Intra-Company Transfers

Transfer your existing employees to the US.

Book a 30 min consultation and have an immigration lawyer advise you on your options based on your individual circumstances.

Intra-company Transferee Visas, also known as L-1 Visas, are a popular and effective solution for foreign businesses to either establish a new branch or subsidiary in the U.S. by transferring their managers or executives; or for multinational companies moving certain employees to their already existing U.S. offices.

All global companies stemming from huge corporations, medium-sized businesses, and even small start-ups are eligible to transfer their employees to the US as long as they meet the requirements. 

Intra-company Transferee Visa Types

There are two main types of L-1 non-immigrant visas: L-1A and L-1B visas:

L-1A Visas are for employees in managerial or executive roles, and they can be valid for up to 7 years.

L-1B Visas are for employees with specialized or advanced knowledge, and they can be valid for up to 5 years.

L-2 Visas are available for dependent children or spouses of L-1 Visa holders, and they are valid for the duration of the primary applicant’s L-1 Visa. Spouses are eligible to work without filing an additional work authorization request.

L-1 Visa Benefits

  • You may bring your spouse and young children with you
  • You and your spouse will be eligible to work without separate Employment Authorization
  • Canadian citizens may apply for L-1 visas at designated US ports of entry, thereby facing a shorter processing time than other nationals
  • You may be coming to the US to establish a new office (must meet extra requirements)
  • The l-1 visa is a “dual-intent” visa, and you may have the option to obtain a Green Card
  • There is no annual limit on the number of L-1 Visas issued
  • There are no set wage requirements

Intra Company Transfer Requirements

Requirements for Employees

  • Must be a foreign company seeking to send employees to the US company
  • The transferring foreign company and the US company must have a qualifying relationship. A qualifying relationship generally means a parent/subsidiary relationship, affiliation, or branch office
  • Must be able to demonstrate that the employees being transferred have the necessary skills and qualifications for the positions they will be filling in the US
  • The transferring foreign entity and the US company must continue to do business in the United States and at least one other country

Requirements for Employers

  • Must have been employed by the foreign company for at least one year out of the 3 years prior to their transfer to the US.
  • Must be transferring to the US to work in a managerial or executive capacity or to work in a position that requires specialized knowledge.
  • The employment with the foreign company must have been in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

L-1 Visa Application Process

The process for applying for L-1 Visas can be complex, and it’s important to have the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney to assist with including sufficient documentary evidence to qualify. The steps involved may vary depending on the country of nationality. Generally, the employer must file a petition on behalf of the employee. The petition must include ample evidence demonstrating that the employer and employee meet the requirements for L-1 Visas.

If you are a Canadian citizen, you may apply for an L-1 visa directly at the designated ports of entry by providing your package to Customs and Border Protection. If you are from another country, your employer will need to file your petition with the USCIS and then you must obtain a Visa at the Foreign Consulate. Premium Processing is available for L-1 visas, which means you might expedite the process and receive a decision in 15 days as long as you pay a premium processing fee (currently USD 2,500).

L-1 Visa Processing Times and Fees

For Canadian nationals, L-1 Visas can be reasonably quick to obtain, as an individual can apply at a port of entry instead of using the USCIS or the U.S. Consulate. 

The longest part of the application process is usually the document collection phase. You should expect this phase to take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Businesses and employees need to gather many documents to establish their eligibility. We will provide a comprehensive list of evidence you need to obtain. 

Once the documents are collected, we will review and organize them, then assess and confirm your eligibility. They will then proceed to complete your forms, prepare letters, and have you inspect the package before submission.

You will be required to pay government processing fees at the time of submission. These fees change occasionally, but we can provide an up-to-date list whenever you need. 

Once the package is submitted, you must wait for the decision. If you apply at a port of entry, you will get adjudicated on the spot. CBP will then forward your petition to the USCIS for verification. 

If you apply with the USCIS, you may file via Premium Processing. This means that you will get a decision within 15 days. If you elect to file via regular processing, it can take months for USCIS to process your package.

Andrea Prunariu

If you have any questions about the L-1 Visa process or are ready to start your application, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can provide you with the guidance and support you need to complete the process successfully.

👋 Book a Consultation

You can book a 30 min consultation and have an immigration lawyer advise you on your options based on your individual circumstances.

Questions? Answers.

Got questions? We have answers.

It is possible for you to obtain a green card after having held an L-1 Visa. However, it’s important to note that L-1 Visas are nonimmigrant visas, which means they are intended for temporary stays in the US. In order to obtain a green card, you will typically need to go through a separate process. One potential pathway to a green card for individuals who have held an L-1 Visa is through the employment-based green card process. This process involves obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa, which is sponsored by an employer.

If you have held an L-1 Visa, you may be eligible to apply for an employment-based immigrant visa through a process called “dual intent,” which allows you to simultaneously hold a nonimmigrant visa (such as an L-1 Visa) and pursue a green card. It’s advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney to learn more about the specific requirements and steps involved in the process.

Premium processing is a service offered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows you to expedite the processing of your immigration case. For an additional fee, you can request that your case be processed within 15 calendar days of receipt by the USCIS. This can be useful if you need a decision on your case as soon as possible, or if you need to meet a deadline for a specific purpose (such as obtaining a visa or starting a new job). The cost of premium processing for most petition types, including L-1 Visas, is $2,500 (as of Sept 2021).

It’s important to note that not all petition types are eligible for premium processing, and the USCIS may also suspend premium processing for certain petition types at its discretion. We advise you to check with the USCIS or a Motivus immigration attorney to determine whether premium processing is available for your specific petition type.

It is generally not possible to transfer an L-1 Visa to another company. L-1 Visas are employer-specific, which means they are tied to the employer that sponsored the employee’s visa. If an employee with an L-1 Visa leaves their current employer and begins working for a new company, they will typically need to obtain a new L-1 Visa through the new employer.

In order to obtain a new L-1 Visa through a new employer, the employee will need to go through the same process that they went through with their previous employer. This typically involves the new employer filing a petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the employee will need to meet the same eligibility requirements for an L-1 Visa that they did with their previous employer.

It’s important to note that the process of obtaining a new L-1 Visa can be complex, and it’s advisable to seek the guidance of a Motivus immigration attorney. They can provide you with more information about the specific requirements and steps involved in the process.

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