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The L-1 Visa

Transfer an employee to the U.S.

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What is the L-1 Visa?

The L-1 visa is for employers who want to transfer key employees from an international office to work in the U.S. If you have registered companies in the U.S. and abroad, moving executives, managers, or critical employees with the L-1 is a possibility. The L-1 even works if you don’t have any employees in the U.S. yet and want to establish a new office.

Premium Processing

Do you or an employee need to work in the U.S. right away? The government offers premium processing on L-1 visas. Get approval in 15 days or less.

Flexible Degree

There are no degree requirements for the L-1A or L-1B so you don't need to worry about matching a job title to an employee's college degree.

No Annual Limit

Unlike the H-1B, there is no limit on the number of L-1 visas granted annually. Employers can petition for the L-1 at any time during the year as long as the employee has been with the company for at least one year.

Which L-1 category is right for you or your employer?


  • Transfer an executive or employee in a management position to the U.S. for up to 7 years. The initial period of stay for the L-1A is 3 years with the option for two extensions in two-year increments
  • The employee does not need to be a people manager. If the employee is a functional manager--overseeing budget or a decision-maker--they still qualify for the L-1A.
  • Dependents can join the employee on the L-1. The spouse can work in the U.S. with the EAD-L-2 visa.


  • Transfer a specialty worker such as a software engineer to the U.S. for up to 5 years. The initial period of stay for the L-1B is three years with the option for a two-year extension.
  • The L-1B is a good option for employees with specialized knowledge about products, research, and management as it applies to international markets.

The O-1 or L-1: Which is right for you?

The L-1 visa, often overlooked by foreign entrepreneurs launching U.S. operations, is another pathway for startup founders to build businesses in the U.S.,
but what are the key differences between the O-1 and L-1?

O-1 vs. L-1

Working with Legalpad

We simplify the L-1 work visa process so you know exactly what to expect every step of the way.

Step 1


We hop on a short call to make sure you or your employee qualifies for the L-1.

Step 2


We hop on a call to get details about your company.

Step 3


Review evidence for the L-1 petition with your immigration team.

Step 4


We share all letters with you and others to sign.

Step 5


Have your employer sign the final version of your L-1 application.

Wow – we did it! It was a pleasure working with you and your team, you guys never gave up and we did it. We are looking forward to working with Legalpad to bring more of our team to the USA. This is a life changing event!

Nick Jordanovski, Upshift

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