L-1 Visa Case Studies

The Manager at a Medium Size Multinational Company

The Situation:

Hana is Japanese and has worked in Japan for two years at a medium sized multinational company with offices in Japan, Ireland, and Brazil.  The company is also affiliated with a U.S. company that sells the company’s products in the United States.  Hana is a manager for the company and has overseen the company’s Asian sales force for the last year.

Hana’s company now wants her to work in the United States as the vice president of sales for the United States’ company’s sales force.  Hana has a husband and a 16 year old child.

The Solution:

Hana appears eligible for an L-1A visa.  With the L-1A visa, Hana will be able to work as an executive of the U.S. affiliate for up to seven years.  During that time, Hana will be expected to continue her work in an executive position.  Additionally, the U.S. company and the Japanese company must maintain their affiliation with each other.

Hana’s husband and son will be able to get L-2 visas, allowing the son to attend school and the husband to work.   However, when the son marries or turns 21, he will not be eligible to maintain L-2 status through his mother.

If Hana enjoys her time in the US, she may be able to apply for an EB 1-3 immigrant visa.  The EB 1-3 visa is available to executives and managers of multinational companies.  It has many of the same requirements as the L-1 nonimmigrant visa.


The Overseas Entrepreneur

The Situation:

Asad is an up-and-coming businessman who created a company in India a few years ago.   The company has done well – it has fifty employees in India and clients throughout the world, including in China, Dubai, and the United States.  The company wants to expand its operations to the United States, but currently does not have any employees in the United States.

Asad wants to personally oversee the expansion of the company into the United States.  Asad expects that he will have a fully functioning office within one year, and will want to remain in the United States for a few years while his Indian and U.S. offices expand.

The Solution:

Asad is eligible for the L-1A “new office” visa.  He has worked for his company for over one year in the last three.  Additionally, he will be coming to the United States to do work as an executive at the newly formed U.S. office.  However, since the company is not doing “continuous business” in the United States, Asad will need to apply for the “New Office” L-1.  The New Office L-1 allows for applicants to enter the United States for a period of one year to oversee the creation and growth of a new office.  Once the new office is formed, and the one year time period is up, Asad will be able to reapply for L-1 status and will be able to get L-1A status for two additional periods of three years each.

Most importantly, Asad must make sure that both the U.S. and Indian offices continue to operate throughout his time in the United States in L-1A status.

If Asad wants, it is possible for him to apply for EB 1-3 status and obtain permanent residency in the United States.


Disclaimer: The case studies provided by Gafner Law Firm do not represent the facts of any particular client or other person who has obtained L-1 Visa status.  Instead, the case studies are created to include commonly occurring L-1 fact patterns.