L-1A / L-1B visas

L-1A is the transfer of executives or managers within the same company
L-1B is the transfer of professionals with specialized knowledge or experts within the same company

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There are two categories for the L-1 visa

L-1 visa duration

Two different situations are depending on the maturity of the company.

For workers of emerging companies, the validity is 1 year. On the other hand, for employees of companies that have been operating in the United States for more than 1 year, the initial validity is 3 years.

In turn, in both situations, the L-1 visa can extend up to 5 or 7 years, depending on the knowledge and positions of the applicants.

L-1 visa for startups

When used for business creation, the L-1 visa is considered a “new office L-1” visa.

After the first year in the U.S., the individual must demonstrate that operations have grown to the point where a managerial or executive position is required, or have specialized knowledge to perform such work.

How to apply for the L-1 visa

Invest in a franchise, move to the U.S.

Businesses starting at $100,000

Relatives of the L-1 visa holder


Spouses and children

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany or join the L-1 visa holder in the United States.

L-2 non-immigrant visa

These family members will be able to apply for an L-2 non-immigrant visa, which will allow them to study, work, and live freely in the United States. This visa is granted for the same duration as the L-1 visa holder.

For the spouses to work

For the spouses to work in the United States, they must apply for and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). To apply for a work permit, they must complete and submit Form I-765.

Additional documents

Along with this form, they must also submit recent passport-size photographs, copies of the L-1 visa holder’s passport and L-1 visa, as well as the USCIS approval letter or “Approval Notice.”

Children under 21

Children under the age of 21 do not need to apply for a permit to study in the United States. However, if they wish to work, they must apply for and obtain a work permit.

Children over 21

On the other hand, children over the age of 21 cannot be considered “companions” and must apply for their nonimmigrant visa if they wish to travel to the United States.

L-1 visa extension

The L-1 visa can be extended for periods of 2 years up to a maximum of 7 years, as long as the employer continues to meet the visa requirements.

Once the L-1 visa holder completes 7 years in the United States, he will have fulfilled the maximum time allowed according to his condition and must leave the country for at least one year before he can reapply for the L-1 visa.

The only possible way in which he will be able to extend his time in the country is by receiving the status of a permanent resident of the United States through a Green Card.

What does it mean for the L-1 visa to be a dual intent visa?

This means that the applicant may apply for a visa to temporarily stay in the United States, but may also intend to become a permanent resident.

However, it is important to note that this process can take several years and that a Green Card is not guaranteed.

Minimum investment of the subsidiary or affiliate *

There is no specific minimum investment that must be made. However, if the USCIS has doubts about the economic solvency of the new subsidiary or affiliate, it may require that evidence be presented stating that it will have sufficient financial resources to operate in the United States.

In addition, the evidence must also be submitted that the new subsidiary or affiliate is established to provide the specific service or product for which the L-1 visa was granted.

Finally, it is also important to mention that if the new subsidiary or affiliate does not meet the economic solvency requirements and/or is not established to provide the requested service, the USCIS can revoke the L-1 visa of the foreign representative.

What happens if the foreign representative stops working for the US subsidiary or affiliate?

The foreign representative can only remain in the United States while continuing to work for the U.S. subsidiary or affiliate.

Once you stop working for that company, you will also lose your L-1 visa and will have to leave the United States.

In some cases, the foreign representative may be able to request a visa change to another type of visa.

However, this will be possible only if you meet the requirements for such a visa.

Invest in a franchise, move to the U.S.

Businesses starting at $100,000