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L-1A and L-1B visas are available to employees of a Canadian company who are called to be transferred to their US affiliate, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. They must occupy managerial positions or must have developed specialized knowledge specific to the company in recent years.
The L-1 classification enables a Canadian employer to transfer an executive, a manager or a professional employee with specialized knowledge from one of its affiliated Canadian offices to one of its affiliates in the United States. This classification also enables a Canadian company that does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive, a manager or a professional employee with specialized knowledge to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
In order to be able to transfer an employee from a Canadian company to a US affiliate, a company must meet the following conditions:
For Canadian employers seeking to transfer an employee to the United States to work in a qualifying new office, the employer must show that:
L-1A and L-1B visas may be issued when an employer files a petition to obtain the authorization for one or more qualified employees to be allowed to work temporarily or live permanently in the United States.
The L-1A visa is for individuals who are executives or managers and who are transferred to an established affiliated company in the United States.
To be eligible for L-1A visa classification, you must:
The L-1B visa is for individuals who are professional employees with specialized knowledge and who are transferred to an affiliated company in the United States.
To be eligible for L-1B classification, you must:
Employees qualified to enter the United States with a L1 visa in order to establish a new affiliate there will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. Employees qualified to enter the United States with a L1 visa in offices that have been in operation for more than one year will be allowed to a maximum initial stay of three years.
For all L-1 employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years.
Employees with an L1 visa may be able to renew their status every two year, as long as their presence on American soil does not exceed a period of seven full-time years for L1A holders and five years for L1B holders.
The transferring employee may be accompanied by his spouse and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Such family members may seek admission in L-2 non-immigrant classification and, if approved, will generally be granted the same period of stay as the employee.
If you would like to have more details about this type of visa or to proceed to its obtaining, please do not hesitate to contact us.