L-1 Intracompany Transferee

Employment-Based Immigration

Temporary Visas


The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for intracompany transferees working in managerial positions or having specialized knowledge. This visa allows them to work in the U.S. temporarily.

The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for intracompany transferees working in managerial positions or having specialized knowledge. This visa allows them to work in the U.S. temporarily.

Am I Eligible for the L-1 Classification?

You may belong to the L-1 classification if you meet all the requirements below:

  • You are an intracompany transferee who has been employed abroad continuously for at least one year within the three previous years.
  • You are being offered employment by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same employer in the U.S.
  • You are working in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

How Can My Employer Help?

Your potential employer or agent should file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The USCIS will send Form I-797, a notice of approval, if your petition becomes approved. However, note that the approval of a petition does not automatically guarantee you will be issued an L-1 visa, especially if you are considered ineligible based on the standards of U.S. law.

What Are the L-1 Visa Requirements?

The most common required documents to submit when applying for an L-1 visa are listed below:

  • Application Fee: This application fee is nonrefundable.
  • Form DS-156, Non-Immigrant Visa Form: You may fill out the online version of Form DS-156. As an alternative, you may request a printed copy of the form from your local embassy consular section if it is available.
  • Valid Passport: Your passport should be valid for travel to the U.S. It must have a validity date that extends at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the U.S.
  • 2×2 Photograph: Your picture must meet all the nonimmigrant photograph requirements.
  • Interview: You must undergo an interview at the embassy consular section as part of the visa application process. Apply for the visa early because the waiting time may vary. A digital photo and two-digit ink-free fingerprint scan will be taken. You will be notified if you need additional screening.
  • Form I-797: The USCIS will inform you and your prospective employer if your L-1 visa is approved through Form I-797 as a notice of approval.

Where Should I Apply for an L-1 Visa?

You can apply at any U.S. consular office abroad. Nevertheless, you should apply for an L-1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of permanent residence for a smoother process.

Will I Be Allowed To Enter the U.S. If I Have an L-1 Visa?

You will be allowed to travel to the U.S. port of entry if you have an L-1 visa to request permission to enter the country. However, you should keep in mind that an L-1 visa does not automatically guarantee entry to the U.S. Officials of the Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will decide if you can enter the country.

Can I Bring My Family to the U.S. If I Have an L-1 Visa?

You can apply for a visa for your family members if you have an L-1 visa. Your spouse and your minor, unmarried children can accompany you during your visit to the U.S if their L-2 visas get approved. Take note that your family members may not work during their temporary stay in the U.S. You also need to prove that you can support your family in the U.S.

Do I Need an Attorney to Apply for an L-1 Visa?

While you may try applying for a nonimmigrant visa on your own, you will have a better chance of getting your L-1 visa approved with the assistance of an experienced attorney. A lawyer can help you prepare all the legal paperwork needed for your application.

If you feel overwhelmed by all the L-1 visa requirements, it is a smart choice to request the legal services of a seasoned immigration law firm. If you need legal assistance applying for your L-1 visa, reach out to us.


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