What is an L-1 Visa? ?

The L-1 a visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that gives a successful visa applicant the right to live and work in the United States. Every month of the year,Davies & Associates assists businesses from Mumbai,Delhi, Bangalore,Hyderabad, Punjab and other regions of India open a business in the US.

We assist foreign companies with strategies to bring owners, key employees and intracompany transferees to the United States using the L-1a visa, L-1b visa and other nonimmigrant visas. 

Our L1 a visa immigration attorneys work with clients from multiple industries across India ands understand the unique issues facing Indian clients. We are also able to help orient you to doing business in the United States and to the applicable visa options available.

The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that gives a successful visa applicant the right to live and work in the United States.
Every month of the year, Davies & Associates assists businesses from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Punjab and other regions of India open a business in the US.

We assist foreign companies with strategies to bring owners, key employees and intracompany transferees to the United States using the L-1a visa, L-1b visa and other nonimmigrant visas.

Our immigration attorneys work with clients from multiple industries across India ands understand the unique issues facing Indian clients. We are also able to help orient you to doing business in the United States and to the applicable visa options available.

While managers and executives typically move to the United States on an L1-A visa, employees with specialist knowledge may be eligible for an L1-B visa.
An employer applies for an L1-B visa on behalf of their employee(s), the employee does not apply. To obtain an L1-B visa an employer will have to prove that:

(1) the L1-B employee's skillset is indispensable to their US business; and
(2) that the L1-B employee's skillset is also essential to the company's systems or products.

When obtaining permanent residency in the United States the choice between L-1a visas and L-1B visas and be of major importance. This choice needs to be part of your long-term US visa and immigration strategy.

Yes, L-1 visa holders are able to adjust status to permanent residency or “Green Card” status through a number of channels. These channels include:

While the EB1C visa may not be available to those on an L1-B visa it is especially popular with L1A nonimmigrant workers.

Yes, under certain circumstances the owner of an Indian business can use an L visa to open and operate a new business in the United States.

Step 1 - Understanding Your Business

Obtaining a solid understanding of your business is the first step in the L1 visa intracompany transfer visaprogram. In addition to providing you with a business plan questionnaire, our India-based visa lawyers will often visit your Indian business

Step 2 - Is a Separate Immigration Business Plan Really Necessary?

Unless you are a very established or multinational business that can produce US tax returns a properly prepared business plan is completely critical. USCIS have confirmed this on a number of occasions. A guide to business plan preparation can be found be clicking on this link.

Step 3 - Business Entity Name Availability and Name Reservation

A foreign company looking to do business in the US will need to decide on a business name for their US Business. Names too similar to the names of other business are not allowed. Once you have decided on a business name our firm will then reserve that name so only you can use it.

Step 4 - Trademark Registration

Registering your trademarks and protecting them in the United States is a critical step to opening a successful business in the United States. Davies & Associates have specialist trademark lawyers who can assist with the trademark registration process.

Step 5 - ITIN Number

Most clients coming to the United States are well advised to obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN number may be required to open a bank account and is helpful to obtaining other business registrations and licenses. An ITIN is also helpful in obtaining an employer identification number.

Step 6 - Structuring Your US Business

In order to be eligible to apply for an inter-company transfer visa the US business must be "related" to theIndian business. For taxation purposes it is critical that multinational companies and Indian businesses structure their US businesses with both US and Indian taxation considerations in mind. Common choices of business entity include partnerships, LLCs, C-Corps and other forms of corporation.

Step 7 - Business Formation and Registered Agent (Visa Required?)

Davies & Associates will establish your US business and apply for all of the necessary licenses and permits. The documentation from this step is required both for your L visa application process and to open a business bank account in the United States.
Usually, USCIS and the consulate want to see that all necessary licenses and permits are in place before a visa is issued. For some licenses a visa may be required, in those cases our firm will assist you in address the issue.

Step 8 - EIN and State Employment Registration

Every business in the United States requires an employee identification number (“EIN”). Davies & Associate’s business lawyers will assist you to obtain and EIN. In addition to the EIN we will need to register you as an employer in the US State in which your business will operate.

