Applying For L1 Visa For ‘New Office’
Applying for an L1 visa is a two step process. A petition is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf by the US Company. After the petition is approved, you apply for the L1 visa at a US consulate.
A. Filing The L1 Petition
An L1 petition is filed on USCIS Form I-129, along with the Form I-129L supplement. Your L1 petition must include:
- Evidence of establishment of new office (e.g. lease for office space, sales contracts, etc.)
- Documentation verifying the corporate relationship between the U.S. company and the foreign company (usually a letter from the corporate secretary, and the Articles of Incorporation of both the foreign and the U.S. company)
- Documentation verifying capitalization structure of the company (e.g. records of stock or equity ownership)
- The size of the United States investment and the financial ability of the foreign entity to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the United States
- Documentation proving that you have worked in the foreign company for a continuous period of over one year in the preceding three years in an executive or managerial capacity, or were employed in a position involving specialized knowledge and that you are coming to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial, or a specialized knowledge position
- Detailed job description and requirements for the position – In case of a specialized knowledge position, detailed description of your unique knowledge to be used by the U.S. company
- Annual report of the foreign company, and/or other reports showing the type of business and financial stability
- Organizational chart indicating your position in the U.S. company as well as the foreign company
- Copies of applicable business permits/licenses and registrations
B. Applying For L1 Visa At An American Consulate
To apply for the L1 visa, you must furnish the original or copy of the Notice of Action, Form I-797A or B (the approval notice forwarded to your employer when the petition is approved). Your visa application must include the following documents:
- DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Note: Some Consulates may still require submission of DS-156 and DS-157
- A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
- Two identical color photographs showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member
- Your resume
- Copy of the petition submitted to the USCIS (recommended)
Duration of Stay
L1 petition for a new office will initially be approved for only one year. The petition can be extended beyond the initial one year by filing a new Form I-129, accompanied by the following:
- Evidence that the qualifying relationship still exists between the United States and foreign entities
- Evidence that the United States entity has been ‘doing business’ for the previous year
- A statement of the duties performed by you for the previous year and the duties you will perform under the extended petition
- A statement describing the staffing of the new operation, including the number of employees and types of positions held accompanied by evidence of wages paid to employees
- Evidence of the financial status of the United States operation
Spouses and Children
Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join you in the U.S. for the duration of your stay can apply for L2 visas. Spouses are eligible to take up employment after obtaining an employment authorization document.
We thoroughly review your circumstances, select appropriate visa and submit an accurate application to the necessary Government Agencies.
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