Investor and Trader Visas

L-1A Visa

L-1A Visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows either a U.S. employer to employ an executive or manager from one of its foreign offices, or a foreign company to send an executive or manager to start business operations in the U.S. L-1A Visa is preferable by many start-up investors seeking to expand to the United States.

Eligibility Requirements:

Qualifications of the Employer:

  • The employer must have a qualifying position in an organization that is recognized by the U.S. as a qualifying financial entity. This could be the parent company, subsidiary, affiliate, and branch.
  • The employer must be doing or will be doing business as an employer in the United States and in one another country at minimum as long as s/he is a beneficiary of an L-1A Visa.  

Qualifications of the Employee:

  • The employee must have been employed by a qualifying foreign organization at least one full year within the past three years before applying for an L-1A Visa.  
  • Throughout his/her stay in the U.S., the employee must be employed as an executive or manager by the branch, affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company of a foreign entity. 

Family Members:

  • The spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may enter the U.S. as dependents of L-1A Visa holders.
  • Their status will be under L-2, and they will be entitled to the same period of stay as the L-1A Visa holder. 


If you are entering the U.S. to establish a new office for your foreign company, you will be granted a one-year stay.

If you are a transfer of a foreign company to its U.S. office, your initial stay will be a maximum of three years.

Yes, you can! Extensions are granted in increments of up to two years. However, they are not limitless and cannot exceed a total of seven years.

Yes! This is relatively easy. All your family needs to do is to apply on a Form I-539, Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status.

Yes, s/he can! All your spouse needs to do is apply for work authorization. This means filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Fortunately, there are no restrictions or regulations regarding the work your spouse can do!

Yes. And they are as follows:

  • The employer has to secure a physical presence from where the new office can be managed.
  • The employee tasked with establishing the U.S. office must have been employed either as an executive or as a manager for at least one full year.
  • The U.S. office in the making has to financially support the executive or managerial position within one year starting with the L-1A validity period.

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