What to Know About the L-1 Visa

Zohar Law is proud to offer legal aid for immigration services in New York City, including helping our clients secure L-1 visas for themselves and L-2 visas for their family members. The visa process can be complicated, even for nonimmigrant visas like the L-1. If you are looking to obtain an L-1 visa for yourself or your employee, we strongly suggest seeking out the help of a skilled immigration lawyer. We can assist you in navigating the complicated world of immigration visas so you can have as smooth a journey as possible.


The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning it is used by people who are only seeking temporary access to the United States. Nonimmigrant visas can be used for tourism, medical treatment, business, or in the case of the L-1 visa, work.

L-1 visas are typically issued for intracompany transfers. Employers can use this to transfer managers or executives to locations in the United States, send specialized employees for specific roles, or even to set up a new U.S. branch of the company. And more and more companies become international enterprises, more L-1 visas are awarded. In fact, in 2016, the US State Department issued over 160,000 L-1 visas.

There are several types of L-1 visas, as well as L-level visas for spouses and children of L-1 visa holders. The L-1A visa is valid for up to seven years, at which point you must work abroad for a year before you can reapply for the L-1A visa. This visa is for executives, managers, and others in vital leadership roles.

An L-1B visa, on the other hand, is good for up to five years and is for specialized workers in a certain industry. These are people with special knowledge or skills that will allow them to complete work for their same company in a United States office or facility.

How To Obtain An L-1 Visa

To obtain an L-1 visa, you need to already have a relationship with the company you wish to work for, making it different from the standard work visas. In general, you must have at least one continuous year of employment with the company within the past three years before you can move to the US with an L-1 visa.

Obtaining L-2 Visas

After you have solidified your L-1 visa, your spouse and/or children under the age of 21 may apply for an L-2 visa. This allows your family to accompany you to the United States for the duration of your L-1 visa. One of the benefits of an L-2 visa, as opposed to other spouse and dependent visas, is that L-2 spouses may work in the United States with the proper approval from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. Those with L-2 visas can also travel in and out of the country during their stay and children can attend schools within the US on an L-2 visa.


At Zohar Law, we know how important it is for the immigration process to go smoothly. With the help of an immigration lawyer in New York City, you can rest easy knowing that a professional is helping you every step of the way. If you choose to seek your green card after your L-1 visa is up, we can also assist you with this process.

Reach out to Zohar Law today if you need assistance obtaining an L-1 immigration visa or L-2 visas for yourself, your spouse, or your children. We look forward to speaking with you and helping with your immigration needs.