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L1 Visas for Employees in San Mateo

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An L1 visa is granted to foreign workers who are entering the U.S. to work for the same employer that he or she had worked for in his or her home country, its affiliate, or its subsidiary. The foreign worker must have been employed for one year of the past three years by the parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the U.S. company prior to filing the L1 application. In order to receive an L1 visa, the foreign worker must prove that he or she has specialized knowledge that is required for the job (L1B) or that he or she is an executive or manager of the company (L1A).

L1 Visas for Start-Ups

Many believe that the L1 visa is only for large multinational corporations wishing to transfer executives or managers to the U.S. However, the L1 visa can also be used by a foreign national to come to the U.S. to start up a new branch office or subsidiary of a foreign company. To qualify for this visa, the applicant must be an executive, manager, or an employee with specialized knowledge of the company’s business and its products and services. The applicant must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years.

The L1 visa is a good option to use to start up an entity in the U.S. because it does not have a substantial investment requirement (like the E2 visa) and can be used for any venture. In addition, L1 employees may pursue permanent residency while maintaining L1 status, which may not be possible with some other visas.

Some of the evidence that the new start-up entity should provide with its L1 visa application includes:

  • Proof of leased U.S. business premises;
  • A comprehensive business plan with reasonable financial projections; and
  • Proof that a U.S. corporate entity has been formed.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will approve an L1 visa for a new office for only one year. After the year, the visa may be extended upon presenting evidence that there has been significant business activity and that the U.S. company continues to require the services of the applicant as a manager, executive, or an employee with specialized knowledge.

Speak to a San Mateo Attorney for L1 Visas

If you would like to pursue an L1 visa application, we invite you to contact our firm for an initial consultation. Based in San Mateo, California, The Alagiri Immigration Law Firm provides immigration services throughout the Bay Area and for clients worldwide.

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