L-1A - INTER-COMPANY TRANSFEREE VISA
An L-1A, inter-company transfer, visa may be issued to an alien who, within three years preceding the time of his or her application for admission into the United States, has been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to render his services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge. The company must file the I-129 petition, with L supplement, with the Immigration & Naturalization Service office having jurisdiction over the place where the alien will be employed.
Please read the instructions, attached to the petition, carefully to determine who can file the petition and what documents will be needed to establish the qualifications for obtaining an approval of an L-1A petition or change of status.
Note: Whenever you mail any forms or documents to the immigration service, you should always do so by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by some form of express mail for which you can obtain proof of receipt. This is very important in the event immigration loses your application. In that event you can submit your proof of receipt, with evidence of payment, and you can establish that you did not violate your status in the United States.
Once the petition is approved, the alien will be sent immigration form I-797 changing the person’s status in the United States and extending the authorized stay for three years, (one year if it is a new company) or for the time requested on the petition if less than three years. Each accompanying family member who filed an I-539 application will also be granted the change of status (as an L-2) for the same period as the principal applicant.
If the alien is outside of the United States, the approved petition (form I-797) will be forwarded to the US consul where the alien will apply for his or her visa. Form -156 must be completed and presented in person at the consulate, together with documentation that will clearly establish eligibility for the visa. A separate form -156 should be completed for each accompanying family member. The L-1A visa will be issued for a period of three years (one year if it is a new company). The spouse and children of the principal applicant will receive L-2 visas for the same period of time. An L-1A or L-2 visa holder, when entering the United States, will be given a period of stay coinciding with the time remaining on the visa.
If the alien desires an extension of stay, he or she would file a request for an extension with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which extension will be granted for two years. A maximum of seven years is permitted on an L-1A visa. Once an extension is granted, the alien can obtain revalidation of the L visa through the US State Department, rather than having to return to the consul to obtain a new visa.
The spouse of an L-1 may obtain employment authorization by filing form I-765, with supporting documentation, with the immigration service center that has jurisdiction over the dependent spouse’s place of residence. They will be authorized employment for the period of admission and/or status of their spouses, but not to exceed two years.
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