It is often the case that high net-worth individuals from foreign countries accumulate their wealth through businesses they own and/or operate in their home countries. As an executive or upper-level manager of a foreign company, one is permitted to open branch or subsidiary offices in the United States via an L-1A visa. These visas are not burdened by the restrictions, requirements, or uncertainties that surround EB-5 visa program investments. The intent of this article is to introduce the benefits of the often-overlooked L-1A visa program.
The L-1A is a temporary non-immigrant visa well-suited for managers and/or executives of mid to large sized businesses. This visa allows for the intra-company transfer of such mangers and executives to form U.S. offices or to join existing ones. Those intra-company transferees can then pursue legal permanent residency under EB-1 visa provisions.
The L-1A visa allows an employee to stay 5-7 years depending on skill set. This process can move just as quickly as the EB-5 route, without the need for a 2-year conditional green card. Once issued under the first employment-based immigration category, the individual green card grants executives unconditional permanent residence.
Advantages of the L-1A Visa
- No investment or hiring requirements
- Strong visa applicants typically invest more than $100K and hire 5-6 full time employees
- Possible unconditional permanent residency under EB-1 provisions
- Employer can transfer certain employees to the US office
The L-1A program provides more flexibility and control for the vast majority of foreign business owners. It relies less on investments and business size as prerequisites for residency than the EB-5 visa. Most importantly, the potential for permanent residence through the EB-1 category is very promising given that it is the highest priority granted by the immigration service in terms of processing times.
Make an Educated Choice with Your Business
Ready to move your business or investment stateside, but still unsure about the best path to take? Silicon Valley Attorney Gabriel Jack can help your transfer go smoothly.
Visit our U.S. Immigration Law office in San Francisco and San Jose, or call us to schedule a consultation.