations for up to seven years.
The international company must have offices in both home country and the United States, or intend to open a new office in the United States while maintaining office in their home country.
Before applying for a visa at a U.S. Embassy abroad, USCIS must approve a Form I-129 petition, filed by the U.S. employer. Labor Certification is not required.
Family: Spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of ageof L1 visa holders could apply for L-2 Visa which allow the spouse to work without restriction in United States.
Period of Stay: initial stay of three years, request extension of 2 year, up to seven years
Green Card intent: Permitted. Under the doctrine of dual intent, L1 visa holder may legally apply for green card
Policy Change: On March 24, 2015, White House released a draft of L-1B Visa Policy Memorandum which will make it easier for the employers to get L-1 visa for its employees. The new policy completed its feedback period on May 8 and will become effective on August 31.
According to US State Department, between 2009 and 2013, an average of 67,855 L-1 visas were issued per year.
According to the National Foundation for America Policy
, the denial rate for L-1B petitions to transfer employees of Indian origin is a remarkable 56 percent for FY 2012 through FY 2014, compared to an average denial rate of 13 percent to transfer employees from all other countries during the same period. Only 4 percent of Canadian nationals were denied L-1B petitions, compared to 56 percent of Indian nationals, between FY 2012 and FY 2014.
In fiscal year 2010, USCIS received 91,086 applications for L1 visa, approved 74,719 of them, and denied 16,367. waived or overcome 9,814.
USCIS also received 79,093 applications for L2 visa, approved 69,233, refused 9,826, waived or overcome 8,002.
Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition. In order to establish eligibility for blanket L certification, the employer
- And each of the qualifying organizations must be engaged in commercial trade or services
- Must have an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more
- Must have three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates
- Must meet one of the following criteria
- Along with the other qualifying organizations, have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period; or
- Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25,000,000; or
- Have a U.S. work force of no less than one thousand employees.
Last Updated: 8/10/2015.