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The L1 visa is predominantly designed for those business professionals, senior executives, and managers who wish to move to the USA to the branch or subsidiary of their overseas company. These applicants must be working for an overseas company with relevant experience in their position. The program can be categorized as a long-term residency visa, which leads to the USA's permanent residency. The visa is granted for one year or three years which can be extended up to seven years, and subsequent permanent residence and citizenship.

The pathway can be exclusively availed by the business professional who wishes to set up a branch, affiliate, or subsidiary in the United States for their business in the native country. Small businesses can expand their market in the USA with minimum investment, unlike the investment requirement of USD 500,000 under the investor program of EB 5 green card.

L1 visa Benefit

There are several significant advantages of opting:

  • Relatively basic eligibility requirements
  • No job offer requirement
  • Smooth transition to permanent residence
  • Through blanket petitions, multiple employees can be transferred to the U.S. office under a single application
  • No labour certification requirement, resulting in a shorter application process
  • Family members can accompany the applicant under the L-2 classification
  • The primary opportunity for people under the L1 business visa USA is to set up a new U.S. office of their foreign company, for business expansion within the United States.

What are the types ?

There are two types of L1 Visa categories:

L-1A Visa – The visa is for those professionals who work in managerial or executive capacity for a multinational company outside of the USA.

L-1B Visa – The visa is designed for professionals who possess specialized knowledge needed for the operation of the USA branch of the multinational company outside of the USA.

What are the eligibility criteria ?

Below is the L1 visa eligibility requirements:

  • L1A Applicants must be Senior Manager or Executives, and L1B applicants must be specialized knowledge workers
  • The applicants must be working in the above positions in the overseas business for a minimum of one year within three years of application
  • Overseas businesses must be conducting eligible business with the intention to set up a branch or subsidiary in the USA in the same business
  • To set up an office in the USA, the overseas business must provide evidence of procuring adequate physical space.

What is the application process ?

To understand, applicants can take the help of an experienced business visa consultant for a smooth process.

  • Stage 1: Arrange all the documents and complete and sign Form I-129 (Petition for Non-immigrant Worker)
  • Stage 2: Pay the application filing fee, biometrics, and supporting documents for eligibility
  • Stage 3: USA immigration department will review the application and decide on it

Stage 4: Upon selection, the authority will issue the letter of approval (I-797, Approval Notice)

What are the documents required for L-1 Visa?

  • L Classification Supplement of Form I-129 for USA business visa
  • Documents proving the Ownership-control relationship between the foreign employer and the U.S. employer
  • Maintenance of lawful status by employee
  • Proposed qualifications and duties for the job
  • Proof that the job position for executive/managerial capacity
  • One-year foreign employment experience evidence

What are the processing timing and fees of an L-1 Visa?

The average processing time under the different L-1 visa classifications is calculated by the processing of Form I-129. As per the recent trends, a minimum of two to four months are required to complete the process of an I-129 petition. However, the application timing can differ from case to case considering the time taken by the branch establishment and staffing process. The application fee for the L-1 classification is noted as the Form I-129 filing fee (USD 460) and biometrics fee (USD 85).

How can Abhinav (Businessimmigrationvisas) help you?

Businessimmigrationvisas (A brand of Abhinav Immigration Services) is a business immigration division dedicated to providing quality solutions for business visa pathways of the USA, such as L1 Visa USA. Abhinav holds more than 28 years of pioneering experience in delivering business visa solutions to investors, business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed professionals. We excel in:

  • Profile Assessment and pathway selection as per the profile and financial appetite
  • Documentation assistance in each stage of application such as the source of funds, business, and personal net worth
  • Market Research vis-à-vis Business for Sales listings
  • Online IELTS Coaching.
  • Overseas Company Incorporation
  • Taxation planning and advice
  • Planning and coordinating Exploratory Visits
  • Application Process through licensed Immigration consultants/Attorneys.


Q1. What is the investment required for the L1 visa?

L1 Visa process does not require any investment according to the program guidelines. You can invest any amount in setting up your branch or subsidiary for your overseas business. However, you need to purchase the office space for the branch and perform staffing and business management operations.

Q2. How does an L1 visa lead to a Green Card?

L1 visa USA program does not directly lead to the immigrant visa (Green Card). However, you can avail yourself of the alternative option to switch your L1 visa to the EB1C employment-based immigrant visa. You can easily qualify for EB1C employment-based immigrant visa by running the business in the USA for a minimum of one year. Furthermore, there is no Labor Certification requirement as well.

Q3. How long is the L1 visa valid?

The L-1A visas for managers or executives are initially valid for three years, which can be extended to 2-year increments up to a maximum of seven years. And, for L-1B visas for specialized knowledge workers is granted for three years which can be extended for two years to a maximum of five years under the USA Business Visa.

Q4. What is the requirement for an employee to be transferred on an L1 visa?

Unlike EB 5 green card, the applicant does not need to invest heftily in the business. They need to employ themselves in the USA branch or subsidiary of the overseas company. The applicants must possess a minimum of one year of experience in the last three years for the transferring business as a manager or executive, or specialized knowledge worker.

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