L-1 Visa for Spouses

L-1 Visa Spouses: Automatic Work Authorization for L-2 Visa Holders on the Horizon

Spouses of L-1 Visa holders look set to be granted automatic working rights in the US in a huge win for holders of L-2 Visas. A class action lawsuit was launched by affected people who claimed the long waits for authorizations and renewals made them uncompetitive and had caused them to lose jobs.

Spouses of L-1 Visa holders are required to apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and also for subsequent extensions. Long delays, exacerbated by Covid-19, have meant that approvals and extensions have not been granted in time.

The class action lawsuit was launched in March, and now it looks as though the government has decided to settle the case by offering automatic working rights and automatic extensions for spouses on L-2 visas. The change will also affect the spouses of H-1B visa holders who are in the United States on H-4 Visas.

It is not yet clear when the changes will take effect.

What is the L-1 Visa?

The L-1 Visa allows for the intracompany transfer of staff to established or newly formed offices in the United States. The L-1A Visa is for employees at executive or managerial level and the L-1B Visa is for employees with specialized knowledge. Both L-1A Visa and L-1B Visa holders can take spouses and dependent children under the age of 21 to the US with them. Spouses and dependents are issued an L-2 Visa and spouses can work provided they apply for authorization.

To find out more about how you can move staff to the US or expand your business there using the L-1 Visa, please contact Verdie Atienza head of our L-1 Practice.

Hear from an L-1 Client who went through the process during Covid-19

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

L-1 Visa petition for Indian

L-1 Visa Client from India Approved in Just 9 Days

In a matter of just nine days, the US authorities approved an L-1 Visa petition for one of our clients. Whilst the client had a strong case, the careful preparation of the application by the D&A team meant there were no Requests for Evidence that are common for L-1 visas.

Requests for Evidence from Visa Applicants

Our client is a Chief Technology Officer of an Indian cargo security and IoT (internet of things) solution development company. We prepared and filed his  Visa L1 USA application. The L-1 Visa permits the transfer of managers, executives, and specialized knowledge employees to the US office of the same company.

The petitioning US company opted for premium processing which requires an additional payment of $2,500 to USCIS. While premium processing is expected to expedite the process, the US Citizenship & Immigration Services has been issuing Requests for Evidence (RFE) on most L-1 Visa petitions.

Depending on how massive the RFE is, the process could still be delayed for an additional period of 30-60 days even with premium processing.  D&A’s strategy has been to anticipate each and every single document that USCIS could potentially request for and prepare the strongest petition possible. With this approach, we minimize the possibility of getting RFEs or eliminate that possibility altogether.

L-1 Visa for Innovation and Tech Companies

The Indian parent company, where the L-1 Visa beneficiary is currently employed, has developed and patented an electro-mechanical locking system which consists of security lock and can be installed inside container vehicles. The subsidiary company in the US was set up to aggressively establish, develop and grow its business in the United States. The L-1 Visa beneficiary will serve as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the US company. In the said capacity, he will play a vital and leadership role in the accomplishment of the parent company’s expansion strategy.

The L-1 Visa beneficiary’s comprehensive knowledge of the solutions developed by the Indian parent will enable him to fully direct the US company’s efforts to enhance product insertion among companies throughout the United States. He will be fully responsible for all crucial executive functions, such as the company’s strategic positioning, financial management and sales operations. He will lead the company in developing and implementing strategic plans to achieve overall business objectives. His executive responsibilities will further entail cultivating business relationships with important U.S. clients.

What is an L-1 Visa

The L-1 Visa permits the transfer of an employee to the US office of your company. The L-1A visa targets management-level employees and the L-1B is aimed at employees with “Specialized Knowledge”. As the C.T.O of the firm, this particular L-1 Visa from India client was eligible for the L-1A visa, which is renewable upto a maximum of seven years. The L-1B is renewable upto a maximum of five years.

This client obtained what is known as a “New Office L-1 Visa”. This is where a new US office is established as part of the L-1 Visa process. The majority of L-1 visas are issued to employees of firms who already have established US entities. Yet, applications for New Office L-1 Visas are a growing fast. By setting up a new US entity, it is then possible to move a manager to the US to oversee the establishment and growth of that firm. New Office L-1 Visas are initially granted for upto one year so the USCIS can review progress, but ultimately have the same maximum validity period as any other L-1A or L-1B visa.


