Can I get an L1 visa?

L-1 Visa - USA work visa

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Who is the L-1 Visa for?

a) Establishing a branch, subsidiary or office in the USA

For entrepreneurs who have already set up an ongoing business in Germany, there is the possibility of applying for a so-called L-1 visa in order, after formal establishment, to set up a branch, a new office or a subsidiary in the USA or to join employees to post an existing company belonging to the group.

b) L-1 visa as an alternative to the E-2 visa

An L-1 visa is particularly suitable if the route to the USA is via a E-Visa is blocked because the relevant requirements, for example with regard to existing trade, the required investment or nationality - which plays an important role in the e-visa - are or cannot be met.

c) L-1 visa for nonprofit organizations

The L-1 visa also offers nonprofit organizations that cannot qualify for an e-visa per se the opportunity to gain a foothold in the USA.

How long is the L-1 visa valid?

The L visa to open a new office is for valid for one year or the stay in the USA is allowed for one year, after which it has to be extended. In the case of extensions or L visas that are applied for in order to work with companies that are already in business, a stay of up to three years be granted. Extensions are for each two years possible.

You can get an L-Visa do not extend as often as you like. The owner of a L-1A visa (Manager, Executive) can do it a maximum of seven years working in the US, the owner of a L-1B visa (Specialist employees) for no more than five years. It is not the ownership of the visa for the specified period that counts, but the physical stay in the USA. For commuterwho split their working hours between the US company and a group company outside the US, there may be exceptions, i.e. an extension beyond the five or seven years is possible.

It is also important to notethat the L visa only ever comes with one petition is valid. It may well be that a visa is granted for five years, but the petition is only valid for three years, then you can only work for three years in the USA and would have to have the petition extended before it expires, but without applying for a new visa to have to.

What requirements do companies have to meet?

1. Relationship between the two companies involved

The prerequisite is that the company existing in the home country and the company founded in the USA or the office to be opened have a qualifying relationship with one another.

Such qualifying relationship is given, for example, when a dependent branch is set up in the USA. However, it can also exist if both companies are legally independent. The most important thing is that one company has a stake in the other and that one company actually exercises control over the other. However, a majority stake is not absolutely necessary.

Finally, a relationship that qualifies for an L-1 visa also exists if both companies are owned and controlled by one third company or one natural person belong, for example, to one and the same sole proprietorship.

The L-1 visa is usually considered for parent, subsidiary or sister companies.


2. Ongoing business activity in Germany

The home company has to be Maintain business operationswhile the employee is in the United States. An L-1 visa is therefore not suitable for sole proprietorships whose operations at home are idle while they are starting a new business in the United States.


3. Opening of a new office in the USA

In connection with the posting of an employee to open a new office, it must be proven - when submitting the application - that sufficient office space rented has been. The visa is initially only issued for one year.

All information about the L-1 visa in a nutshell in the video

What are the requirements for L-1 visa applicants?

The requirement for an L-1 visa is that the person who is to be transferred to the USA either has a managerial position has taken in the German company or company-specific specialist knowledge acquired and applied. Also the Position in the USA must be in a managerial position or require the application of specialist knowledge acquired abroad. The position in the USA and Germany does not have to be the same, i. H. someone with a management position in Germany could also be deployed with special knowledge in the USA and vice versa.

1. Senior position

A person is active in a managerial position when he or she is responsible for the management of the company or one of its departments, has the supervision of other employees in a senior position and at least has a say in the employment and dismissal of other employees.

2. Special knowledge

Special knowledge that also qualifies for an L-1 visa can, for example, refer to the Product range or those offered by the company Services Respectively. But also for activitieswho require intimate knowledge of internal company processes may be eligible for an L-1 visa. In such cases, however, it is essential that the knowledge required by the position not present on the US job market are.

3. Duration of activity and full-time employment

Last but not least, the employee who is to be posted to the USA must within three years before application at least for a year have been employed by a German company in a managerial position or with special knowledge. It should also be noted that only one employment in Full time and part-time employment that extends over several years is in no way sufficient.

All requirements must be met when submitting the petition

It should be borne in mind that all the factual requirements that must be met for the petition to be approved for Time of submitting the petition must be available. If documents, evidence or information are missing, USCIS will usually request them (request for evidence), but no possibility is given to create the further prerequisites.

For example, if the US company is founded in one US state, but the applicant is to operate in another US state, both the state permit granted as well as one Rented office when the petition is submitted. If you forgot to submit the rental agreement, it can usually be submitted later. But if you forget to complete one, it doesn't help to do it quickly and send it back after the petition has been received. It would have to be completely new petition submitted become.

Blanket Petition - When the petition for an L-1 visa is canceled

Applying for an L-1 visa is quite time-consuming. The US employer must first submit a petition with a wide variety of documents to the US immigration service USCIS. First after approval of the petition then the employee can do the real thing Apply for a visa at the US consulate.

However, for companies that meet some special requirements, there is the possibility of so-called. Blanket petition. This enables the employees to be posted actually just the appointment at the US consulate have to perceive. One to be submitted in advance petition is so not necessary anymore.

A so-called blanket petition is usually only considered for a US company that been in business for at least a year is and one of the following requirements Fulfills:

  • About the US company (possibly US group) were in the last twelve months successful applied for at least ten L-1 visas (for managers, executives or so-called specialized knowledge professionals, whereby in the latter category only the members of certain professional groups fall, so special knowledge alone is not sufficient).
  • The US company or US-based company affiliates have one sales (annual sales) of at least $ 25 million.
  • The US company or US group employs in the USA at least 1,000 employees.

Became such Blanket petition for the first time from USCIS approved, other employees (managers, executives, specialized knowledge professionals), can be sent to the USA without a petition being filed beforehand. An appointment at the consulate is sufficient.

Family members and L-1 visa

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 can be a L-2 visa to be issued. However, only the spouse is allowed to work in the USA, not the children.

Our advice on the L-1 visa

Do you have any questions about the L-1 visa for the USA? Our specialized lawyers will help you choose the right visa and carry out the necessary application process. You can reach us by email ([email protected]) and by phone (069  76 75 77 80), or you can also use our online appointment booking system.

Note: If you already know that an L-1 visa is the right visa for you and you therefore do not need an initial (paid) consultation, you can contact us too directly to apply for an L-1 visa!

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