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L-1A Visas: Workers Opening A US Branch, Affiliate or Subsidiary Company

An L-1A Visa may be given to an Alien who is coming to the United States to open a branch, affiliate or subsidiary company. In addition to the below criteria , evidence of both the physical premises of the operation in the U.S. and that the new office can support an executive or managerial position within a year of the petition’s approval must be demonstrated. Finances of the company must also be submitted. In such instances, the initial visa will be granted for a maximum of one (1) year, but can then be extended.

For all other L-1A visas, the maximum initial period of stay granted is generally three (3) years. The status can be extended up to a maximum stay of seven (7) years.

* Doing business means the “regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization &- it does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad,” according to the USCIS.

U.S. Petitioner of an L-1A Visa must demonstrate:

  • It has a qualifying relationship with a business entity in a foreign country, and
  • The employer is currently, or will be, doing business* as a US employer and is doing business in at least one other country or through a qualifying organization for the duration of a beneficiary’s stay in the US as an L-1, and
  • The alien has been working for the foreign entity as a manager/executive for at least one year within the last three years, and
  • The alien is coming to the United States to serve in a managerial/executive 1 capacity, and
  • Both the foreign and domestic companies are viable entities.