L-1 Visas

L-1 visas serve as a vehicle for certain foreign employees to be relocated to work for a company in the United States. This kind of visa benefits the foreign employee’s spouse and children under 21 years of age. The relocated employee’s spouse may apply for work authorization in the United States.

One of the more interesting aspects of this kind of visa is that it allows the foreign employee to move to the U.S and start a new business. Although the L-1 visa option for opening a new office allows the employee to remain in the United States for only one year, it gives the foreign company the chance to execute its business plan from the beginning with one of its trusted employees.

If you are interested in filing an L-1 visa application, you may consult your case with Carlos Mauricio Duque, Esq. (U.S. immigration attorney) by calling one of the following telephone numbers:

• Miami, Florida +1 305 436 0155
• Bogotá, Colombia +57 1 426 3975
• México, D.F., México +52 55 4170 3632
• San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2113 3858
• Panamá, Panamá +507 836 5750
• Lima, Perú +51 1 707 5967
• Madrid, España +34 911 239 941
• Buenos Aires, Argentina +54 11 5218 4068
• Caracas, Venezuela +58 212 7715900

Below you will find additional information about the L-1 visa:

<b>THE RELOCATED EMPLOYEE </b>

The foreign employee who wishes to benefit from L-1 visa must meet some minimum requirements:

Within the past three years the foreign employee must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year. For example, imagine that on May 8, 2015, Colexportaciones, a Colombian company, decides to relocate Carolina Herrera, one of its employees, to an office in the United States. Carolina must have worked in Colexportaciones for at least one year between May 8, 2012, and May 8, 2015 (at least one year within the three years preceding the time of filing the petition).

The job duties that the foreign employee performs in the United States must be of a managerial or executive nature, or must require specialized knowledge. The job title does not control on whether the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concludes that the employment is managerial, executive, or requires specialized knowledge. It is the duties performed by the foreign employee in the U.S. that will determine whether he or she is eligible for the L-1 visa. Specialized knowledge means that the employee has special knowledge handling the company´s products and knows how to apply them in international markets or that he or she is an expert in the company´s procedures.

Lastly, the employee should have the academic and practical training that allows him to perform his job activities in the U.S.

<b>THE FOREIGN COMPANY IN THE L-1 VISA</b>

The U.S. company must also have certain characteristics:

The company in the U.S. where the employee will be transfered must be the parent company, branch, subsidiary, or an affiliate of the foreign company. For example, imagine that Colexportaciones is a Colombian company that exports guava to the United States. Colexportaciones decides to open a company that commercializes its products in Miami, Florida, called Colimportaciones, LLC. Colexportaciones S.A. owns one hundred percent of the shares of Colimportaciones LLC. To initiate the operations of Colimportaciones, Colexportaciones decides to send its operations manager to the U.S. who has been working for Colexportaciones for the last 10 years. The operations manager is going to become the general manager of Colimportaciones and he will eventually have a team of at least 20 workers. In this example, Colimportaciones will be filing the L-1 visa petition to USCIS to seek authorization for the relocation of its general manager from Colombia to Miami, Florida.

To determine if your company is properly structured to file an L-1 visa petition it is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer.

Immigration law also provides for the case where a foreign company wishes to establish a new office in the U.S. In these cases, the requirements for the L-1 visa are less strict. The foreign worker will initially only be able to stay in the U.S. for one year. Before the expiration of this time he or she may extend the initial period of authorized stay by requesting an extension and proving that the new office has created job opportunities and that it´s successfully running.

<b>FROM L-1 TO PERMANENT RESIDENCE</b>

Obtaining a L-1 visa is one of the fastest and most convenient methods to achieve permanent resident status in the U.S. This is due to the fact that the requirements for L-1 visas and for permanent resident status in certain employment-based category, are virtually identical.

<b>PERIOD OF AUTHORIZED STAY UNDER L-1 VISA</b>

The L-1 visa allows the transferred employee to remain in the U.S. for a period of up to 5 or 7 years. Owing to this restriction, the relocated worker should have clear set of objectives right from the beginning. The immigration lawyer can help him.

If you are interested in filing an L-1 visa application, you may consult your case with Carlos Mauricio Duque, Esq. (U.S. immigration attorney) by calling one of the following telephone numbers:

• Miami, Florida +1 305 436 0155
• Bogotá, Colombia +57 1 426 3975
• México, D.F., México +52 55 4170 3632
• San Salvador, El Salvador +503 2113 3858
• Panamá, Panamá +507 836 5750
• Lima, Perú +51 1 707 5967
• Madrid, España +34 911 239 941
• Buenos Aires, Argentina +54 11 5218 4068
• Caracas, Venezuela +58 212 7715900

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