Requirements to Obtain an L Visa
The L-1 classification provides temporary work status which enables a foreign national employee to transfer from an employer abroad to work in the United States for a qualifying U.S. employer in either managerial/executive capacity (L-1A) or specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B):
- The foreign employee must have been employed abroad with an affiliate, parent, branch, or subsidiary of the U.S. employer
- The foreign employee must have worked for the company abroad for a continuous period of one year within the three years preceding the filing of the petition or admission into the U.S.
- The foreign employee must have worked for that company abroad in either a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity.
A manager (L-1A) is defined as a senior-level worker who:
- Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component thereof
- Supervises and controls the work of other employees, or manages an essential function within the organization
- Has authority to hire and functions at a senior level within the organization
- Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.
An executive (L-1A) is defined as a worker who:
- Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function thereof
- Establishes goals and policies
- Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making and receives only general supervision from higher level personnel.
A foreign worker with specialized knowledge (L-1B):
- Possesses a special knowledge about the organization's product, services, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization's processes and procedures.
L-1A (manager/executive) classification can be extended up to seven years, while an L-1B (specialized knowledge) caps at five years. The initial period of authorized stay is three years. For start-up U.S. companies, an L-1A petition is approved for one year.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age are eligible to apply for L-2 derivative status. Work authorization is available for spouses on L-2 status.
- "Martin Valko from the firm of Chavez & Valko in Dallas Fort Worth, is extremely efficient, knowledgeable and dedicated in the work he performs. We had no problems at all when applying for our L1 Visas. 90% of our communication was via email, because we started communicating while still in South Africa. Martin Valko is without a doubt a bright light in the immigration process. This process can be so overwhelming and a heavy weight on any one's shoulders, but with Martin's guidance the process just felt so much lighter. We were never in any doubt regarding Martin's ability as an immigration lawyer. Furthermore, Martin does not only treat you as yet another customer, but has genuine interest in your case. We will definitely recommend the firm of Chavez & Valko to anyone who is considering expanding their businesses to America and applying for Visas. Martin you have a client for life, we will definitely use your services for our future personal and business visa needs! Thanking you,"
- Monkeynastix Fort Worth LLC (L-1 Intracompany Transferee), Fort Worth, TX
- "Our L visa case history:
After a very bad experience with our previous New York-based immigration attorney, we started looking for another one with experience in the immigration sector. We scheduled a meeting with Dallas immigration lawyer Mr. Martin Valko of Chavez & Valko, and asked him what he thought about our case.
In April 2008 we received our L-1A Visa ( L-2 for the family) to establish a new office of our German Software Company in the US. Unfortunately we were not able to leave Germany before October 2008. In December 2008 we asked our prior attorney to apply for the extension of the Visa. He filed the application for the extension of the L1-A Visa in April 2009 (5 months later). Instead of answering the INS request for evidence (RFE), he tried to change the Visa application from L1-A into a L1-B. The US immigration denied the petition because we were not able to change the status for a filed petition. To do so, we would have had to file a new one. However, not worst enough, he told us not to leave the US and to stay during he was filing a petition for a B1 Visa to gain additional time to prepare a new L1-A application.
Mr. Martin Valko took on our case. He told us that it will be difficult but he would try to rescue the case, thoroughly explained the case to us after his analysis of the immigration laws and regulations, and promised us to do the best. After he had all our paperwork, he and his legal team needed only a few days to prepare the new L1-A petition (L-2 for the family). We used the premium processing service of the USCIS, and we had our approval after less than one week!!! We then scheduled a visa appointment at the US Consulate in Berlin, Germany the following week, and our new L-1A and L-2 visas have been granted for a full one year!
When searching for a good immigration attorney, you will find thousands of attorneys and all of them promise to be the best and to do the best work. After all this experience we can tell, that there are only a few really good immigration attorney out there and it is hard to find them. We found one of them and are proud of this work, and we can't thank him enough. Mr. Martin Valko knows what he is talking about! He has a lot of experience in immigration law and his rates are absolutely fair. For all of those people in need of an immigration attorney, we recommend the law firm of Chavez & Valko in Dallas, TX."
- Markus Vogt & Family, Provox Systems, Dallas TX
To read about clients who we have helped in these matters, please visit our testimonials page.