Visa Solutions for Multinational Corporations

This visa category is ideal for managers, executives or professional employees with specialized knowledge of multinational corporations to work or immigrate to the United State. L-1A Visa and L-1B Visa are non-immigrant visas, while EB-1C visa paves the way for permanent residence. VISA2US has abundant experiences in strategizing solutions and filing application of multinational workers visas.

Introduction

The L-1 Visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa that enables a foreign international company with offices both in the United States and other countries to relocate its managers, executives or professional employees with specialized knowledge to work and develop business operation at its branch, affiliate, subsidiary or parent company in the United States under two categories— L-1A and L-1B.

The L-1A Visa allows intra-company transfer of executives and managers from a foreign international company’s affiliated foreign office to the U.S. office or a foreign international company to bring executives and managers from the affiliated foreign office to establish a new U.S. office. On the other hand, the L-1B Visa allows intra-company transfer of professional employees with specialized knowledge of a company, its business or industry from a foreign international company’s affiliated foreign office to the U.S. office or a foreign international company to bring professional employees with specialized knowledge of a company or industry from the affiliated foreign office to establish a new U.S. office.

Qualifying L-1A executives and managers and L-1B professional employees with specialized knowledge must have worked for any of the company’s branch, affiliate, subsidiary or parent company outside the United States for at least one year of the three years prior to the filing of L-1 petition. Qualifying business, which is a parent, subsidiary or affiliate company of the foreign international company may by the petition sponsor and it is not limited to commercial entities. With respect to the validity, the L-1A Visa may be issued for an initial stay of up to three years and additionally granted for an extension of up to two years each but is subject to the maximum limit of seven years while the L-1B may be granted with a validity period of up to three years and renewed with two-year extensions but is subject to the maximum limit of five years. Last, the L-1 holders’ dependents may further apply for L-2 Visa for accompany and work authorization, provided certain requirements are met. Since no quota limitation or nationality requirement imposed, the L-1 Visa serves as a springboard for workers who disqualify for EB-5 or E-1/E-2 to land and work in the United States.

The EB-1C Visa, as an immigrant visa based on employment petition for permanent residence, permits a foreign international company to transfer its multinational managers and executives, who have been worked abroad for the same international company or its branch, affiliate, subsidiary or parent company for at least one year of the three years prior to the filing of EB-1C petition, to stay and work in a managerial or executive capacity for the company in the United States. EB-1C holders’ dependent are eligible for permanent residence under the same visa status. The qualifications of L-1A and EB-1C are pretty similar while the latter grants permanent residence. It is noted that although the L-1A qualification is not a prerequisite for the EB-1C Visa, L-1A holders would have stronger cases in the EB-1C application.

Differences among L1A, L1B and EB1C

Non-Immigrant Visa Immigrant Visa
L1A L1B EB1C
Applicant Qualification
  1. Worked abroad for 1 continuous year within the 3 years prior to filing of the petition
  2. Prior 1 year abroad employment is in an executive or managerial capacity
  3. Prospective employment in the United States is in an executive or managerial capacity for the same company or its affiliate in the United States
  1. Worked abroad for 1 continuous year within the 3 years prior to filing of the petition
  2. Prior 1 year abroad employment is in a specialized knowledge capacity
  3. Prospective employment in the United States is in a specialized knowledge capacity for the same company or its affiliate in the United States
  1. Worked abroad for 1 continuous year within the 3 years prior to filing of the petition; or, if applicant is working for prospective employer in the United States, 1 continuous year within the 3 years prior to his/her entry to the United States as a non-immigrant
  2. Prior 1 year abroad employment is in an executive or managerial capacity
  3. Prospective employment in the United States is in an executive or managerial capacity for the same company or its affiliate in the United States
Sponsor Qualification International company with offices both in the United States and other countries (A qualifying relationship with a foreign company must be shown). International company with offices both in the United States and other countries (A qualifying relationship with a foreign company must be shown). International company with offices both in the United States and other countries (A qualifying relationship with a foreign company must be shown).
Prior Work Experience At least 1 year of the 3 years prior to the filing of petition At least 1 year of the 3 years prior to the filing of petition At least 1 year of the 3 years prior to the filing of petition/ entry to the United States as a non-immigrant
Involvement of Worker Significant time on a regular and systematic basis Significant time on a regular and systematic basis Full-time
Processing Time 1 to 5 Months; 15 Days for Premium Processing Service (Additional fee $1,410)
Note: Processing time of a blanket petition is usually weeks less than general petition
1 to 5 Months; 15 Days for Premium Processing Service (Additional fee $1,410)
Note: Processing time of a blanket petition is usually weeks less than general petition
7 Months to 1 Years
Dependents Spouse and Children under 21 Spouse and Children under 21 Spouse and Children under 21; Children over 21 may be protected pursuant to CSPA after application filed
Dependents’ Work Permit Spouse Spouse Spouse and Children under 21
Validity
  • Employees entering the United States to establish a new office: will be allowed a maximum initial stay of 1 year
  • All other qualified employees: will be allowed a maximum initial stay of 3 year
  • Extension of stay may be granted up to additional 2 years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of 7 years
  • Employees entering the United States to establish a new office: will be allowed a maximum initial stay of 1 year
  • All other qualified employees: will be allowed a maximum initial stay of 3 year
  • Extension of stay may be granted up to additional 2 years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of 5 years
10-year valid Green Card
Individual has to stay in the U.S. No, but a significant portion of work time on a regular and systematic basis in the United States is required No, but a significant portion of work time on a regular and systematic basis in the United States is required No, but subject to permanent resident travel limitation
Intent to Depart Yes, non-immigrant visa Yes, non-immigrant visa No
Eligibility to Permanent Residence Yes, as a dual intent visa, L1A holders may file for Permanent Residence under EB1 category and no labor certification is required Yes, as a dual intent visa, L1B holders may file for Permanent Residence under EB2 category and labor certification is required Yes
Others Individual L1A Application Process Individual L1B Application Process
L1B holders may apply for transfer to L1A within 4.5 years of L1B validity, provided requirements are met