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Digging deeper into the L-1 visa

Good help is hard to find, goes the old saying. It's on the basis of that claim that many companies in Kentucky and across the U.S. look to fill certain positions with individuals from outside the country. As we noted in a post earlier this month, the need might be a temporary one, but that doesn't necessarily make things easier.

There is a long list of possible visas from which to choose. The challenge of identifying the appropriate permit presents a significant challenge in itself. Then, the company must explain why that foreign worker is better suited than a U.S. citizen for the post. An application, perhaps a string of them, must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in hopes that it will be approved.

The visas that tend to get the greatest media attention are those under the H-2 designation. But in this day and age, with so many large companies having long global histories - with operations and offices on every continent - there is another visa that deserves special attention.

It's the L-1 visa and its two subset forms - A and B. These are visas that an employer might seek for an existing foreign worker being reassigned to the U.S. on a temporary basis. If the employee is destined for a manager or an executive position, the L-1A visa might be appropriate. If the employee has unique knowledge, the application might be for an L-1B.

To qualify for either of the classifications, the worker generally has to have been in a company's employ for one continuous year sometime within the previous three years. You as the employer must also demonstrate that your company and the company from which the employee is coming have a qualifying relationship.

In business, time is money. And to limit the expenditure of both, it's wise to consult an experienced immigration attorney.

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