Four Steps to Bringing Your Family to the United States Under an L-1 Employment Visa

If you are applying for an L-1 employment visa, you will likely have to file a lot of forms and stand in many lines before your application is complete. Our San Francisco immigration lawyers offer a general timeline of what you can expect before your L-1 visa is approved.

Here are the steps to filing an L-1 visa application to work in California:

  • Form I-129 submission. The parent company must file an L-1 visa petition (Form I-129) with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), along with supporting documents proving that both the U.S. company and the foreign affiliate branch meet the qualifications for L-1 classification.
  • Form I-797 approval. If your Form I-129 is approved, the USCIS will issue a Notice of Action (Form I-797), stating that your application is valid. However, approval of the visa petition does not guarantee that a visa will be issued; the petitioner must take Form I-797 to the United States consulate or embassy in his home country to submit for visa approval.
  • L-1 visa approval. The consular officer will evaluate your petition to ensure that you meet the employment qualifications and that the U.S. company and the foreign affiliate are legitimate businesses eligible for L-1 transfers.
  • L-2 visa applications. If your L-1 visa is approved, you may submit L-2 visa applications at the consulate for your family members. Your spouse and unmarried children (under age 21) may accompany you. Your children may attend school but cannot work in the U.S.; your spouse may accept any legal employment of his or her choosing.

Although the L-1 is considered a non-immigration visa, there are no restrictions on an applicant having dual intent. This means L-1 applicants cannot be denied visas if they eventually intend to immigrate to the United States. At the Law Offices of Vaughan de Kirby, we can help you transform your visa into a green card, allowing you and your family to stay in the U.S. indefinitely.

Call us today at (415) 221-2345 to find out your legal options, or click the link on this page to order our FREE report, L-1 Employment-Based Visa: A Guide For You & Your Family.

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

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