An L-1 requires that a non-US business which is properly documented and lawfully operating. An L1 Visa also requires a US business lawyer to ensure that the related US business is properly licensed, formed and documented.

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What is an L-1 Visa?

An L-1 visa treaty investor visa is a visa which enables:

  • A qualified investor to direct and control a business in the United States
  • A qualified worker to work in a qualified business in the United States

Benefits of an L1 Visa

  • Ability to legally work in the United States
  • No minimum investment required
  • Spouse can obtain a dependent L1 Visa and EAD authorization
  • Travel freely in and out of the US
  • Possible to be a non-resident for taxation purposes
  • Able to remain in the US indefinitely
  • Adjust Status to a Green Card through EB1C, EB2, EB3 and EB5

A more complete description of general qualifications for an L1 Visa can be found by following this link. This page is more focused on the process of obtaining an L1 Visa in Germany and of nuances encountered by our firm’s clients applying for an L-1 Visa from Germany.

  • National of a treaty Country
  • You need to be the national of an L1 treaty country. 9 FAM 402.9-6(B). Our US business Visa lawyers in Cologne, Berlin and Bonn assist clients of many nationalities who are resident in Germany. We frequently assist Indian, Turkish and Russian clients resident in Germany. While Russia and India are not an L1 treaty country our citizenship lawyers assist many Russian and other clients to obtain an E Visa qualifying nationality.

  • Have Invested or be in the Process of Investing a “Substantial Amount”
  • Invested or be actively in the process of investing a substantial amount. See 9 FAM 402.9-6(D). For information on what constitutes a “substantial investment of E Visa purposes follow this link.

  • Real, Operating Business
  • The enterprise must be real, operating business or a business capable of immediately commencing operations. See 9 FAM 402.9-6(C).

  • Step 1 - Select Your Professional Advisors
  • You need the right team who can assist you select, open and operated a business in the United States. Your immigration lawyer typically “quarterbacks” this team. This includes:

    • A German tax advisor and US tax lawyer who can work with our firm’s US tax counsel to devise the optimal strategy for you.
    • A US advisor who can assist you select a location for your US business. Our firm’s corporate lawyers in Cologne, Berlin and across the United States can assist you with this.
    • You will need a US immigration lawyer with a presence in Germany who can effectively deal with the US consulate in Germany on your behalf.
    • A US corporate lawyer who can help you structure and properly establish your US business.
    • A US accountant who can file your US taxes each year.

  • Step 2 - Identify a US Business
  • You need to select a business in the United States and make the required investment. Our firm commonly assists client conduct legal due diligence on businesses they are acquiring in the United States.

  • Step 3 - Business Plan
  • You need to prepare a full and detailed business plan. The L1 Visa lawyers at our law firm work with financial professionals to prepare immigration compliant business plans.

  • Step 4 - Consular Processing or Change of Status
  • You need to decide whether to apply for consular processing or for Change of Status from withing the United States. Learn some of the considerations when choosing between these options.

  • Step 5 - Form DS-160
  • If you are applying from the US consulate in Frankfurt you will need to complete a Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. Your lawyer should have an office in Germany who can assist you with this.

    If you are applying for change of status in the United States we will assist you complete for I-129 to be filed with USCIS.

  • Step 6 - Pay the Applicable Fee.
  • There are generally two fees payable in E Visa cases. These depend on the nationality of the applicant and can be found by following this link.

    Our law firm will process this fee for you.

  • Step 7 - Submit your Application Package
  • A detailed table with information on what to include in your L1 Visa application package in Germany is available by following this link.

  • Step 8 - Schedule a Consular Appointment
  • You can schedule a consular interview at a time of your convenience at this web page. When visiting the webpage you will need to produce the following information:

    • Your passport number
    • Your Visa fee receipt number. If you cannot find the number then help is available here.
    • A copy of your DS-160 confirmation page, including the bar code number encoded upon it.

  • Step 9 - Preparation for Consular Interview
  • Clients typically visit our offices in Germany to receive a thorough preparation for the critical consular interview. We offer this service in Cologne and Berlin. Across Europe our offices in the United Kingdom and Italy and also able to offer this service.

