For Executives and Managers of International Company
L-1A is a non-immigrant visa granted for executives and managers of companies that have offices in the U.S. and foreign countries. The U.S. office here can be a new office, so foreign companies can send their executives and managers to set up new offices in the U.S. With regard to the eligibility, the named employee must also have been working for the foreign company as a manager or an executive for at least one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States. Also, the employee must be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations, meaning that the L-1A employee should have other employees to manage and should not do non-managerial tasks such as office operations.
Once granted, in case of U.S. new offices, L-1A status is granted for one year and one should apply for an extension for another 2 years by showing the operations of the new office during its first one year period. If U.S. offices have been running for more than 1 year, then 2 year status can be granted. Likewise, L-1A can be extended by a 2 year increment until it reaches its 7 year maximum.
Spouses and children under the age of 21 of L-1A managers or executives get their own L-2 visa. It is a huge benefit that L-2 spouses have employment authorization upon their entry to the U.S. and can work for any U.S. employers.
The most distinguished benefit of the L-1A visa is its path to green card. Among the green card options, EB-1C is especially for multinational managers and executives and requirements are similar to those for L-1A. For this reason, L-1As who have successfully renewed his or her status are highly likely to get approvals for their EB-1C petition as well. L-1A is a unique type for this reason, as most non-immigrant visa types do not provide a path to permanent residence closely connected to it. Likewise, the L-1A visa is a good option for high level employees of the foreign companies that seek to pioneer the U.S. market by opening U.S. branch offices.