D&A has once again successfully prepared an L-1A petition for an executive of a foreign affiliate company. The L-1A petition was approved in 10 days without a Request for Evidence. The affiliate company in Greece is a software company which provides fully integrated, end-to-end business solutions, tailored to each customer’s needs and requirements. It specializes in building High Performance Software based on client driven specifications, aiming to act as business enablers rather than as simple IT product developers. The US Company was established to sell the foreign affiliate company’s set of fully integrated, end-to-end software and systems solutions services that will be tailored to each client’s needs and preferences and thus allow clients to achieve better financial returns, new sources of revenue, and reduced costs. The Company will work with clients to both activate data and optimize teams to analytically power their organizations. 

The L-1A beneficiary is a seasoned professional recognized in the corporate scenario as an innovator and leader in the software and systems solutions product and services industry in Greece. He has built a top-ranked software and systems solutions company with innovative software products to clients in a variety of industries, such as media, automotive, financial, governmental, real estate, shipping, healthcare, and education. 

Contact us to discuss the L-1 Visa or any other global immigration and business goal.

CONNECT WITH VERDIE ATIENZA Verdie heads up our firm’s L-1 & E2 Visa Practices

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

L-1 Visa Reopend for US

L-1 Visa Reopens as Trump Ban Expires

The L-1 USA visa route to the United States has reopened after President Trump’s temporary ban came to an end last night. President Biden chose not to renew the ban, which Trump had introduced as part of Covid restrictions last summer. 

L-1A Visa allows international managers and executives to move to the American office of their company for up to seven (7) years. The L-1B Visa allows an employee with specialized knowledge to relocate for up to five (5) years. Spouses of L-1 visa holders can apply for a work permit.  

Trump temporarily banned the L-1 Visa together with the H-1B visa on the grounds that he wished to protect American jobs amid the economic uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic. He extended the ban until March 31 shortly before leaving office. Biden opted to let the ban elapse naturally rather than explicitly rescind it.

Ongoing delays

Applicants still have to contend with a reduced number of consular appointments worldwide as well as travel bans affecting people from Europe, the UK, Ireland, and elsewhere. Davies & Associates has successfully made the case for L-1 (and E-2) Visa clients to be granted a National Interest Exception to be allowed to travel to the United States from countries subject to a travel ban. We even managed to secure some L-1 approvals despite the ban.

Many of our clients took the opportunity of the last few months to prepare their applications for when the L-1 route reopened. The release of this pent up demand, coupled with the reduction to consular operations, mean that new applicants could face a backlog and ongoing disruption until things are ironed out.

New Office L-1 Visas

The L-1 Visa is an intracompany transfer visa. It is regularly used by large multinationals to move staff from an overseas office to one of their US offices. It can also be used to support the growth of a new US operation. New-Office L-1 Visas allow entrepreneurs and business owners to send qualifying senior-level employees to the United States to set-up the new business.

Benefits of L-1 Visa

There are many benefits to the L-1 Visa, notably the fact that an accompanying spouse could apply for a US work permit. There are also no annual quotas based upon country of origin, which means there are no wait lists based upon supply and demand. The L-1 Visa is a temporary work visa, but applicants could subsequently decide to transition to a Green Card. The usual route from the L-1 visa to a Green Card is through the EB-1(c) visa. The EB-1(c) visa offers permanent residency for international managers and executives.

L-1 Visa for Indians

Indians are one of the largest recipient groups for the L-1 Visa with over 40,000 issued the year before the pandemic. Indians are not directly eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, so L-1 visa for USA from India is viewed as a popular alternative for Indian business owners and entrepreneurs. However, a small but growing number of Indians are first obtaining Grenadian citizenship in the West Indies and then obtaining an E-2 Visa by virtue of their Grenadian citizenship.

Other countries with large number of applications are L-1 Visa from Mexico, L-1 Visa from Japan, L-1 Visa from the United Kingdom, L-1 Visa from China, and L-1 Visas from Brazil. All have around 10,000 L-1 Visa issuances per year.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

E2 Treaty Investor Visa Approved in Pandemic Time

Obtaining an L-1 Visa Despite President Trump’s Ban

Visa L1 USA allows for the transfer of qualifying staff to the existing or newly established U.S. office of the same company.

