LEGAL THOUGHTS – Episode 2 of Business Immigration: What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

LEGAL THOUGHTS – Episode 2 of Business Immigration:  What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Transcript of Legal Thoughts
Published July 03, 2023

Attorney introduction: Welcome to Legal Thoughts! My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.

In addition to myself, we have Leiliane Godeiro – Litigation Legal Assistant, and our administration staff Ernesto Munoz and Michele Gutierrez.

On today’s “Legal Thoughts” podcast, our Litigation Legal Assistant, Leiliane Godeiro will be interviewing me on the important topic of: “Episode 2 of What You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?”

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Hi everyone, my name is Leiliane Godeiro and I am a Litigation Legal Assistant at the tax, litigation, and immigration law firm of Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation. Our law firm is located at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, right here in Dallas, Texas.

Good morning Attorney; thank you for being here today to talk about this important business immigration topic: Episode 2 of what You should know about the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager Visa?

In the first episode a couple of weeks ago, we discussed what is the L1A Visa used for, what are its requirements, and if it has any specific additional requirements imposed on the company. Today we will cover more questions, specifically about the benefits and differences between an L1A visa and other employment visas.

Attorney, let’s get started and explore more wonderful things about the L1A Intracompany Transfer Visa that our podcast audience needs to know.

Question 1: What are the processing times for the L1A Intracompany Transfer Visa?

And Attorney, what are the current government filing costs for the L1A Visa?
Attorney Answer – Question 1:

Good morning, Leiliane.

According to USCIS online processing reports, the current processing time for the L1A Visa at the Texas Service Center is 1.5 months.  The reported processing time for the L1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive & Manager Visa is about 2 months at the California Service Center.

Note however that for an additional fee, premium processing is available for the L1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive & Manager Visa. Premium processing cuts the total processing time to about 15 calendar days or less.

As for regular filing fees – the current regular filing fee is $460 plus an $85 biometrics fee.  Remember extra fees apply when premium processing is requested by the employer.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 2: What are the approval percentages of the L1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive & Manager Visa?

Attorney Answer – Question 2:

The approval rate for L1A visas can vary depending on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the applicant and the employer, as well as the overall immigration policies and procedures of the country issuing the visa. It’s important to note that I don’t have access to real-time data or statistics on approval rates.

However, it is generally understood that L1A visas have a relatively high approval rate compared to some other visa categories. This is because the L1A visa is designed for intracompany transfers of executives and managers who are being relocated to the United States by their current employer. As long as the applicant and employer meet the eligibility requirements, and the application is properly prepared and supported with relevant documentation, the chances of approval are generally considered favorable.

It’s worth mentioning that the approval process involves thorough scrutiny of the application, including the company’s credentials, the nature of the position, the employee’s qualifications, and the overall purpose of the transfer. It is crucial to provide accurate and detailed information, as well as sufficient supporting documents to demonstrate that the requirements for the L1A visa are satisfied.  That is where a business immigration counselor or business lawyer can bring much value.  The goal is to avoid mishaps and requests for evidence that can slow the adjudicative process down or derail it altogether.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 3: Can an L1A visa holder bring his family?

Attorney Answer – Question 3:

Absolutely if certain conditions are met!  If you are in the U.S. on L-1 status, you will be able to bring your spouse and children along with you with the L-2 visa.  The validity period will be the same as that of the L-1 visa holder. The L-2 visa is dependent upon the status of the L-1 principal visa holder.

Also, if your spouse qualifies for an Employment Authorization Document, they will be able to work in the U.S. as well with any employer throughout the United States.

This is a great L-1 benefit because it allows your spouse to make supplementary income to help support the family.

But only spouses can work on an L-2 visa, children cannot work on an L-2 Visa. Parents of L1 visa holders are not eligible for the L-2 visa, unfortunately.

Finally, remember that the term “child” in the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) means your children who are under 21 years of age and unmarried.  Your qualifying children can come to the United States on an L-2 visa.  They can attend primary, secondary, and university-level schools here.

INTERVIEWER: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Question 4: Attorney, can you do a brief comparison between the L1A visa and other work visas available to foreign professionals who wish to be employed in the U.S.?

Attorney Answer – Question 4:

There are many different types of work visas available to foreign professionals who wish to be employed in the U.S. Many of them have very steep requirements that are difficult to fulfill. For example, the O-1 visa requires applicants to show their extraordinary ability through international awards or a substantial salary. The TN visa is only available to Canadians and Mexicans. The E-2 visa requires a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise.  Moreover, the E-2 Treaty Trader Visa requires a trade treaty between the United States and the foreign professionals’ home country.  As I mentioned in Episode 1 on Legal Thoughts, citizens from Brazil, India, Vietnam, and several other countries cannot come to the United States on an E-2 Visa because the United States does not have an E-2 treaty with them— and no E-1 treaty either for that matter.

