Important Aspects of L1A Visa for Executives and Managers

The L1A visa is for managers and executives in foreign countries who are going to come to work for a U.S. company. Here are some facts regarding this visa that in my capacity as an immigration attorney in Sacramento of which I’ve found every applicant should be aware.

Processing Time

Once all of the documents are completed and submitted, the processing time for the L1A visa ranges from two to four months.

If a company needs to expedite the process, they may pay a Premium Processing fee of $1,000. Premium Processing by the USCIS takes 15 days.

Can Any Executive or Manager Apply?

If someone meets the minimum requirements as an executive or manager, they may apply as long as the foreign company for which they are working is legally affiliated with the U.S. company for which they are going to work. In my capacity as an immigration lawyer, I am sometimes asked if the companies must be legally affiliated. Yes, they must. The L1A visa does not apply to some who wants to work for a company in the U.S. that is not legally affiliated with the foreign company for which they are working.  Your companies may demonstrate that they are “affiliated” if they are a subsidiary, affiliate or branch.

What Documents are Required?

There are a range of documents that must be properly filed with the USCIS in order for the L1A petition to be considered. If paperwork is not properly filed, the process will be delayed.

The following forms and documents that are required for the US Embassy filing include:

  • A passport that allows for travel to the U.S. that expires no sooner than six months past the applicants intended time of stay.
  • A 50 mm x 50 mm full-face photo of the applicant (passport size) that has a light background and in which the applicant has nothing covering his/her head.
  • Form DS 156 (Visa application form).
  • Copy of form I 797 (Employee Approval Notice).
  • Copy of form I 129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant visa that is filed by employer).

Length of Stay

The length of stay on the L1A visa is three years. The total number of years one may work in the U.S. on a L1A visa is seven years.


If you have questions or concerns, a good immigration lawyer can be a big help. From my office in the Sacramento area, I work with companies and applicants from around the country.

Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento California, at or at 415-986-6186 if you have any questions regarding L 1A visa or immigration law.
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