Thursday , June 8 2023
L1 Visa

How to Qualify for an L1 Visa?

Foreign companies with business expansions in the USA send their key employees to sustain their operation and development. For this reason, they prepare their designated personnel for L1 Visa applications. However, the chances of denial are inevitable.

In line with such a dilemma, foreign companies should carefully analyze their compliance with the requirements set by US Immigration. Only through such effort the granting of an L1 visa is probable.

So, if you are in a similar condition, this guide is perfect for providing you with information as you cooperate in your preparation.

Why Get an L1 Visa?

Going to the US requires obtaining a visa depending on the purpose of your visit. The same applies when a foreign company sends its workers to expand its businesses.

According to Ashoori Law, L1 Visa holders can legally and temporarily stay and work in America. They may also bring along their spouses and single children who are still below 21 years old.

Also, this visa allows the holder the presumption of dual intent. Therefore, you may demonstrate the intentions of temporarily residing in the US and eventually becoming an immigrant enjoying permanent residency.

Ultimately, foreign companies who send their workers may carry their planned expansions. Through such a visa, they have obtained the legal support and human capital to do their businesses.

However, it is one of the hardest to qualify despite being a powerful remedy for immigration in the US.

What does it take to qualify?

It would take the full support of the company to qualify its worker for an L1 visa. The US company has a legal relationship with the foreign company to petition the foreign worker designated to work in the US.

And, the worker’s status must be full time and the nature of employment must be managerial or executive or rendering specialized knowledge.

US Company as Petitioner

The US-based counterpart of the foreign company acts as the petitioner, while the worker is the beneficiary. In addition, it is the company that applies for the visa and not the worker. Hence, the L1 classification is not a self-application visa.

Furthermore, the petitioner must fall in any of the qualified relationships. For example, it must be the umbrella organization or subcomponent, main branch or an extension, or two subsidiaries affiliated under a parent company.

Foreign Worker is Full-time

It must be clear that designated foreign workers are not just consultants or any outsourced staffing involved in the foreign company’s business. Strictly, such workers have full-time statuses, working in the company for at least 35 hours per week or more.

Furthermore, the worker has been in the company for one whole year enjoying such an employment status. The entire year has no interruptions, which means they have not gone to the US for whatever purpose within that year.

More importantly, the one year-residency of the worker must be within the past three years before the exact date of filing.

For Managers and Executives

Consequently, the role of the designated foreign workers must be managerial or executive. Meaning they have direct control or supervision, exercising a wide range of authority over the company.

In particular, workers who act as executives set business goals and policies for the US-based company, akin to a CEO, vice president, or director. Hence, they have direct communication from their board of directors or stockholders.

Meanwhile, managers supervise and control the planning, operation, budget, and human resources of the companies extension or branches.

For Specialized Professionals

Foreign workers possessing and exercising advanced knowledge and skills may qualify for an L1 Visa. The sending company must prove that these employees have significant contributions to the company.

These workers perform vital tasks to keep the development and growth of the business. For example, specialized workers are responsible for keeping the formulation of their products or maintaining the company’s data management system.


In general, the qualification for an L1 Visa is indeed strict. However, the foreign company has the principal accountability of ensuring their workers pass. Besides, the success of the business expansion or development in the US lies in the workers they sent. Regardless, this is a win-win situation for foreign workers because they may bring their families while working. Plus, they have the legal possibility of becoming permanent US residents if they wish to become later on.

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