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Houston Immigration Lawyers > Houston L-1 Visa Lawyer

Houston L-1 Visa Lawyer

The L-1 visa allows a foreign company with a U.S. subsidiary, affiliate, branch or other qualifying relationship to transfer certain employees from a foreign office to the U.S. either to work in an existing U.S. office or open a new office in the U.S. If you are an employer needing to transfer an employee from a foreign office to the U.S., BBA Immigration can help you prepare and submit your Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. If you are a foreign worker subject to intracompany transfer, we’ll help you obtain your L-1 visa, as well as L-2 visas to bring your family with you. We’ll gather the right supporting documentation and prepare your petition to maximize your chances of success. Contact our experienced Houston L-1 Visa lawyers today.

L-1 Visas Support Intracompany Transfers of Managers, Executives and Employees With Specialized Knowledge

The L-1 visa can be used for managerial or executive employees (L-1A) or employees with specialized knowledge in running the business (L-1B). In either case, the employer and employee must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the visa.

  • L-1A – An executive employee is one who exercises independent judgment without a great deal of supervision or oversight. A managerial employee is one who supervises and controls the work of professional employees or assists in managing the company or a department.
  • L-1B – This visa is available to an employee who has specialized knowledge of the company’s products, services, equipment, processes or procedures that would make the employee valuable in the new or existing U.S. office. Additional special rules apply if the worker is to be stationed primarily at a worksite of an employer other than the petitioning employer or an affiliate, subsidiary or parent.

Eligibility for an L-1A or L-1B visa requires that the employee has worked for a qualifying organization for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding the filing of the petition. The employee must be entering the US to work for that same employer.

A qualifying organization means that the employer has a relationship with a parent company, branch, subsidiary or affiliate and has been doing business as an employer in the U.S. and at least one other country.

The maximum initial stay on an L-1 visa is one year if transferred to help open a new office or three years if transferred to an existing office. Requests for extensions can be granted for two years at a time up to a maximum of seven years for an L-1A visa holder or five years for an L-1B visa holder. Both L-1A and L-1B visa holders can bring their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age with them by applying for an L-2 derivative visa. An L-2 spouse can also apply for work authorization, although work permits are not available for children in the country on an L-2 visa.

If the employer is establishing a new office in the United States, the intracompany transferee petition must show not only the worker’s qualifications and eligibility but also that the employer already has a physical location picked out and demonstrate that the new office will be able to support the employee’s position within one year of the petition’s approval. In order words, the employer will need to be able to show that it has the financial ability to compensate the employee and begin doing business within one year.

Blanket Petitions Available to Large Organizations

The employer sponsors the employee and petitions the government for the intracompany transfer. Large organizations with the need for multiple transfers can apply for a blanket petition which allows them to accomplish transfers more quickly and easily than filing individual petitions in every case. BBA Immigration can help you determine if your organization is eligible for a blanket petition and guide you through the process if applicable.

Contact BBA Immigration Today

BBA Immigration is here to help your Texas domestic or international business grow and thrive with the assistance of professionals from foreign branches or offices as needed. Contact our experienced Houston L-1 intracompany transferee lawyers today.

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