L-1 Visas for UK Nationals
What are L-1 Visas for UK Nationals?
The L-1 Visa allows for the intracompany transfer of employees from the UK office to the U.S. office of the same company. L-1A Visas target UK managers and executives and the L-1B visa target specialized knowledge employees. D&A has meaningful experience with the use of L visas both for existing businesses and new offices.
What are the benefits of L-1 Visa?
The L-1 visa has quick processing times (less than six months on average). It also does not have any annual country caps or quotas, so there are no limits on the number of UK nationals who can apply for this visa. A successful L-1 Visa applicant can take their spouse and children under the age of 21 with them. The spouse is able to apply for work authorization in the United States.
New Offices through an L Visa
For a UK National who does not qualify for an E2 visa an L-1 visa may be an option for starting a business in the United States.
In order to qualify for an L visa a business owner, employer or investor needs to have a related foreign business outside the United States.
L visas may be available where less investment is involved than is possible with an E2 investor visa.
Does a New US Business Have to be in the Same Industry as its Foreign Affiliate?
While there is no formal requirement that a US business be in the same industry as its related foreign entity there are considerations that need to be taken into account that need to be discussed with an experienced L visa lawyer.
Time Limits on L-1 Visa for UK Nationals
The initial period of validity for an L-1 visa depends on the person’s country of origin. Applicants from the United Kingdom may be initially granted anything up to five (5) years, which is the maximum. New office L-1s are only granted a visa for one (1) year initially. L-1A visas can be renewed upto a maximum of seven (7) years and L-1B visas can be renewed upto a maximum of five (5) years. After that period an L-1 Visa holder would need to switch to another visa or return to the UK.
Switching to a Green Card for L-1 Visa
The L-1 visa can be renewed up to a maximum of seven years. After that time, it is possible to transition to another visa. If you are seeking a Green Card (US permanent residency) the EB-1C Visa is often the best fit for L-1A holder and the EB-3 Visa is often the most suitable for EB-1C. For people who prefer not to hold US permanent residency but would like to remain in the United States, other options include the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa and the O-1A visa.
E-2 Visas for UK Nationals
An E-2 Treaty Investor Visa might be a better solution for some people considering a new-office L-1 Visa route. The E-2 Visa allows a person to invest in and run a business in the United States. It has many of the same benefits as the L-1 Visa, but unlike the L-1, the E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely. This means that as long as the underlying business is in operation, the applicant can remain in the United States.US Consulate in London
E-2 visa interviews are in the United Kingdom are conducted at the US Consulate in London. The US consulate in London is located at:
33 Nine Elms Ln,
London SW11 7US
We are recognized as a leading US law firm specializing in L-1, E-2 and EB-5 visa applications for UK Nationals.
Our resources across the US are available to help to assist you with the formation or acquisition of your US business.
Our team in London can assist you with every step of your L-1 visa process.