June 22, 2020 update: President Trump temporarily suspended several new work visas, including H-1B visas. Read the New York Times article.
L-1 visas allow employees of international companies to work in their U.S.-based offices as long as they (1) are managers, executives, or have specialized knowledge, and (2) worked abroad for at least one year within the previous three years. L-1 visas are temporary, non-immigrant visas that last for as little as three months to seven years.
Below our Las Vegas L-1 visa attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about temporary worker visas including application procedures, time frames, and fees. Click on a topic to go directly to that section.
- 1. Can I get an L-1 visa?
- 2. How do I apply for an L-1 visa in Las Vegas, NV?
- 3. How long does it take to get an L-1 visa?
- 4. How much does it cost to get an L-1 visa?
- 5. Can my family come with me on an L-1 visa?
Also see our articles on employment-based visas in Nevada.
Before an employee can be deemed eligible for an L-1 visa, the foreign employer itself must meet certain criteria: The foreign employer and its U.S.-based office must be related as either (1) parent and subsidiary, (2) sister companies, (3) branch and headquarters, or (4) affiliates.
There are two types of L-1 visas available for employees of qualified foreign companies: L-1A visas are issued to employees in a managerial or executive capacity, and L-1B visas are issued to employees in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Either way, foreign employees are eligible for an L-1 visa to work in the U.S. only if he/she has been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for one year within the three preceding years.
L-1A visas are meant for executives or managers of a company’s foreign office to work at one of its U.S. offices. And if the company does not have a U.S.-based office yet, a foreign employee may establish one under a L-1A visa. L-1A visas may last a maximum of seven years.
L-1B visas are meant for employees with specialized knowledge about its company’s interests to travel to one of its U.S. offices. And if the company does not have a U.S.-based office yet, a foreign employee may help establish one under an L-1B visa. L-1B visas may last a maximum of 5 years.
Each visa requires the prospective employer to obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) on behalf of the employee before filing a Form 1-129 with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). If the USCIS approves it, the employee may apply for the proper L-1 visa. The exact application process varies depending on the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate where the employee applies. To begin with, the applicant will normally complete an online non-immigrant visa application (Form DS-160) and submit a photo.
Next, the employee usually will have to attend a visa interview with a consular officer. Though if the applicant is younger than 13 or older than 80, the applicant usually does not have to attend an interview. The main purpose of the interview is to ensure that the applicant is applying for the correct visa related to his purpose of travel and to make sure the applicant is qualified to receive a visa. During the interview, the applicant has to bring certain documentation:
- Passport: Valid for travel to the U.S. and must be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the applicant’s expected stay;
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160;
- Application fee payment receipt;
- Receipt Number; and
- possibly a Form I-129S
As with other types of visas, the consular officer may require additional documentation from the L-1 visa applicant before or after the interview in order to make his determination.
Up to four months. But if the employer was already approved for a “Blanket L Petition” (using Form I-129S), the USCIS can approve L-1 visas on a much shorter notice, even in a matter of days.
The L-1 visa fee is $190, and the USCIS Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee is $500.
The husbands, wives, sons and daughters of L-1 visa applicants may apply for L-2 visas to come to the U.S. as well. Note that dependent spouses are eligible for general work authorization, but dependent children are not.
Call a Nevada immigration attorney…
When dealing with matters related to immigrant visas, it is important to connect with an immigration professional who has experience in this area and will ensure that you receive the best representation possible. If you are seeking an L-1 visa or other immigration services in Nevada, call for a consultation with our Las Vegas immigration attorneys.
Go to our Nevada visa law main page.
Also see our article on L-1 visas in California.