Step 9 - Opening a Business Bank Account

Armed with your EIN and incorporation documents you should now be able to open a business bank account in the United States. We can assist if you have difficulties.

Step 10 - Find Business Premises

USCIS will want to see that you have businesses premises which are appropriate for the size and nature of your business. Our business lawyers will assist you to negotiate, and where necessary, draft an L1 visa compliant lease.

American Business Visa Plan for Indian Business A business that has operated for less that twelve months is likely to be subjected to the “L1A Visa New Office Rules ”. A description of the “New Office Rules” can be found by clicking here.

The spouse and dependent family of an L-1 visa holder is eligible for an L-2 visa. An L-2 visa holder has the unrestricted right to live anywhere in the United States and work for any employer.

One of the most common questions is “How much time does L1 visa processing take?”
L1 visa processing times are the combination of two factors:
L1 Visa Processing Time = USCIS I-129 Processing Times + Consular Processing Time

USCIS Form I-129 Processing Times

USCIS processing time can be avoided for businesses fling for the L1 blanket visa. In India all L1 visa blanket cases are processed in Chennai.

Paying the USCIS premium processing fee usually results in an L1 adjudication time of less than two weeks.

Absent premium processing form I-129 processing times can take months. USCIS post current processing times on their website.

I-129 processing times will be substantially delay if you receive a Request for Evidence (“RFE”). RFEs can be avoided by engaging an experienced L1 visa lawyer to prepare a fully detailed L1 visa filing package.

Consular Processing Times

Consular processing times vary by consulate. Current consular processing times for all visa types can be found at this link.
Where consular processing times in India are excessive cases can be moved to other consulates with faster processing times.
An experienced L1 visa USA lawyer will be experienced with consular processing times in different consulates and the process for moving your L1 visa application for consideration in another consulate.

Make Sure your Indian Business is Compliant

The consulates in India will make sure your Indian business is in proper compliance and lawfully operating. Where there is any uncertainty an inspector may be sent to your Indian business premises. Have your Indian tax returns and applicable licenses, such as a Shops & Establishments Act license, available.

Moving Money out of India

You also need to plan how to move funds out of India to fund your new business. While many business owners are able to fund their US business within the limitation of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s”) Liberalized Remittance Scheme (“LRS”) other clients resort of other authorized money transfer rules that pertain strictly to Indian businesses opening branches and offices abroad.
Follow in this link for more on the RBI’s LRS transfer rules.

Document Job Descriptions in Great Detail

USCIS has heightened its scrutiny of job descriptions and roles. Every case requires a detailed job description not just for an L visa applicant but for their subordinates as well. The role of an L1A visa applicant must be described in great detail, a mere job description is insufficient.

Avoid Indian Consultants and Advisors

Indian consultants and advisors are not licensed US Immigration lawyers and are not authorized by the US government to offer immigration advice. Indian consultants are not familiar with the detailed provisions of US immigration law and regulations and cannot advise you on them.
Our firm is aware of myriad cases where a client has used an Indian consultant with links to a US law firm only to have their case denied. Agents are often trying to sell a US business or franchise should and caution should be exercised.
A US L-1 visa immigration lawyer has been through years of training and is professionally licensed to offer you immigration advice. US Immigration Lawyers are also members of a professional bar association for immigration lawyer, and are often Members of the American Immigration Lawyer Association. If a licensed US business visa lawyer provides you with bad advice or poor service you may have redress against them in the United States. There are currently no protections with Indian consultants and advisors who often make disastrous mistakes because they have no formal US legal training.

Insist Your Lawyer Takes the Time to Visit Your Indian Business

Understanding and documenting your Indian business is key. There is no substitution for visiting your business as part of the business documentation process.
We strive to distinguish ourselves based on quality and service. Our senior lawyers frequently visit our clients in India, this step is critical in understanding your business so it can be properly presented to the US government. L visas are frequently denied when filed by law firms who have no real understanding of a client’s business and have never bothered to visit it.
We want to ensure that you have a seamless and efficient move to the US. For that reason we engage a team of experts who can assist you with everything needed to establish yourself in the United States. Most US immigration firms do not have specialist business plan teams and international tax experts to assist you

Unless you are applying for a blanket L1 Visa the first step in obtaining an L1 visa involves your employer filing form I-129 with USCIS. Once form I-129 is approved you will need to obtain an L visa in the applicable consulate.

