L visa is a path for a U.S. or foreign employer to send an employee from a foreign affiliate, division or branch to work for the employer’s U.S. affiliated company. The employer’s U.S. affiliated company can be a brand new company or an existing company. The employee has to be employed as manager or executive by the foreign employer’s affiliate, branch or subdivision for at least 1 year out of the 3 years preceding filing* L visa petition.

L visa does not guarantee a permanent residency (green card) EB-1, but can significantly simplify the process if employee chooses to apply for EB-1 while in the U.S.

There are 2 subcategories of L-1 visa: L1A for managers and executives and L1B – for specialized knowledge employees.

* When filing an adjustment of status this rule will be interpreted differently.


  • L-1A visa for managers and executives can be used to send employees to the U.S. to set-up a new U.S. company – an affiliate, branch or subdivision of the foreign company. This is a way to expand your company and set up an office in the U.S. and send your employee in the newly opened company to manage it. The U.S. immigration authorities require the employing company to submit a comprehensive business plan, which clearly describes the nature of business, operation, operations and profitability, how new jobs will be created (we recommend a creation of at least 3 jobs), and establish clearly that L-1A employee would needed to perform managerial and executive functions in the company.
  • L-1A visa can be used for the U.S. company that already exists.
  • L-1B visa requires the U.S. Labor Department certification.
  • L visa does not have a restriction to apply for permanent residency (green card) in the future.
  • There is no annual quota for this type of visa.
  • Relatively quick processing time (3-5 months).
  • There is no requirement to prove that the employee intends to reside in the country of citizenship.
    L-1A visa is initially issued for up to 3 years maximum and can be extended upon expiration – for a period of 2 years up to 7 years total.
  • L-1B visa is initially issued for up to 3 years and can be extended upon expiration – for a period of 2 years up to 5 years total
  • Family members (spouse and children under 21 y.o.) can obtain L-2 visa based on the approved I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) for L-1 visa. Spouse has a right to obtain a work authorization and work in the U.S. Children can study in the U.S.


ALTAVIAM Law Office provides assistance with preparation of I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and required documents (please note that the list of documents below is not exhaustive)

  • Petition I-129 on behalf of your employer
  • Documents in support of the petition I-129 including the documentation below.
  • Legal evaluation of the business plan, job description, description of L-1 visa employee position and evidence of necessity of the manager or executive position for the U.S. company operation.
  • For the company in the U.S.: incorporation certificate (or similar document), EIN – Employer ID Number, Lease Agreement, audit reports, description of the operations, tax returns, bank statements, commercial agreements, bank guarantees, the company’s letterhead, photographs of the office and office plan.
  • For the foreign company: certificate of incorporation (or similar document), articles of association (or similar document), tax returns for the last 3 years, audit reports, photographs of the office, office plan, organizational charts, documents from state authorities, documents evidencing the number of employees, publication materials about the company’s operation, commercial agreements, bank statements, bank guarantees, other documents evidencing the position of the employee who is being transferred to the U.S. company.
  • For the employee: CV, diplomas, letter from the foreign company evidencing the position, other supporting documents.
  • Other documents.


  • Employee is outside of the U.S.: Petition I-129 is submitted on behalf of the employer to USCIS, and the approval notice along with the supporting documents to be submitted to a local U.S. Consulate (Form D-160). Upon approval by the U.S. Consulate, the employee will receive L visa.
  • Employee is in the U.S.: Form I-129 and I-485 need to be filed with the USCIS. Please consult attorney before filing them. Upon approval, a new I-94 will be enclosed with you approval notice I-797.
  • ALTAVIAM Law Office provides full support on the communication between USCIS and employing company. We will receive all correspondence and communicate with USCIS about your case.


  • ALTAVIAM attorneys will review all documents and facts, and only then we can make an evaluation of your case. It is our ethical standard to ensure that each of our potential clients takes only educated decision about his/her case.
  • You can request a personal meeting with ALTAIAM attorney in Moscow, Los Angeles or New York or a Skype teleconference can be scheduled.
  • We will contact your employer and assist with drafting the required petitions and documents: I-129: Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker / I-539: Application to Extend / Change Nonimmigrant Status (if applicable).
  • We will advise on every step and every document that you are required to submit with your petition.
  • We will assist in submission of the visa application to your local U.S. Consulate if you are applying outside of the U.S., and prepare you for the interview. Please note that presence of third parties (even your attorney) is not authorized at the U.S. Embassy / Consulates in Russia.
  • We will work with you on all supporting evidence and documents.
  • We will contact the immigration authorities about your case.
  • We will be in receipt of all immigration mail correspondence in the U.S.


  1. State Fee:
    1. Adjustment of Status:
      • USCIS Fee for I-129 Petition: $460
      • USCIS Fee for I-539 (Application to Extend / Change Non-Immigrant Status): $370
      • USCIS Fee for Expedite Processing (Optional): $1,225
    2. Consulate Processing
      • USCIS Fee for I-160: Local Consulate Fee (usually around $160-200)
  2. Attorney Fee: we determine our legal fee only upon careful consideration of all individual facts and documents.

* The list of the state fees above is not limited until an evaluation of your case is completed. USCIS / U.S. Consulates may change their fees from time to time.

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