Many of you may be dealing with foreign investor clients from countries which do not have an E-2 Treaty of Commerce with the United States. In circumstances where an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is not an option for your clients, the L-1A Intra-Company Transferee Visa is usually the best alternative. This visa category enables a self-employed individual or an executive or manager employee to transfer from his foreign corporation where he has been employed for at least one year to a subsidiary or an affiliated company in the United States. The foreign parent company and its U.S. affiliate or subsidiary do not have to be in the same line of business. One type of company which I highly recommend in this scenario is a company involved in buying, selling and developing real estate. This may be welcome news to many of you realtors. The U.S. affiliate or subsidiary can be created very quickly and easily.
Some basic requirements for the L-1A visa are as follows:
There must be a foreign company with an affiliated company in the United States.
The transferee must hold at least an executive or managerial level position in both the foreign and U.S. companies.
The foreign and U.S. companies must each have at least five employees.
Both companies must remain in business for the duration of the visa.
When being transferred to a new U.S. affiliated or subsidiary company that has less than one year in existence, the initial term of the L-1A Visa will be for one year. If the U.S. affiliated or subsidiary company has more than one year in existence, we can request an initial three year term for the L-1A Visa.
The transferee’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible for visas based on their dependent relationship to the transferee. In addition, the spouse of the transferee would be eligible for work authorization. The L-1A visa can, in many cases, eventually be transitioned into an immigrant visa which can lead to a Green Card.
As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this or other legal issues.
Don Gonzalez, Esq.