The process for obtaining L-1 status:
There are three components to the papers the employer must prepare:
- The petition
- The company’s letter supporting the petition
- Documents supporting the petition
- When the employee is coming to establish a new office-one in existence for less than a year-the papers must contain special elements not included in other types of petitions. These special elements are highlighted in the following sections and should be reviewed carefully in the case of companies in existence in the U.S. for less than one year. Under the USCIS regulations, a petition for a transferee coming to a new office can only be approved for an initial period of one year; extensions up to the full outer limit on stay are possible after the one-year initial period, provided the new office is established and doing business by that time, and an overseas affiliate remains in operation as well.
- When a company has used the L visa category to bring to the U.S. at least 10 managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge professional employees in the preceding 12 months, it may be eligible to use the L-1 blanket petition program. Other standards exist as well in determining whether a company is qualified for the L-1 blanket petition program. The procedure for this program, which enables companies to cut back dramatically on their paperwork and issue their own certificates of eligibility to their transferees, is different than that for individual petitions.
2. Submit the Papers
All papers, together with the correct filing fee, must be submitted to the USCIS service center with jurisdiction over the place of intended employment.
3. Have the employee obtain an L-1 Visa
After obtaining the approval notice from the USCIS, the employer can give it to the employee to take with him or her to a U.S. consulate abroad to obtain a visa to enter the United States. Unless the employee is a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant of Canada from a British Commonwealth country, he or she must obtain a visa to enter the United States after receiving the approval notice from the USCIS. The approval notice is not enough to get the employee into the United States by itself.
Preparation of the Papers
Preparing the petition (Form I-129)
A petition to transfer any alien employee to the United States is made on Form I-129 and L Supplement. When dealing with Form I-129 and the L Supplement, keep the two points discussed below in mind:
- Form I-129 and the L Supplement must he completed in duplicate and executed in duplicate.
The second copy of the form may be a carbon or other reproduction of the original, but original signatures must appear on both.
- Family members (spouses and unmarried children under 21) are automatically included in the initial petition.
A separate form need not be filed for family members of the principal beneficiary. When the petition is approved, however, they will need to file separate applications at the U.S. consulate to obtain entry visas. Note, however, that family members are not automatically included when Form I-129 and L Supplement are filed for the principal alien’s extension of stay or change of status to the L category. In those cases, Form I-129 must be filed for the family members concurrently with the principal alien’s Form I-129 and L supplement.
WANI & ASSOCIATES, P.C Attorneys and Counselors at Law provide a wide variety of immigration services in the states of Maryland and Virginia as well as District of Columbia. We have three offices conveniently located in Virginia (Falls Church and Woodbridge) and Maryland (Langley Park). Our firm specializes in all kinds of Immigration matters. Call at: (301) 434-1666