  • Step 10 - Consular Interview
  • Attend your interview at the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt. It is possible that one of our lawyer MIGHT be allowed to join you at your interview, there is a small additional fee for this service.

    What Should you Bring to your Consular Interview

    • Possibly your lawyer (see above)
    • your appointment letter;
    • a printed copy of your DS-160 confirmation;
    • one photograph taken within the last six months; and
    • your current and all old passports.

    If you do not bring the above documents to interview then your Visa will not be issued.

The US Consulate in Frankfurt provides detailed guidance on what needs to be included in an L1 Visa application package. Detailed Instructions are available by following this link.

Our L1 Visa lawyers have prepared a detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of filing for change of status to L1 versus applying for a Visa.

L1 Visa application are filed at the consulate in Germany. The time taken to obtain an interview will depend on how busy the consulate is. The US State Department posts a list of Visa interview wait times at different consulates and can be found by following this link.

There are several costs when applying for an L-1 Visa. These include:

Cost Paid To Amount More Information
MRV Visa fee US State Department USD 190 US State Department
Reciprocity Fee US State Department Varies by Nationality of Applicant Visa Reciprocity Fee Chart
Business Plan Fee Business Plan Drafter or Lawyer Typically USD 2,000 - USD 3,000 Please call us
L1 Lawyer Fee Lawyer Varies from about USD 5,000 to about USD 20,000 Contact individual law firms
Corporate Lawyer Fee Lawyer Varies, usually on an hourly rate
State Incorporation Fees US State Varies by State, typically a couple of hundred dollars
TOTAL We advise clients to Budget for about USD 12,000 - USD 16,000 in a simple L1 Visa case.

Source: Apply for a U.S. Visa | Visa Fees - Germany (English)

L1 Visa FAQs

Check out our most frequently asked questions about L-1 Visa for Germany L-1 Visa FAQs Germany

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Eranjan Venura Parua
Eranjan Venura Parua
3 weeks ago

"After finding D&A through an internet search in 2020, my wife and I had several free consultations with David Cantor. Despite our initial attempt at filing for our E2 visa independently ending in failure, we decided to hire D&A for their expertise and support. Over the course of four long years, Verdie and Cristina were incredibly patient as we took our time to prepare for the E2 submission. Verdie became our E2 Attorney in 2021, and from the start, Verdie and Cristina's patience was evident. Despite our intermittent engagement over the years, they always treated us with the utmost attention. Working with Verdie and the D&A team was a pleasure; their professionalism and support were unwavering. Verdie's calm demeanor and succinct communication style made navigating the process much smoother, even during complex discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend Verdie and D&A - Davies & Associates, to anyone seeking an immigration law firm who can efficiently handle their case with precision and without unnecessary fanfare. Their ability to get things done speaks volumes about their dedication to their clients' success."

Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
3 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad
Saeed Muhammad
4 months ago

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
6 months ago

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

Tanuj Dewan
Tanuj Dewan
10 months ago

Outstanding Immigration Attorney: Highly Recommended! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) I had the pleasure of working with Verdie Atienza and his team at Davies & Associates , a top-notch immigration attorney in the United States. Their professionalism, expertise, and dedication throughout the process were exceptional. With in-depth knowledge of immigration law, they provided accurate advice and addressed all my concerns, instilling confidence. Verdie Atienza and his team meticulously reviewed my documentation and maintained excellent communication, keeping me updated regularly. What sets Davies & Associates apart is their unparalleled attention to detail. Communication with Verdie Atienza and his team in USA and Sukanya Raman in India was always prompt and efficient. They promptly returned my calls and emails, providing regular updates on the progress of my case. This level of responsiveness and transparency significantly reduced my stress levels, as I knew I could rely on their support and guidance throughout the entire process. Their personalized approach, ethical conduct, and genuine care for my success made them an outstanding attorney. I highly recommend Davies & Associates for all your immigration needs.

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