Unlike other countries offering a point system for immigration, the United States maintains difficult requirements for both temporary and permanent immigration options. Often, without a family sponsor, job offer or large investment, it can prove difficult to immigrate.
However, for a foreign business wishing to expand into the US market, the United States government established an opportunity for them to do so through the L Visa. The L Visa, also known as the Intracompany Transfer Visa offers two options – the first is to transfer a manager or executive from a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary company abroad to the United State office, and the second option, to be discussed in this blog, is to establish a new branch office in the United States.
The main requirement to sending a manager or executive to open a new office in the United States is that the company must be engaged in doing business in the US. The mere presence of an agent or office is not enough. Therefore, before one can apply for the L Visa to send an employee to the US office it’s important to actually establish an office. This may be proved by providing lease documents and proving that the intended US operation will support an executive or manager (usually by provided a detailed business plan). The executive or manager must also establish that he/she has worked at least one year out of the preceding three years for the company abroad.
You will need to provide your immigration attorney a number of documents, both business related and personal documents from the employee to be transferred. Such documents may include: business licenses, lease agreements, corporate tax returns, payroll information, bank records, copies of passports etc.
After the appropriate documents have been gathered your attorney will file form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) along with other relevant documents included in the filing package. Adjudication for the L Visa is typically fast, and current processing times are listed around two month. There is an option for expedited processing for an additional fee.
For additional information on the L Visa and assistance with establishing a US office, please contact our office.