Also known as an ‘A-Number’, an Alien Registration Number is a seven to nine digit number that can be found on a variety of documents from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS uses the Alien Registration Number to track files for immigrants (and some...
An L-1 nonimmigrant business visa is used for professionals or middle/senior managers transferring from an affiliated foreign company to the United States (US). The L-1 visa consists of two categories:
- L-1A visa for executives and managers.
- L-1B visa for personnel with specific professional knowledge.
Learn more about L-1 visa
- Transfer to an existing American office
- Opening of a new office in the United States
- Visa validity period
- Terms and application deadlines
Transferring to an existing American office
The L-1 visa is used to move within a single company which is connected with a subsidiary or parent structure in the US.
As an applicant, you must prove that you have worked for a local company for at least 12 months in the last three years at the time you apply for the visa. If you have worked in a management position, you can apply for an L1-A business visa. If you have specialist knowledge of the company and its business processes or products, you can apply for an L-1B visa.
Important: both parent and subsidiary companies must be able to demonstrate business activity during the entire validity period of the L-1 visa (see below).
Opening a new office in the US
An L-1 visa provides a good opportunity to open an office in the US by transferring your local executive or manager there. This action requires registration of a subsidiary in the US, in which your local company or its owner/owners will be the main founder (at least 50%). You will need a business plan outlining your American company development, an office, and a paid-in statutory fund or other means of funding sufficient to remunerate necessary staff in the US and cover all initial business expenses.
Due to our extensive network of partners, we will help you register your new American company, develop a professional business plan and obtain necessary licenses to run business in the US. We will also support you in financial and tax planning and reporting in the US.
Visa validity period
The L-1A visa is issued for one year for all transferred employees of newly established American enterprises. For the employees of affiliated US companies operating in the US for more than one year, the first L-1 visa is in most cases issued for three years.
- Once your new company has been doing regular business for a period of one year and is fully covering all business expenses, you have the right to extend the one-year L-1 visa for two years. Subsequently, you can extend your L-1 visa in the US every 2 years.
- With an L-1A visa, you can stay in the US for a maximum of seven years.
- With an L-1B visa, you can stay in the US for a maximum of five years.
Your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 may travel with you and possess an L-2 status. Your spouse, who entered the US on an L-2 visa, may obtain an unlimited work permit in the country. Children are not eligible to work but can attend school or college. Studying in public schools will be free of charge.
The L-1 business visa allows you to apply for permanent residence status (green card). The main conditions for this are staying in the US on an L-1 visa for two years, and the dynamics of growth of your business.
When applying to the Regional Service Center of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will have to pay a government fee of $1925. Your application will then be considered within 2-3 months.
After the consideration deadline, USCIS will inform you about the results of application. If it is rejected because of the incomplete information, you will have the opportunity to resubmit the application within 12 weeks.
You can speed up your application consideration to up to 15 days by paying an additional fee of $1410.
Once your application is approved, the Regional Centre of USCIS will send the petition. The petition will be sent to the nearest US Consulate.
Terms and application deadlines
The whole procedure, starting from the moment of your prepayment to receiving of a positive decision from USCIS, takes roughly three months.