San Antonio L-1A Visa Lawyer
Visa for Transferring Foreign Managers & Execs to USA
The L-1A Visa allows executives and managers of a foreign company to transfer to a US Company.
For example: David is a Mexican national and is current Manager of “Company A” located in Mexico. Company A has a subsidiary in the US called “Company B”. Angel would like to come to the United States to manage Company B. The L-1A Visa would allow Angel to do this.
L-1A Visa Benefits
The benefits of the L-1A Visa are:
1. Live in the USA
With the L-1A Visa, the applicant and their immediate family will be able to legally live in the USA. Your immediate family includes your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21.
2. Work in the USA
The applicant will be authorized to come legally work in the USA. The applicant’s spouse will also be eligible to get a work permit. This work permit allows the spouse to apply and legally work for any employer in the USA.
3. Public Education
The applicant’s children will have access to schools in the USA and will be able to attend classes from Pre-K to high school.
For children that have already graduated from high school, the L-1A Visa will allow them to attend universities in the US without a Student Visa.
5. Social Security Number
The applicant and spouse will be able to get Social Security Numbers.
6. Driver’s License
The applicant and spouse will be eligible to apply for a State Driver’s License in the state they live in.
7. Green Card Eligibility
One of the most appealing benefits of having an L-1A Visa is that changing from an L-1A Visa to a Green Card is a fairly simple process. This makes the L-1A Visa very attractive when compared to other visas for people seeking a Green Card. In most cases, when you have the L-1A Visa, you are eligible to apply for a Green Card.
L-1A Visa Requirements
There are 7 general requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the L-1A Visa.
1. Foreign Company
There must be a Foreign Company, currently operating, where the applicant has been employed.
2. US Company
There must be a US Company that is being created or operating in the US where the applicant plans to work.
3. Qualifying Relationship between the two Companies
The same person(s) or corporate group must own and operate both the US Company and Foreign Company.
Some examples of a Qualifying Relationship:
• The same person owns the Foreign Company and US Company,
• The US Company owns the Foreign Company as a subsidiary,
• A corporate group owns both companies, or
• The same group of people own a controlling interest in both companies.
4. Managerial Position in USA
The applicant being transferred to the US Company must plan to work in a managerial or executive position with the US Company.
5. Managerial Position in Foreign Company
The applicant must have worked with the Foreign Company in a managerial position for at least 1 whole, continuous year during:
• the last 3 years before applying for the L1A Visa, or
• the last 3 years before starting work with the US Company (on another type of visa, like the E2, E1, TN, H1B, etc.)
6. A Business Plan
If the US Company is less than 1 year old, the L1A Visa application must include a business plan. A business plan should describe what the company’s financial, employment and investment goals are over the course of a few years.
7. Physical Premises
There should be proof that the new company has physical premises in the USA. For example, the lease agreement of an office, warehouse, storefront, etc. would all qualify as a physical premises.
L-1A Visa Application Process
The application process for the L-1A Visa is a two-step process.
L1A Document Checklist
Once hired, our immigration attorney will provide you with a tailored checklist of the documents needed to prepare both Step 1 and Step 2 of the L-1A Visa application.
Step 1 – USCIS
Once the applicant has provided us with the necessary documents, we will prepare Step 1 of the application. This step of the application is submitted to USCIS. On the average, the review process can take anywhere from 2 weeks with Premium Processing to 4 months without Premium Processing. Once USCIS approves Step 1, we then move on to Step 2.
Step 2 – US Consulate
We will prepare Step 2 of the application that will be presented to the US Consulate in your home country. This step of the application includes an interview by a US Consular Officer. It is at this step that the L-1A Visa is stamped onto the applicant’s passport upon approval.
L-1A Interview Preparation
Prior to the applicant’s interview with the US Consular Officer (Step 2), the applicant will be scheduled for an appointment with our immigration attorney to help prepare the applicant for the visa interview.
How long does the L-1A Visa last?
• Generally, the L-1A Visa has a duration of 3 years.
• Renewals are for 2 years.
• If you are coming to work for a US company that is less than 1 year old, the duration of the L-1A Visa is 1 year. Thereafter, renewals are for 2 years.
• A person can only be on an L-1A Visa for up to 7 years. People with L-1A’s often apply for a Green Card before they reach the 7 years on the L-1A.
Frequently Asked Questions about the L1A Visa
• When can the L1A Visa holder apply for a Green Card?
Generally, you may apply for a Green Card as soon as you have an L-1A Visa. If you are working for a company that is less than 1 year old, there is a 1-year wait to apply.
• Can an L1A Visa re-apply for an L1A Visa once they have reached the 7 year maximum?
Once you have reached the 7 year maximum, you may leave the USA for one year and return for a new L-1A Visa. The trick here is to apply for a Green Card before you ever reach the maximum stay on an L-1A Visa.
• What if the USA Company is not in the same industry as the Foreign Company?
(Example: A business in Mexico sells gasoline but the business in the USA sells food.)
There is no requirement that the two companies be in the same kind of business. The only requirement is that both companies share ownership and control.
• To be considered a Manager for L1A purposes, do 100% of the employee’s duties have to be of a managerial nature?
Applicant need “only establish that the applicant will devote half of his or her time to managerial duties”.
For more information Contact Our San Antonio L-1A Visa Lawyer
If you would like to set up a consultation with an immigration attorney to discuss the time, costs and other requirements associated with the L1A Visa application, please call (210) 858-9681.