There is a literal alphabet soup of employment-based visas that professionals may consider in order to live and work in the United States.  Today I’d like to discuss L1-A and L1-B visas, which are a great option for foreign national professionals.  L1 visas are specifically designed for foreign nationals who have developed professional experience as either a manager or an executive (L1-A) or in a specialized field (L1-B) such as engineering or finance, and who would like to transfer jobs within their company to a U.S. office.  They allow L1 beneficiaries to live and work in the United States, and for businesses to transfer much-needed expertise to U.S. branches, or even to open a new office in the U.S.

L1 visas can be processed more quickly using premium processing, and they allow the beneficiary to have dual intent.  Allowing dual intent means that although L1 visas are classified as nonimmigrant visas, an L1 beneficiary is eligible to apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence.  One thing to keep in mind for companies setting up new offices in the U.S. is that “new office” L1 petitions may face higher scrutiny as USCIS wants to ensure that an office is not being set up merely for immigration purposes.  In a “new office” situation, we can work with clients to showcase the business plan for the U.S. office, in terms of its marketing initiatives, upcoming contracts with customers, and potential for expansion within the U.S. market.thanks

Joyce & Associates has represented many individuals throughout the L1 process, from assistance with contracts drafting and/or corporate formation to compiling the L1-A package to highlight the beneficiary’s qualifications and the foreign entity’s business needs and ability to pay the beneficiary’s wage, and then to preparing the client for consular processing and for filing future applications for L1 extensions and/or adjustment of status.

If you are interested in discussing your eligibility for an L1 petition, or for employment-based visas generally, contact us for a consultation to discuss your options.

~Christina M. Elder