By Verdie Atienza, Senior Attorney in Charge of L-1 & E2 Visa Practice

A prospective L-1A beneficiary from India approached our firm sometime in June 2020 to seek assistance in filing an L-1A petition for him. During that time, Former President Donald Trump had already imposed a ban on the issuance of the L-1A visa until December 31, 2020.

The client was a General Manager of a manufacturing and exports company in India which exports exports fully machined sand casts / die casts and other sheet metal pressed components made of aluminum alloys, zinc alloys, copper alloys, stainless steel, mild steel, and cast iron.

Our firm advised the client that despite the ban, USCIS continues to accept  and process L-1A petitions. We suggested that it was a good time to take advantage of the period of time to prepare the L-1A petition so that he would have an approval of the petition by the time the ban lapses. The client was fully informed that there was a risk for the ban to be extended beyond December 31, 2020. The client decided to move forward with the L-1A process as per the firm’s advice.

In the L-1A petition that D&A prepared, the US company requested that the beneficiary be transferred as a Senior Strategic Project Manager. The US company was established as a product distributor, but it has grown to become a value-added manufacturer in North America, with expanding supply chain in China and India.

We explained in detail that the L-1A beneficiary’s role at the US company will involve incorporating management of essentially all substantive areas, functions, and processes. The petition also outlined how  he will also serve as the ultimate director and manager of the lJ .S. employees constituting the Strategic Project Management Team.

The L-1A petition was approved without RFE and the L-1A beneficiary immediately applied  for the visa in India. Despite the fact that the ban was extended to March 3, 2021, the client, with D&A’s guidance, was able to schedule a visa appointment and obtain the L-1A visa in the midst of a pandemic where lockdowns, travel and quarantine restrictions are in place.

Davies & Associates was able to successfully explain that the applicant is a a senior-level manager  who has spent multiple years with the company overseas, indicating a substantial knowledge and expertise within the organization and that he will fill a critical business need for the employer meeting a critical infrastructure need in a designated industry.

Benefits of L-1 Visa

  • Set up and grow a new U.S. office
  • Can be used for managers & executives (L-1A) or employees with specialized knowledge (L-1B)
  • Take spouse and dependent children with you
  • Spouses can apply for work authorization in U.S.
  • No annual caps or quotas based upon country of origin
  • “Dual Intent” – you can pursue lawful permanent residency status during your stay in America

Watch our Video on the L-1 Visa

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

EB-6 Visa

Case Study: Green Card for L-1 Visa Client Switching to EB1C Visa

Davies & Associates has filed yet another adjustment of status for an L-1 USA visa client to transition to a Green Card on an EB1C Visa. The client, whose business specializes in satellite solutions for remote communications, initially moved to the United States on an L-1 Visa in 2017.

Back then, he established a US branch of his Australian company so that he could then transfer himself on an L-1 visa. With our teams of corporate and immigration lawyers working together, Davies & Associates is able to help with both setting up a company and then with obtaining the necessary visas.

The L-1 Visa is for the intracompany transfer of employees from an overseas branch to the US branch of the same business. It is typically used by employees of large multinational organizations, seeking to move their employees around the world.

But Davies & Associates specializes in “new office L1 visas”, whereby a client can set up a US branch of their foreign company and then move to the United States to manage that branch.

The foreign entity and the US office need to have a “qualifying relationship”, a term that has a degree of latitude. It is important to discuss what this means with one of our attorneys.

The L-1 Visa allows for the transfer of a management or executive level employee, as well as an employee with specialized knowledge (the latter being eligible for a L-1B visa).

L-1 Visa holders can bring their dependant families with them, and spouses are able to apply to work in the United States outside of the underlying business.

L-1 is a time limited visa. It can be renewed for up to seven years (five years for L-1B). It does not offer permanent residency, so people seeking to stay in the US longer, need to find an alternative solution.

This is precisely what we did for our Australian L-1 client when he wanted to transition to a Green Card.

The optimal route to the a Green Card for an L-1 Visa client is the EB1C Visa. It is an immigrant visa for management and executive level employees.

But timing is important. For beneficiaries of EB1C petition who are currently in the US, they must have been employed by the qualifying entity abroad for at least one year in the three years preceding the date that they entered the US as nonimmigrant working for the US entity.

Since our Australian client obtained his L-1 Visa in 2017, the window of opportunity was starting to close on his eligibility for the EB1C visa. The adjustment of status was filed in good time and the adjustment of status can begin.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.