Everything You Need to Know About the L1 Visa: Your Gateway to Working in the U.S.

June 25, 2024
L1 Visa

It is a challenging task to comprehend the U.S. immigration law, particularly when it comes to obtaining a visa to work and reside in the U.S. Undoubtedly, the L1 Visa is one of the most popular work visas for the employees of global companies who wish to transfer their employees to the United States branch. In this blog, we will learn about what an L1 visa is, its requirements, the period of the L1 visa, the costs involved in the L1 visa, etc. If you are thinking of applying for an L1 visa, this piece of information will come in handy.

what does the term L1 Visa mean?

The L1 Visa is an intra-company transfer visa applicable to companies operating in the United States and in other parts of the world, as it provides for the transfer of specified classes of employees from their foreign offices to their American counterparts. The primary beneficiaries of the L1 Visa are employers, as well as managers, executives, and specialised knowledge workers. This visa is very helpful in ensuring the efficient management and expansion of international business entities for their employees to be able to work in the U.S.

L1 visa requirements

To qualify for an L1 visa, several specific requirements must be met:
Employment Relationship: The foreign parent company must control at least 51 percent of the voting stock of the subsidiary in the United States, or vice versa. Conversely, both business units may be affiliates, in that at least 50% of each business unit is controlled by the same parent company. Further, if it is a U.S. company having a permanent business place in another country or a foreign company having the same in the U.S., then they can also apply.
Employment Duration: The employee must have been working for the parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch of the U.S. company in the foreign state for not less than one year in the three years immediately preceding the application.
Position: For the employee to qualify for the L visa, he or she must be coming to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial, or specialised knowledge position.

How Long Can You Stay on an L1 Visa?

The total duration of stay on an L1 Visa ranges from 5 to 7 years, depending on the type of L1 Visa:
L1A Visa: For managers and executives, the duration of the first stay cannot exceed 3 years, with the option to have subsequent stays at intervals of 2 years, at most 7.
L1B Visa: For specialised knowledge workers, the initial period of stay is the same, up to 3 years; however, extensions can be done only for a maximum of 5 years.
The initial duration of the visa also depends on the kind of visa applied; this can either be to start a new office in the U.S. or work for a company that is already established.

Dependent Visas

L2 visas can be given to spouses and minor children of L1 visa holders and enable them to accompany the L1 visa holder to the U.S. The L2 Visa holder can also apply for a work permit, which enables him or her to work during the permit’s validity in the U.S.

L1 Visa Costs

But nonetheless, applying for an L1 Visa undergoes several charges or fees. Here is a breakdown:
Form I-129 USCIS L-1 Visa Filing Fee: $1385 for all employers or $695 for employers with fewer than ten employees (from April 1, 2024). Applications that are lodged before April 1, 2024, have a filing fee of $460.
Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee: Amount greater than 500 Dollars:
DS-160 Form MRV Filing Fee: It shows price level of $205.
Asylum Program Fee: $600 or $300 for small employers (starting from 1 April 2024).


L1 Visa is a crucial mechanism for the MNCs because through it they can easily transfer important personnel to U. S. To get an understanding of how to go about it, what forms of time and money it entails, and more importantly, how to avoid violating the provisions of Immigration laws in United States, this paper will provide a detailed on what the L1 Visa entails. L1 Visa is suited for managerial, excutive or any specialized knowledge employee who willing to advance in his career and bring their company more success in the U. S.
For further details about the L1 Visa, it is advisable to seek legal advice from an immigration attorney or visit the USCIS Organization website. If you have any questions or need help with your L1 Visa application, contact us today for a professional consultation.

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