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What are some of the requirements for an L-1 visa?

When a foreign national wants to enter the United States – whether in California or elsewhere -- for an extended period of time, he or she will likely need a visa. The are numerous visa types, though, and understanding which is needed and what requirements must be met can be rather confusing. In this week's article, this column will focus on the requirements of the L-1 visa.

An L-1 visa is needed by those who are are interested in working in the United States. These visas are not regular employment visas, however. The employee, must be employed as a manager, executive or other specialist and must work for a corporation that has ties to both the United States and a foreign entity.

Before an L-1 visa will be granted, one must show that the company for which he or she is employed has a qualifying relationship with a company abroad. This can be done by providing business licenses, annual reports, contracts or other corporate filings. Along with providing the appropriate company documents, one must prove that he or she has been employed with the corporation for a specific period of time. This can be done by providing pay stubs, tax returns or any other available evidence of work product.

Finally, one will have to show that the office located in the United States is sufficient for the purposes of the business. Those allowed to enter the country on an L-1 visa must have the business up, running and growing within one year. Failing to meet this requirement could result in a visa being terminated.

These are just a few facts about an L-1 visa. Those interested in expanding foreign businesses into California or elsewhere across the country, or moving employees to such offices, can seek the assistance of an immigration attorney in order to make sure that the right visas are applied for and all requirements are met. Paperwork errors are the most common reasons for visa denial. By seeking help, applications can be thoroughly reviewed so as to avoid any simple mistakes.

Source: uscis.gov, "Understanding L-1 Requirements", April 27, 2016

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