L-1A Visa/Status – International Executive Transferee
L-1A visas/statuses may be granted to managers and executives who wish to transfer from a foreign company to a company in the United States that is a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate. To be eligible for this visa/status, an applicant must have worked for an eligible foreign company for one continuous year in the last three years before the date of application. As a further stipulation, both the foreign and U.S. company must continue to do business with each other. Furthermore, applicants must be actually qualified to perform the duties required of the position offered in the U.S.
Duration of Stay:
While the L-1A status may be initially granted for up to three years, the USCIS determines the duration of this status on a case-by-case basis. For instance, the USCIS will typically only grant a single year to executives of newly established companies. However, so long as both the foreign and U.S. company continue to do business and remain affiliated, and so long as the employee remains in an executive or managerial position, the L-1A status may be extended to a maximum period of seven years (typically, in increments of two to three years).
When executives are granted L-1A status, their spouse and children (provided they are under 21 and not currently married) will be eligible for the derivative L-2 status. As such, a transferee’s spouse and children may accompany him or her into the United States. Additionally, the spouse of an L-1A status holder may apply for legal authorization to work in the U.S. and anyone with L-2 status may attend schools in the U.S.
When filing from within the United States and at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (please read the disclaimer at the top of this page), the Austin immigration attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC will charge the following in attorney’s fees and for the USCIS filing fees:
- $5,000 attorney’s fees ($3,000 for renewals)
- $460 USCIS filing fee for the main petition
- $500 USCIS Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee (initial petition)
- $2,500 USCIS premium processing fee (optional)
Family’s Application (if any family is also applying):
- $500 attorney’s fees for family’s application
- $370 USCIS filing fee for the family’s application
- $410 USCIS filing fee for authorization of spouse’s employment (optional)
At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration attorneys are prepared to help you through every step of the L-1A application process. To schedule an appointment to meet with one of our Austin immigration attorneys, please call our Austin offices at (512) 323-2333 today.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Applying for a nonimmigrant visa is a very complicated process, and we know you may have lingering questions about the L-1A visa and application. Here are the answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions.
What is the difference between L-1A and L-1B status?
L-1A visas are reserved for companies’ executives and managers who are being transferred – in their executive or managerial capacity – to an affiliated company in the United States. To qualify for this status, a visa applicant must demonstrably serve as an executive or manager for their company.
In comparison, someone does not have to hold a managerial role to qualify for L-1B status. Instead, L-1B status hinges on a person’s “specialized knowledge.” Specialized knowledge can refer to various forms of know-how that company employees might hold and can bring to their new offices in the U.S. For instance, if someone is deeply knowledgeable about a particular product that their company offers, this person may be eligible for an L-1B visa.
Much like applying for the L-1A visa, you must have worked for your company for at least one year in the previous three to qualify for an L-1B visa. Unlike the L-1A, however, an L-1B visa can be extended to last a maximum of five years. (As a reminder, L-1A status can last up to seven years.)
How does the USCIS define “executives” and “managers”?
The USCIS defines “executive capacity” as “the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.” In other words, someone who generally does not report to a supervisor or boss is considered to be an executive.
“Managerial capacity,” on the other hand, can refer to a wide range of overseeing functions. If you supervise employees and/or manage a particular department, subdivision, or function of your company, the USCIS may consider you a manager who is eligible for L-1A status.
Who exactly is eligible for L-2 status?
If you are approved for L-1A status, your spouse will likely qualify for L-2 visa status, as will your children who are both unmarried and younger than 21. Only these family members are eligible for L-2 visas. Even if you provide for other family members, such as your elderly mother or 23-year-old son, they will unfortunately not be eligible for L-2 status.
What if my application for an L-1A visa is rejected?
If your first application for an L-1A visa is rejected, all hope is not lost. You are allowed to try again. In fact, you can technically apply for any nonimmigrant visa as many times as you want. However, it is highly inadvisable to count on the possibility of a successful subsequent application.
With each rejected application, your chances of being approved for a nonimmigrant visa become lower and lower. For this reason, it is important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before submitting your initial application. This application must include all required components and be clear and well-organized in order to maximize your chances of approval. Law Office of William Jang, PLLC can assist you in ensuring that your application is as strong as possible before you submit it.