L1 Visa Process

Learn About L1 Visa Application Process And Documents Checklist

Applying For L1 Visa

You cannot apply for an L1 visa as an individual. To sponsor your L1 visa, your employer must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf.

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Check My Eligibility

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 documents must include:

  1. 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)
  2. Documentation verifying capitalization structure of the company (e.g. records of stock or equity ownership)
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. If you are coming to the U.S. to setup a new office, submit evidence of establishment of new office (e.g. lease for office space, sales contracts, etc.)
  6. Annual report of both foreign and the U.S. company, and/or other reports showing the type of business and financial stability
  7. Organizational chart indicating your position in the U.S. company as well as the foreign company
  8. Copies of applicable business permits/licenses and registrations

B. Applying For L1 Visas 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:

  1. DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
    Note: Some Consulates may still require submission of DS-156 and DS-157
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Your resume
  5. Copy of the petition submitted to the USCIS (recommended)

Duration of Stay

A. L1A Visa

Employees in Managerial and Executive positions (L1A visa) may be admitted initially for a three-year period if they intend to join an existing company or a one-year period if they intend to join a newly established company. After initial entry, extensions are granted in two-year increments for a maximum period of seven years.

B. L1B Visa

Employees in specialty positions (L1B visa) may be admitted initially for a three-year period if they intend to join an existing company or a one-year period if they intend to join a newly established company. After initial entry, extensions are granted in two-year increments for a maximum period of five years.


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.


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