L-1 non-immigrant visas allow international companies to transfer qualified foreign workers to their parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary companies in the U.S. These visas are for intra-company executive transferees seeking to work in the U.S. This visa category also allows foreign companies that do not have an affiliated office in the U.S. to send their executives or managers to the country to establish one.
Executives or managers who are working for foreign affiliates of U.S. companies qualify for these visas. The foreign affiliate in which the workers are currently working must have a qualifying relationship with the company in the U.S.
L-1A and L-1B are the two L-1 visa classifications. L-1A visas are for those working in an executive or managerial capacity. This L-1A classification allows foreign companies that do not have affiliates in the U.S. to send their executives or managers to establish an office in the U.S.
L-1B visas are for foreign workers with specialized knowledge. Such persons can travel to the U.S. to impart their knowledge to the employees in the U.S. Foreign companies also can send workers with specialized knowledge to establish a company in the U.S.
Workers cannot file applications for L-1 visas for themselves. The sponsoring employers will need to file Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker, along with the fee. L-1 visas will allow the beneficiaries to remain and work in the U.S. for a three year period. L-1 non-immigrants will be allowed to travel abroad freely and within the U.S.
L-1 visas are dual intent visas that allow the holders to apply for employment based green cards. These non-immigrants can get L-2 visas for their husband or wife and children and bring them to the U.S. along with them.