While the application processes at different US consulates varies all banket L1 visa applications need to be made in Chennai.

Apply for an L1 Visa in India:

Questions Frequently Asked about L1 Visa Applicants

As of date, no L visa case filed for an Indian national by our firm has ever been denied. In fact, no visa case we have filed on behalf of an Indian client has ever been denied.
Our strategy is to present every case as optimally as possible, no exceptions.

While your US business does NOT have to be in the same industry as your Indian business it must be “Related” to your Indian business.

US Immigration will thoroughly examine your business. Although not required, t is extremely helpful to be able to show some logical connection between the Indian and US business.
Under US law a “Related” business is one that is either a “subsidiary”, “branch” or “affiliate” of your Indian business. These three concepts are associated with the ownership structure of your business, not the industry it serves.

From an immigration perspective the choice of "subsidiary" or "affiliate" are generally preferable. The choice can also have an ENORMOUS consequences for Indian clients from a taxation perspective, BOTH proper Indian and US tax guidance is strongly advised.
Our firm can guide you through all of these considerations.

Yes. The spouse of an L-1 visa holder obtains an L-2 visa allowing them to work in the United States. Please contact our office for further details.

There are several ways for and L-1a visa holder to qualify for Permanent Residency in the United States.

We believe that a successful business plan needs to be prepared as a collaborative effort between the client, an immigration lawyer, a corporate lawyer and an immigration business plan analyst. Our specialist L visa business plan team provides US business expansion services and incorporates both business analysts and lawyers. We believe we are unique in this approach. Click here to find out more about Immigration Business Plans.

We ensure that each client has a team with the precise skills needed to address their exact needs. Our client teams typically include:
(1) a specialist American L visa lawyer who is experienced assisting Indian businesses;
(2) a US international tax lawyer and the client's Indian tax advisor or CA; and
(3) a corporate lawyer familiar with the client’s specific industry.
The lack of availability of E-2 and other visa options for Indian nationals makes the L-1A visas feature in many of our Indian clients’ visa strategies

While current waiting times are given in the US State Department’s website at the following page https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/employment/temporary-worker-visas.html it may be possible to speed-up the interview process by either:
- Apply for an expedited appointment
- Move your visa appointment to another consulate where there is a lower wait time

While the maximum validity of an L1A visa is seven (7) year. and L1B visa is five (5) years “recapture” time for time spent outside the US during the visa validity period may be able to be added back at the end of the initial visa term.
Extensions are also possible for applicants who have timely filed for US Permanent Residency.
Other possibility exist which should be discussed with an experienced US L visa lawyer.

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5 months ago

We were in a hurry and Verdie and the team were highly responsive and supportive, even when we threw in some curve balls along the way. We had our visas approved without any issues and felt confident and well prepared for document submissions and the interview. I'd certainly recommend this team for an E2 visa process.

Paolo Domingo
Paolo Domingo
2 months ago

5 stars and a high five! Thank you Verdie and Etta for assisting us with our change of status application. They were very professional and accommodating with all our questions and concerns throughout the process. Despite the time constraint, we pulled it off and we could not have done this without you guys! Keep up the good work!

Eduardo Salvo
Eduardo Salvo
3 months ago

I received an world-class help in how to immigrate to the USA succesfully! Alex was very open to answer my questions and is definitely a professional in what he does! Strongly recommend this firm.

Amandeep Singh
Amandeep Singh
3 months ago

I had talked with Alex Jovy, he was very quick to respond, had a lot of useful information which I was not aware of. Took time out of his day to discuss my situation and was very helpful. They go into a lot of detail which other companies do not. Overall a great service!

Jean Zhu
Jean Zhu
3 months ago

Alex call me and I had a very pleasant talk with him on the phone regarding E2 visa to USA. He is very nice to work with!

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We are known for our creative solutions that obtain "impossible" visas, we solve the most complex immigration problems for business, investors, individuals and families.

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