L-1 Visa information

L-1 Visa: Are Managers of Small Businesses Eligible?

In our latest video, our Senior Immigration Attorney Verdie Atienza dispels the myth that managers and executives or small businesses are not eligible for the L-1 Visa. The L-1 Visa allows for the transfer of management-level employees from the overseas office to the US office of the same company.

D&A Immigration Lawyer Verdie Atienza discusses L-1 Visas for Small Businesses

There is a widely held preconception that only big multinational firms are eligible for this visa because many of the recipients of L-1 visa work for large multinational companies. But that does not mean small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are not eligible. In fact, you do not yet need to have established the US entity in order to pursue the L-1 route.

Davies & Associates helps a growing number of businesses pursuing the New Office L-1 route. This is where our team of corporate lawyers assist you with setting up the US office and then our immigration attorneys assist you with the employee transfer under L-1 Visa category.

As Verdie explains in the video, the company must have a relevant relationship with the new US office. That could be parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch. The important thing to look for in a law practice is one where the corporate and immigration teams work closely together because it is vital to ensure the US office is structured in a way that complies with the immigration regulations.

The L-1A Visa targets managers and executives and is valid for up to seven years. The L-1B targets employees in the company that hold specialized knowledge and is valid for upto five years. The initial validity period of an L-1 Visa (i.e. before renewal is required) depends on your country of origin and can be found in the State Department’s Reciprocity Schedule. New Office L-1 Visas are initially granted for one year so the authorities can check on the progress of the business sooner.

Contact Verdie to discuss your specific interests and circumstances. In addition to L-1 Visa, Verdie also manages our firm’s E-2 Treaty Investor Visa practice.


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