There are many types of L-1 visa. How do I know which one I qualify for?

There are many ways employees can come to the U.S. under the L-1 visa. For instance, workers may hold either L-1A or L-1B status. L-1A applies to executives and managers and is valid for up to 7 years. L-1B is reserved for workers with specialized knowledge, and is valid for residency up to 5 years. 

In addition to these two categories, there are also two types of L-1 procedures: 

  1. Regular L-1 visas. This is the typical application route for singular employees. The company must file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for each worker it wishes to send to the U.S., and each visa must be approved individually.
  2. Blanket L-1 visas. These visas are only available to certain qualified employers, and involves the USCIS issuing one Intracompany Transferee visa to all of the company’s individuals. Visa applicants must file a copy of the approved blanket petition and provide documents supporting their qualifications to the consulate or embassy that has jurisdiction over their U.S. residence. 

In order to choose which visa is right for you, it is important to determine what path you will take after your visa expires. After the L-1 visa residency term of 5-7 years, employees may only qualify for L-1 status again by returning to their home countries for at least one year under employment of the parent company.

Vaughan de Kirby
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San Francisco California EB-5 Investment Immigration Attorney

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