San Antonio L-1B Visa Lawyer
Intra-Company Transfer Visa for Highly Specialized Workers
The L-1B Visa is a visa that allows highly specialized workers of a foreign company to transfer to a US Company.
Erick is a Mexican national and works for “Company A” located in Mexico. Company A specializes in making shampoo and soap. Erick is an employee that has worked for 20 years at Company A and is the lead chemist that developed many of the company’s formulas for its shampoo. He has expertise in the company products and a skill set that would be hard to replace. Company A has a subsidiary in the US called “Company B”. Company A would like to send Erick to Company B to start developing products for Company B. The L-1B Visa would allow Erick to transfer from Company A to Company B.
L-1B Visa Benefits
Some of the benefits of the L-1B Visa are:
1. Live in the USA
With the L-1B 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 legally work in the USA.
3. Public Education
The applicant’s children will be able to attend public schools in the USA and attend classes from Pre-K to high school.
For children that have already graduated from high school, the L-1B Visa will allow them to apply and 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.
L-1B Visa Requirements
There are 6 general requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the L-1B 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 is the 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 control 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. Specialized Knowledge
The applicant being sent to the US should possess:
1. A skillset valuable to the US Company that distinguishes him/her from other employees and makes them difficult to replace; or
2. A high level of expertise and familiarity with the company’s services, management, or products that was gained through work experience.
5. 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.
6. A Business Plan
If the US Company is less than 1 year old, the L-1B 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.
L-1B Visa Application Process
The application process for the L-1B Visa is a two-step process.
• 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-1B 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-1B Visa is stamped onto the applicant’s passport upon approval.
• 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.
Duration and Renewal of the L1B Visa
• Generally, the L-1B Visa has a duration of 3 years.
• Renewals are issued for 2 years.
• A person can only be on an L-1B visa for 5 years.
• If you are coming to work for a US company that is less than a year old, the duration of the first L-1B Visa is 1 year.
Frequently Asked Questions about the L1B Visa
1. Can I be on the L-1B Visa for more than 5years?
Once you have reached the 5 year maximum, you may leave the USA for one year and return for a with a L-1B Visa. After you leave the USA for one year, you will be eligible for another 5 years of the L-1B Visa.
2. 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.
For more information Contact Our San Antonio L-1B 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 an L1B Visa application, please call (210) 858-9681.