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For over 27 years, we've championed the legal needs of over 13,000 clients. Our extensive experience ensures we deliver the depth of knowledge and successful outcomes you deserve.

Operating Agreements

Businesses with multiple owners, must have clear agreements outlining ownership, profit sharing, decision-making, and dispute resolution. We can draft these agreements to protect the interests of all founders.

Guidance on Business Structures

This includes understanding the differences between sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations, and selecting the structure that best suits your needs in terms of liability protection, and management.

Contracts and Legal Agreement

Businesses often enter into contracts with vendors, suppliers, customers, and other parties. We can review and draft contracts to protect the business's interests and ensure they are legally binding and enforacable.

Assistance for Licensing & Permits

Depending on the city and state a business operates in, it will need to obtain specific licenses and permits. We consult and assist with clients in obtaining these requiered permits.

Regulatory Compliance

There are various federal, state, and local regulations that businesses must comply with. We can help our clients navigate these regulations so that they ensure their business is operating legally.

The Ultimate L1 Visa Resource:

Comprehensive Insights and Expert Guidance on the L1 Visa

The L1 visa serves as a bridge for professionals across the globe to expand their careers and companies within the United States. Specifically designed to facilitate the transfer of key employees from foreign branches to U.S. subsidiaries, this visa category is essential for both multinational corporations and individuals aiming to grow their professional horizons. The L1 visa is divided into two distinct types: L1A for managers and executives and L1B for employees with specialized knowledge. This setup supports the seamless operation of international businesses and enriches the U.S. economy by bringing in diverse expertise and fostering global business connections. For ambitious professionals and expanding companies alike, understanding the L1 visa can be the first step toward achieving substantial growth and international success.

Introduction to the L1 Visa

The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category specifically designed for the intra-company transfer of key employees within multinational corporations. This visa facilitates the movement of managers, executives, and specialized knowledge employees from a corporation’s foreign offices to its operations in the United States. Additionally, it can be utilized by foreign companies seeking to establish a new office in the U.S. To qualify, the employee must have been working for the company abroad for at least one continuous year within the three years prior to their transfer.

Importance of L1 Visa in Global Business

The L1 visa is crucial for supporting the international strategic operations of companies. It plays a significant role in global business by allowing the seamless transfer of experienced and skilled employees who possess in-depth knowledge of the company’s operations. This mobility is essential for companies that need to align operational practices across borders, foster global business relationships, and ensure that their offices in the U.S. are led and staffed by personnel who embody the corporate culture and possess essential company-specific knowledge.

Moreover, the L1 visa promotes international business growth by enabling companies to bring in talent that might be scarce in the U.S. labor market. This is particularly important in industries where advanced, specialized knowledge is a prerequisite for business success and innovation. By facilitating these transfers, the L1 visa helps sustain international competitiveness and supports the U.S. economy by filling critical roles in technology, management, and other sectors with top global talent. In essence, the L1 visa helps individual businesses thrive in a global marketplace and contributes to economic interconnectivity and cultural exchange.

Eligibility Criteria for the L1 Visa

Qualifications for Applicants

To be eligible for an L1 visa, applicants must meet specific criteria that confirm their importance to the company’s international operations. First and foremost, the applicant must have been employed by the company, its affiliate, or its subsidiary for at least one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding the application. This employment must have been in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

  • Managerial or Executive Roles (L1A): For those applying under the L1A category, the role should involve significant decision-making responsibilities, oversight of professional staff, or management of key functions or subdivisions of the enterprise.

  • Specialized Knowledge Roles (L1B): Applicants for the L1B visa must demonstrate specialized knowledge that is unique to the company and crucial to its operations. This knowledge could include proprietary techniques, processes, procedures, or a deep understanding of the company’s products, services, research, systems, management, or procedures.

Requirements for Sponsoring Companies

The sponsoring company must also meet certain requirements to qualify for transferring employees under the L1 visa category:

  • Qualifying Relationship: The company must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate) and currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the U.S. and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L1.

  • Doing Business: The organization must be engaged in commercial trade or services and provide goods or services regularly, systematically, and continuously. The mere presence of an agent or office in the U.S. and abroad does not suffice.

  • Capacity to Support the Employee: The company must demonstrate the ability to support the executive or managerial position within the U.S. for the L1A visa or the need for a specialized knowledge worker for the L1B visa. If the purpose is to open a new office in the U.S., the company must show proof of secured physical premises and the financial ability to commence business operations and compensate the L1 employee.

Meeting these criteria is essential not only for visa approval but also for the successful integration of the transferred employee into U.S. operations, ensuring that their skills and experience contribute effectively to the company’s growth in a global context.

