Sunny Isles Beach L-1A Visa Attorney

The L-1A intra-company transferee visa is a non-immigrant visa allowing executives and managers in multinational companies to transfer to a U.S. office to work for up to seven years. It also lets companies send executives to expand their businesses by establishing branches located in the U.S. If you are hoping to come to the U.S. on an L-1A visa, or are the Florida office of a company with offices abroad, a Sunny Isles Beach L-1A Visa attorney can help you apply for and obtain a visa.

Qualified Employers

To qualify to bring international employees to a U.S. office under an L-1A visa, an employer must conform with specified qualifications. The employer must:

  • Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company; and
  • Do business both in the U.S. and in the foreign country throughout the employee’s stay in the States.

Qualifying relationships between companies include parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, and branches of the foreign company.

The foreign company may do business with the U.S. company either directly or through a qualifying organization. Doing business requires more than the mere presence of an office or agent. Rather, the company must regularly and continuously provide goods or services for the entire duration of the employee’s residency under the L-1 visa. Further, to qualify, the business must be viable.

Qualified Employees

To qualify for an L-1A visa, an employee must meet certain requirements. He or she must:

  • Have been employed by the qualified company in a foreign country for at least one continuous year during the three years preceding approval of the visa; and
  • Provide managerial or executive services for the qualified U.S. employer in the U.S. office.

Managerial and executive services include making broad decisions without significant oversight or directing the management of or managing an organization or subdivision of the company. It also includes supervisory responsibilities over professional employees or management of an essential function, but does not include low-level management.

Establishing a New Office

If a foreign company wishes to open a new U.S. office, it must meet certain standards before an L-1A visa will be granted. First, the company must have acquired the physical premises necessary for the U.S. office. The employee relocating to the U.S. must have worked in an executive or managerial position for a minimum of one continuous year during the three years immediately preceding application for the visa. Additionally, the company must demonstrate that the new U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the visa.

Duration and Family

Generally, L-1A visas are valid for three years. However, if the employee is coming to the U.S. to establish a new office, the visa will only be good for one year. Extensions may be granted in two-year increments, with a maximum stay of seven years.

Employees may bring a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Spouses may apply for work authorization, and, if the application is granted, there is no limitation on where the spouse may work.

Blanket Petitions

Obtaining approval for a petition for an L-1A visa can take a substantial amount of time, which may cause inconvenience and loss of business opportunities. For greater flexibility with international employees, U.S. companies that meet certain requirements may file for blanket L certification to establish the intracompany relationship before filing individual L-1A petitions for specific employees. Blanket approval does not guarantee the success of any individual L-1A petition, but it does provide greater ease and speed for the transfer of employees from abroad.

If you are a Sunny Isles Beach employer wishing to bring a foreign employee to your offices, please contact our Sunny Isles Beach immigration attorney at the Law Offices of Alex T. Barak for an initial consultation at our offices conveniently located in nearby Aventura or Hollywood.