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US L1 Visa Requirements for applicants

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All L1A Executive or Manager employees which includes business owners or L1B specialized knowledge employees must have been employed by the company outside of the USA that has common ownership with the new or existing US company for a consecutive period of at least one year in the last three years preceding the transfer. Usually the overseas employee would be a direct employee of the business outside the US. In some circumstances the employee may be able to qualify under the L1 visa having worked outside the US on a freelance basis, provided the employer had management and control over the worker during the qualifying year.

L1 Visa Requirement for employee to have worked abroad for the business for one year in the last three years

The employee must have been employed during a period of one year in the last three years as an executive, manager, or specialized knowledge worker. Time spent in the US may not count towards the one year period required to come under the L1 visa category.  So in some cases the employee abroad may have to work for longer than one year for the business abroad to meet the L1 visa requirements.    

Those working abroad as specialized knowledge worker may be able to come to the United States as an L1A Manager or Executive. It is also permitted that someone working previously abroad as a manager or executive can come as a L1B specialized knowledge worker,in the US.  This is only if the US operation has been doing business for at least one year.  In other circumstances employees can start working in a new office or set up a new office under the L1 visa scheme.

The standard of proof for L1A executives and managers is quite strict – they must generally supervise other professional or managerial staff and/or direct and control the day-to-day operations of a significant function, unit or subdivision of the overseas employer. L1B specialized knowledge worker visa application can also be difficult.  Under the L1B visa you need to be familiar with the employer's specific products, procedures or methods to qualify for this visa.

L1A Executive or Manager Visa for Businessmen

if you are a businessman with a number of employees outside the US and the business will continue outside of the US while you are in the US the L-1A Executive or Manager visa may be worth considering.  As a businessman you should have been employed as an executive or manager outside of the US for at least one year in the last three years.  You can gain entry for up to one year to start a new business in the US or entry for up to three years in an established business in the US.  The visa can be extended for up to soven years.  As long as you apply within two years of entry it may be possible to gain a green card under the employment based EB1C immigrant visa scheme.

L2 Visa for Spouse and Children

Once the L-1A visa petition for an executive or manager is granted or L-1B visa for a specialized knowledge worker has been granted the spouse and unmarried children under 21 can apply for L-2 visas for entry to the US. once in the US L-2 visa spouses can apply for work authorization and work for any employer.