The L-1 visa, however, only requires you to be a manager, executive, or specialized employee in a multinational company in order to be qualified. This opens up the door for many people that are otherwise ineligible for other work visas like citizens of Brazil, India, and Vietnam.  Of course, the EB-5 is also an investor visa.  Its nickname is the ‘gold visa’ because takes $800,000 to $1,800,000 investment to qualify for the EB-5 investor’s visa.  The L-1 Intracompany Transfer of Executives and Managers Visa is likely to require a more affordable investment amount to set up an affiliate branch or sales office or manufacturing plant or distribution center in the United States of a parent company located in Brazil or India or Vietnam.

Well, what about some other employment visas?  Let me talk about them briefly here.  What our audience needs to know about them.  One of the most important things our audience needs to know is that H-1B visas, J-1 visas, and TN visas require a sponsor and the most critical path problem that most foreign jobs seekers find when trying to use these work visas is the inability to find an entity that is willing to sponsor them for these visa types. American employers are reluctant to hire H-1B workers because its time-consuming and costs a lot of money.   Employers need workers today, right now, not in some distant future. Remember there are restrictive availability caps on the number of H1-B visas annually.  These restrictive caps make the H1-B visa practically impossible for most employers.

If you are a qualified L-1 visa applicant, then you are already employed with a U.S. company that is affiliated with your foreign employer.  No labor certification restrictions apply. The L-1A does not require obtaining labor certification from the United States Department of Labor when petitioning for foreign executive and manager transfers.  Nor does the L-1 visa require the employer to hire United States citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other authorized workers as a condition to bringing in the intracompany executives and managers.

Typically, the L-1 visa is compared to the H-1B on account of their similarities. However, don’t forget about the critical path problem I’ve mentioned before.  There is a strict annual cap on how many H-1B petitions are approved each year. Each year, a small number of petitions are randomly selected from a pool of submitted petitions, making it very difficult to obtain an H-1B if you are bounded head-and-foot waiting on this lottery.

On the other hand, there are no limits to how many L-1 visas are approved each year. This means that your petition will not be rejected due to the fact that there are no more available visas.

One of the greatest L-1 visa benefits is the fact that you do not need a degree to qualify. This is a large advantage over the H-1B.  There are some other visas that do not necessarily require an education. These include the O-1, E-2, TN, and J-1 visa classifications. Since the labor certification rules do not apply in the case of the L-1 visa, this is a significant advantage over the H-1B visa since with the H1-B visa, employer petitioners must prove to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Labor that the wage offered to the intended foreign hire meets the prevailing wage or similar domestic workers paid to United States citizen or Green Card holders.

Like several other nonimmigrant visas, the L-1 is considered by the USCIS to be a “dual intent” visa.  What is a dual intent visa?  Dual Intent means that an L-1 visa holder is able to pursue lawful permanent resident status during their stay through some other lawful immigration route. This is in contrast to work visas such as the J-1 and TN visa classifications through which pursuing a green card would violate your status and possibly incur bad consequences with the USCIS.

On the other hand, L visa holders while physically in the United States may apply for work permits, immigrant visas, adjustment of status applications, H-1B visas, and L visa extensions— all, without violating their L-1 visa status.  That is what it means to be dual purpose.  The L-1 is a flexible visa.

INTERVIEWER Wrap-up: Leiliane Godeiro, Litigation Legal Assistant

Attorney, thank you for being here today with us, this information about the L1A visa was very interesting and hopefully useful to our podcast audience.

Our listeners who want to hear more podcasts like this one should subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or where ever you listen to your podcast.  Everybody takes care!  And come back in about two weeks, for more taxation, contracts, litigation, and immigration Legal Thoughts from Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation, located right here in Dallas, Texas at 6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 620, Dallas, Texas 75206.

English callers:  214-599-0431 | Spanish callers:  214-599-0432 |Portuguese callers: 214-272-3100

Attorney Conclusion:

This is the end of “LEGAL THOUGHTS” for now.

Thank you for giving listening to our law firm’s Legal Thought Podcast so that we could talk to you about the L1 Intracompany Transfer of Executives and Managers which allows multinacional businesses to transfer executives and managers to the United States to set-up their branch operations, manage and oversee their domestic production plants, their domestic sales offices and much more?”  That is what the L1 Visa is for!  That is how it can be used by foreign companies from around the world.

If you want to see or hear more taxation, contract litigation, and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, Professional Corporation.  Subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast.

Stay tuned!  We are here in Dallas, Texas, and want to inform, educate and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation, and immigration.  Until next time, take care.


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