The L1A visa is for intracompany transfer employees who will be going to the US to work for the same company in a managerial or executive job position.
Do I Qualify for an L1A Visa?
The company must submit job descriptions of the person’s position and duties to the relevant authorities when you apply for the L1A visa. US immigration authorities will check the job description and duties and will decide whether you qualify to be called a manager or executive.
What should be the duties of a Manager?
A manager must perform the following duties to claim that title:
- Has the authority to hire and fire employees accordingly if there is no other supervisor of that function. If there is a human resource supervisor, the manager has the authority to recommend people for hiring or for firing them.
- Is in charge of the whole company or a division of it.
- Has control over the supervisors and lower level employees of the organization or the division which the manager heads.
A supervisor who sees day to day operations and has another supervisor to whom he or she reports to, cannot state that they are a manager. This person would be considered as staff of the company, since they have no decision making power and must ask for approval from their superior.
Managers must have e certain degree of control and power over the company and its decisions to be able to qualify for an L1A visa for transferring to the US. An example of a manager could be the Head of the Marketing Department, or the Head of Operations of a company.
Who is considered an Executive?
As for an executive, these duties fall under that job position:
- Is supervised only by stakeholders or a board of directors and no others
- Makes policy rules and regulations for the company
- Has the ultimate decision making power regarding the company, besides the stakeholders and the board of directors
If the person must report and is supervised directly by another person, with the exception of stakeholders and the board of directors, then they do not meet the criteria of being an executive. An executive must be monitored at a very low degree. An example of an executive is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company.
What are the Eligibility Criteria of the L1A visa?
There are few requirements when it comes to getting an L1A visa. They can be stricter in various countries, but in general these are the ones that USCIS and the US Embassy will look at.
- You must be employed in another country other than the US for at least one year in the past three years.
- The company you work for must have a company affiliated to them in the US.
- You must be offered a position at the affiliate company in the US as a manager or executive.
- You must commit to either working as full time or part time in the company.
How to Apply for the L1A Visa?
The application process for the L1A visa follows the same steps as the application for the L1 visa.
What Kind of Questions Will there be on the Interview?
The L-1A visa interview questions will revolve around trying to see whether you meet the requirements for this visa and whether your job position falls under the managerial and executive ones. If you pass
the interview successfully, you will wait for the processing time and get the visa stamped on your passport
What is the Processing time for the L1A Visa?
The L1A visa processing time is an additional 3 to 4 months since the day of the application. L1A visa blanket petitions are also processed faster than individual ones.
In addition, employers have the option of obtaining premium processing for additional fees. This will speed up the L1A processing time and you’ll get a response within 1 to 3 weeks.
How Long is the L1A visa valid?
The L1A visa is usually initially granted for a period of 3 years. These first 3 years are critical, especially if you are thinking of staying in the US for longer. If your work performance is high, and you have not breached your contract or your visa regulation, your employer might want to extend your contract. If your employer wants to still keep you in the US after those 3 years, they can file for an extension with USCIS.
The validity period for the L1A visa can be found on the dates of the Form I-129 and Form I-797, which your employer will get when their petition is approved. USCIS determines the length of time that employees can stay in the US with an L1A visa.
Can I Extend my L1A Visa?
If the requirements for extensions are fulfilled, USCIS will grant the L1A visa status for an additional 2 years. USCIS allows two extensions for L1A visas, which means that you can extend your period of stay in the US for another 4 years. Based on this, the maximum amount of time you can to stay in the US with an L1A visa is 7 years. After that, you will either have to go back to your home country or seek other permanent solutions to staying in the US.
Can I apply for a Green Card with an L1A visa?
Anyone who has the L1A visa is allowed to apply for Green Card on the basis of employment.
During your application procedure, you as a potential L1A visa holder do not need to prove that you have strong ties to your home country or that you intend to go back when your contract is completed. Even if you state that you intend to seek permanent residence into the US, your application will not be penalized and your chances of getting the L1A visa will not be affected.
Can I bring dependents with an L1A visa?
L1A visa holders are allowed to bring dependents into the US. Dependents who qualify are the spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years old. The dependents would accompany the L1A visa holder with an L2 visa. The benefits of the L2 visa is that holders are allowed to study as well as work in the US. To be allowed to work in the US, dependents must have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).