The L-1A Visa was designed by the Congress to allow highly talented people with executive or managerial experience to be transferred from a foreign company to a related company in the United States. Unlike student visas or tourist visas, the L-1A is a dual intent visa, which means the person being transferred can intend to return home after their assignment in the US is completed (non-immigrant intent) or seek to become a lawful permanent resident (immigrant intent). This provides greater flexibility for the worker because they can try the American lifestyle and either choose to stay or return to their home country.

To qualify for an L-1A visa, the person who will be transferred from the foreign company must have been employed as an executive or manager of the foreign company for at least one year out of the last three years. This person could be a shareholder in the company or simply an employee. Additionally, the foreign company and the US company must have the correct “qualifying” business relationship – the companies must be either affiliates or parent and subsidiary. The companies may also be branches of the same parent company.


The benefit of the L-1A visa over other types of visas is that the spouse of the L-1A beneficiary may also receive employment authorization in the United States. This provides greater flexibility for the family, the spouse, and even the business if it decides to hire the spouse. More important though, is the ability of the company to petition for an immigrant visa for the transferee, which leads to lawful permanent resident status (green card) for the transferee and their family.

Entrepreneurs, executives and managers from around the world may be eligible for an L-1A Visa. There is no limitation of the number of visas available, and there is a clear path to lawful permanent residency and even US Citizenship. If you are a business owner, executive or manager, speak with a qualified immigration lawyer to learn more about the L-1A visa and whether it is an option for you.

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