An L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, available to employees who have specialized knowledge – usually at the executive or managerial level — and are being transferred to a U.S. branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of an international company. Such foreign workers wanting to relocate must have worked abroad for the company for at least one continuous year within the previous three prior to admission in the US.
The L-1 visa is valid for a relatively short amount of time, from three months (for Iran nationals) to five years (India, Japan, Germany), based on a reciprocity schedule. With extensions, the maximum stay is seven years.
That said, the L-1 visa is not limited to executives from multi-million dollar multinational corporations. The L-1 category is also available to small and medium sized businesses whose owners, executives, and managers may want to come to the United States to start a business. There is no minimum investment, capital requirements, or set number of U.S. employees that must be hired. Foreign nationals are usually granted one year to set up the U.S. business but must demonstrate that the U.S. business is operating and moving forward on its business strategy prior to the end of that initial one-year period.
This video may be helpful in preparing for your L-1 Visa interview. Pay attention to the key points that will help you to ace the interview in first attempt.
The video highlights the list of documents needed beforehand, as well as the kinds of questions you could be asked at your interview and sample answers.