Non-U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who wish to work in the United States require work authorization. The most popular work visa for temporary foreign national workers is the H-1B visa classification. However, the H-1B visa process is expensive, has strict requirements that apply to sponsoring employers and the U.S. government has limited the number of H-1B visas that are available each year.
But there is good news for some companies – a better alternative may exist.
L visas are work visas available to executives, managers, and those who have specialized knowledge of a company. To be eligible for an L visa, the company must have been in existence for at least three years and the U.S. office of the company must have been open for at least a year. Additionally, the transferring employee must have worked for the company for at least a year prior to the transfer. For those opening a U.S. office with another office located abroad, the L visa may also be available.
Finally, the L visa allows spouses and children of the visa holder to work for any employer while in the United States. This is a rarity among U.S. visas, as most other visas require spouses and children to have companies sponsor them for employment-based visas. Therefore, when looking into employment visa possibilities, employees and companies should consider L visas.
Keith A. Pabian, Esq. is an Immigration Attorney at Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP. He can be reached at 617-348-4317 or by email at email@example.com.