As the economic capital of the world, the United States has attracted some of the finest multinational corporations in the world to establish their offices. Foreign entrepreneurs, company owners, chief executive officers, business proprietors, and managers who are interested in building their corporate presence in the U.S. would benefit from this visa.
L visas were specifically created to facilitate the needs of these multi-national corporations with little restriction. Those having executive or managerial positions in a foreign company, who intend to come to the U.S. to provide support for their new or existing business, mainly use an L visa. L visas are also used by foreign nationals who have “specialized knowledge” or a detailed understanding of the company’s products, services, procedures, etc..
TYPES OF L VISAS:
1) L-1A: Meant for foreign nationals in executive or managerial capacities;
2) L-1B: Meant for employees with specialized company knowledge;
3) L-2: Spouses and children of L-1 visa holders.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN L VISA?
There are different requirements for L visa applicants with existing corporate offices in the U.S. and for those companies intending to establish new offices in the U.S.
COMPANIES WITH AN OFFICE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES MUST PROVE:
1) That the company in the U.S.has a relationship with the foreign company either as a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations;
2) That the company is or will be doing business as an employer in the U.S. and with the foreign company during the L visa holder’s stay in the U.S.; and,
3) That the foreign company owns at least half of the U.S.subsidiary and has veto powers over that subsidiary, or vice-versa.
WHAT DOES “DOING BUSINESS” MEAN?
“Doing business” does not just mean that there are offices and employees located in the U.S. and the foreign country. The company has to prove that it has continuous and regular dealings with goods or services both in the U.S and abroad.
CAN A FOREIGN CORPORATION DIRECTOR OR MANAGER COME AND SET UP AN OFFICE IN THE UNITED STATES?
Yes, managers and executives of foreign firms generally enter the U.S. on a B-1 or a B-2 visa (visitor’s visa). After consulting an experienced immigration attorney, the manager or director can establish a branch office in the U.S. This can help the manager or director to acquire an L- 1A visa and stay in the U.S.
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