Types of L1 Visas

The L1 visa is segmented into two principal categories, each designed to cater to different needs within a multinational company. These categories allow for the strategic placement of foreign nationals in the U.S. operations of a foreign company, emphasizing the transfer of specialized knowledge and executive management skills.

L-1A Visa for Managers and Executives

The L1A visa is specifically tailored for executives and managers transferring to the United States to take on a managerial or executive position within the same company or one of its qualifying organizations. This visa category is ideal for those who have a role in making broad decisions without substantial supervision and are involved in setting the company’s goals and policies. The L1A visa holders are expected to manage a major division, function, or the entire company, showing that they operate at a high level within the organization’s hierarchy.

Eligibility for the L1A visa requires the individual to be employed in an executive or managerial capacity for the foreign company for at least one continuous year in the three years preceding the application. This visa is particularly beneficial because it is a dual intent visa, meaning it allows holders to seek permanent residency in the U.S. without jeopardizing their non-immigrant L1 status.

L-1B Visa for Specialized Knowledge Staff

The L1B visa supports transferring employees who possess specialized knowledge related to the company’s products, services, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests. These employees must have knowledge that is distinct to the company and not easily transferrable to another individual. The L1B visa is crucial for companies that need to utilize specialized knowledge that is essential to the U.S. operation’s needs.

Applicants for the L1B visa must demonstrate that their specialized knowledge is unique and necessary for the U.S. operations of their company. They must have been working in a specialized knowledge capacity for the same employer abroad, ensuring that they are bringing a deep understanding of the company’s processes and practices to the United States.

In summary, the L1 visa categories provide multinational companies with the flexibility to strategically move their most important assets—their people—across borders. This not only supports international business operations but also enhances the transfer of culture and innovation across the multinational company’s global network.

Application Process for the L1 Visa

Navigating the application process for an L1 visa involves several detailed steps and requires careful preparation of documentation to ensure compliance with the regulations set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here is a step-by-step guide to help simplify this complex procedure.

Step-by-Step Application Guide

  1. Determine Eligibility: Before initiating the application process, ensure that both the foreign national and the multinational company meet the specific criteria for the L1 visa. This includes verifying the employee’s role in the foreign company as either managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge staff, and confirming the company’s qualifying relationship with the U.S. entity.

  2. Prepare the Petition: The U.S. employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS, along with the L Supplement. This form serves as the formal request to classify the prospective transferee under L1 visa status.

  3. Compile Supporting Documents: Supporting documentation must comprehensively demonstrate the qualifying relationship between the U.S. and foreign company (such as articles of incorporation, financial statements, and organizational charts). Documents should also prove the employee’s qualification and role in the company, detailing their managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

  4. Submit the Petition: Once the petition and all supporting documents are prepared, submit them to the appropriate USCIS Service Center. The location for filing can vary based on the company’s location within the U.S.

  5. USCIS Processing: After submission, the petition will undergo a review process by USCIS, which may include requests for additional evidence (RFE). This step can vary in duration but typically takes a few months unless premium processing is used, which can shorten the processing time to about 15 calendar days.

  6. Visa Application at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate: Once the petition is approved, the foreign national must apply for the L1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. This involves submitting a visa application (Form DS-160), scheduling and attending a visa interview, and providing additional documentation, such as a valid passport and employment proof.

  7. Entry into the United States: Upon visa issuance, the employee can travel to the U.S. USCIS will issue Form I-797, which, along with the visa, allows entry into the U.S. under L1 status.

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Sedaghat Law Firm Staff Photos
Shawn Sedaghat, Managing Attorney

Shawn Sedaghat, Founder & Senior Attorney

Founder and Senior Attorney. With more than 25 years of experience he has represented thousands of clients including many business executives. Shawn is the author of two immigration-related books and hundreds of blog articles on immigration and Nationality law, and has appeared on various television programs related to the subject. Shawn is also a distinguished authority on the seamless integration of virtual assistants and AI into law firm operations.
Faezeh Hosseini

Faezeh Hosseini, L-1 Department Head

Master of Laws - LLM focused in International Business from University of Southern California. An experienced banker and financial services industry veteran, she is dedicated to enhancing our clients chances of success with their new businesses in the United States.

The Right Team For Your L-1 Visa

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Trust over 27 years of unmatched expertise and proven success in securing L-1 visas. Your journey to successful immigration starts here, with seasoned professionals by your side.

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Benefit from our expedited processing to meet tight deadlines. We ensure your L-1 visa application moves swiftly, minimizing wait times and maximizing opportunities.

Dedicated Support

Experience our Dedicated Support Team, where your concerns are addressed promptly and personally, ensuring a seamless L-1 visa application process from start to finish.

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