L-1 (New Office) Visas
The new office L-1 petition process enables a foreign employer to transfer one of its foreign executive or managerial employees to an executive or managerial position at a U.S. parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary within the first year of the U.S. entity’s start of business. If awarded, the new office L-1A status allows the transferred employee to remain in the United States for an initial period of one year. After the first year, the employee may renew his/her L-1A status for three two-year periods. In practice, this allows a maximum stay in the United States of seven years in L-1A status (one year initial status plus three two-year status renewals).
Once in the United States, the employee in L-1A status may work in the United States only for the petitioning company. The principal employee's spouse is awarded an employment authorization document and is not limited as to employers.