Intra-company Transferee L-1 Visa
“I feel like I am a home run all by myself” (Intra-company Transferee L-1 Visa)
Henry Liu had always been a fan of American baseball. He loved watching the game and knew all the idioms that had entered spoken American English through baseball such as pit stop, big league, stepping up to the plate, ballpark, touch base and curveball. No one was more delighted than he was when he got a cushy job as Regional Innovation Manager with Amazon Singapore. To him, it was like standing at the doorway to the United States.
He was good at his work and his marketing innovations led to great gains for the business. He soon became Chief of Marketing Innovations. After three years in these positions, Amazon, US, requested that Henry be sent to share his marketing expertise in the head office.
Suddenly the doorway to the US was wide open for Henry and his family. Which visa should he apply for?
Fortunately, he didn’t have to dig around on his own to find out. The Amazon company routinely brings its best employees from its branches, subsidiaries and affiliates across the world to the US. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had let them apply for blanket permission for a visa designed specifically for such temporary transfers of high-level employees to Amazon USA from its companies worldwide.
That visa was the L-1, also known as the Intra-company Transferee L-1 Visa. It comes in two flavors, the first for managers and executives (L1-A visa), and the second for people with specialized knowledge (L1-B) about the company. Henry fitted in both categories, but the company decided to apply for the L1-A visa for him and the L2 for his wife and children.
The L-1 visa is issued without limit every year. In 2019, 76,988 L1-A visas and 80,720 L1-B visas were issued. The process usually starts with a petition filed on Form I-729 by the company with USCIS on behalf of the transferee. Once the petition has been approved, the individual may proceed with filing a visa application and scheduling a visa interview with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
In Henry’s case, since his company had been pre-approved and received blanket clearance for the Intra-company Transferee L-1 Visa, he was able to move straight to the visa application stage. Life became a blur of exciting activity. Within a few months, he was working with Amazon at its Seattle office.
One of the first things Henry did was to buy tickets for the season’s big-league baseball game. He was finally in the land where Babe Ruth became a legend. In his novel Singaporean English, he likes telling his colleagues over a beer, “I feel like I’m a home run all by myself”
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