L-1 Frequently Asked Questions

?What are the requirements for an L-1 visa?
L-1 visas are for foreign nationals that have continuously been employed for at least 1 year (within the past 3 years) by an affiliated foreign entity in a specialized, managerial, or executive capacity and that will be coming to the US to perform in a similar capacity at one of its group offices. There are two categories for the L-1 Visa: a) L-1A: Intracompany Transferee for Managers and Executives and b) L-1B Intracompany Transferee for Employees with Specialized Knowledge.
?How is L-1B “specialized knowledge” defined?
Specialized knowledge means either special knowledge possessed by an individual of the organization’s product, service, 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.
?What is the procedure for applying for an L-1 visa?
In most cases, the process requires two steps. 1) Approval by USCIS; and 2) Apply for an L-1 Visa stamp at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. However, if the applicant is already in the US, they can change status to L-1 as long as they meet the requirements.
?How long can an L-1 work in the US?
L-1B Specialized Knowledge can be admitted for up to 5 years, while L-1A Managers/Executives can be admitted for up to 7 years. Note: any time spent outside of the US can be recaptured.
?Is there a minimum salary that must be paid to L-1 workers?
No, there is no specific wage requirement that has to be paid to L-1 visa holders but wages should be commensurate with local industry standards.
?Can my spouse work as an L-1 dependent?
Yes, the spouses of L-1 visa holders can work in the US immediately upon entry into the US. Furthermore, unlike the primary L-1 visa holder, spouses have no employment restrictions and can work for any US employer or even start their own business.