L-1 (Transfer of Executives)
This type of visa is very convenient for managers and executives who wish to open a company or who already have a company operating in the US, since they can obtain it for up to 7 years, but it can also be a path to permanent residence.
The L-1 visa offers the following benefits:
- Beneficiary’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the manager / executive (beneficiary).
- Stay for the full duration of the visa each time they enter the United States.
- Social security number and authorization to work for beneficiary and spouse.
- Obtaining a driver's license.
- Children can study, even in public schools.
- When the company in the US has been generating sales for more than a year and the other requirements are met, the manager / executive, spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age can apply for permanent residence.
- After the first renewal, if all the conditions are met, the beneficiary can apply for permanent residence or green card.
- The foreign company and the US company do not have to share the same name or do the same, but they must have an ownership relationship: one of the companies must be the majority owner of the other, they both must have the same majority owner, or both have the same group of controlling shareholders in similar percentages.
- The beneficiary does not need to be a shareholder of the company but must have been in a management position in the foreign company for at least 12 consecutive months during the 36 months prior to applying for the L-1 visa. Typically, for USCIS to consider someone in a managerial position, he/she would have to have supervised 8-10 employees, of which 2 should be professionals
- Coming to the US to serve in a managerial / executive position in a related company. That is to say, in the company in the US, he/she should also be able to supervise 8-10 employees of which 2 should be professionals.
- When the manager / executive comes to open a new company or the company has less than 1 year generating sales, it is not necessary to have all the staff (6-8) at the beginning, but they must be hired during the first year.
- In the case of new companies, the visa is granted for 1 year initially, and then it can be renewed in periods of 2 years each time, up to a maximum of 7 years. When the company in the US has already been generating sales for more than 1 year and the necessary staff is available, the first visa is granted for 3 years.