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Faryal Poonah Immigration Law Firm | Toronto Immigration Lawyer

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l1 Visa Lawyer Canada2024-06-04T14:01:52+00:00

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    L1 Visa Lawyer Toronto – Faryal R. Poonah

    What is the L-1 Visa?

    The L-1 intracompany transfer visa is one of the most common employment-based nonimmigrant visas used in the United States by companies ranging from large multinational corporations to small startups and family-owned businesses. The L-1 visa allows employers to transfer executives, managers, and specialized knowledge employees from one of the organization’s foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The transferred executive, manager, or specialized knowledge employee must have worked outside of the United States for the company for at least one year in the prior three years.

    L-1 Visa Lawyer in Toronto

    Hiring an L-1 visa lawyer in Toronto is crucial for navigating the complex legal landscape of immigration. An experienced immigration lawyer ensures that all application details are correctly completed and submitted, minimizing the risk of delays or denials. They stay updated with the latest immigration laws and regulations, providing invaluable guidance tailored to individual circumstances. With their expertise, an immigration lawyer can address any issues that may arise during the application process, effectively representing clients in legal matters and increasing the chances of a successful outcome. Ensuring legal compliance and thorough preparation, Faryal R. Poonah is an indispensable partner in your immigration journey.


     The U.S. remains the land of opportunity, and there are many immigration pathways to accessing those opportunities.


     Canada has one of the most positive immigration pathways with plans to admit more immigrants each year.



    Mississauga, the “Europe of North”, has many popular immigration programs separate from other Provinces.

    L1 Visa Requirements 

    Qualifying Relationship 

    For an employer to meet the L-1 visa requirements, there must be a qualifying relationship between a foreign company and an employer that is currently or will be doing business in the United States. The U.S. and foreign businesses need not be in the same field. That relationship can be a parent/subsidiary relationship (the U.S. entity can either be the parent or subsidiary), a branch office relationship, or an affiliate relationship. The qualifying relationship need not have existed during the one-year period when the L-1 nonimmigrant worked abroad for the company. Also, the entity abroad that employed the L-1 nonimmigrant can cease operating or no longer be a part of the sponsoring company (often the case after a merger or acquisition) while the L-1 beneficiary is in the United States as long as the company maintains a related foreign entity for the duration of the L-1 period in the United States. 

    Employment Abroad 

    An L-1 nonimmigrant must have been employed abroad continuously for one year, within the three years preceding the time of his or her filing an L-1 petition, by a qualifying organization. The job abroad that is the basis of the L-1 petition doesn’t need to be immediately prior to the time period when an L-1 visa is sought as long as it is in the three years preceding filing for the L-1—the applicant can be working for another company at the time of filing. Brief trips to the United States for business won’t break the one-year continuous employment requirement, though days in the United States won’t count toward the one-year requirement. For example, someone who has traveled to the United States for ten days during the employee’s first year of employment abroad for a company won’t be eligible for an L-1 until one year and ten days after beginning work with the employer. 

    It is still possible to qualify for an L-1 visa if one has come to the United States for more than a few weeks as long as the individual has continued to work for the foreign employer. For example, if the foreign employer sends the worker to participate in a training program in the United States on an H-3 visa that lasts for more than a year, the employment would still count toward maintaining continuous employment. However, the employee would still need to show working at least 365 days for the employer outside the United States. 

    The 365 days of qualifying overseas employment must also have been in full-time status, and part-time employment may not be aggregated. However, there is an exception if work is divided among affiliate companies, each using the employee on a part-time basis, which can then constitute full-time employment if the aggregate time meets or exceeds the hours of a full-time job. 

    Executive, Managerial, or Specialized Knowledge Capacity 

    Executives and Managers 

    The nonimmigrant must be coming to the United States in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or one that involves specialized knowledge. Managers and executives use the L-1A visa. Specialized- knowledge employees use the L-1B visa. L-1A visa holders can remain in L-1A status for up to seven years. L-1B visa holders can hold L-1B status for up to five years. Time spent abroad during the L-1 period may be recaptured if documentation of the time abroad can be presented. 

    Specialized Knowledge Capacity 

    In order to qualify under “Specialized Knowledge”, the beneficiary filed under the L-1B category and requires the L-1B petitioner to demonstrate that a beneficiary employee has “specialized knowledge” and have: 1) a “special” knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets; or 2) an “advanced” level of knowledge of the processes and procedures of the company. 

    Evidence to Demonstrate Specialized or Advanced Knowledge

    Petitioners should first submit a detailed description of the services to be performed as well as evidence of the beneficiary’s prior education, training, and employment qualifying them for the position. 

    Specialized knowledge analysis does not involve a test of the U.S. labor market, and a petitioner does not need to show a lack of readily available workers to perform the relevant duties in the United States. The test is not whether workers in the United States are available but rather whether there are “so many such workers that the knowledge is generally or commonly held in the relevant industry, and thus not specialized.” If there are a lot of workers in the United States with similar knowledge to the beneficiary’s, the petitioning employer must show the beneficiary’s knowledge is truly specialized.

    If there are other workers in the U.S. operation with the same specialized knowledge, the following factors will be considered by a USCIS examiner: 

    • How the duties to be performed by the beneficiary that require his or her specialized knowledge may or may not differ from those already employed in the U.S. operations; 
    • The extent to which the petitioner would suffer economic inconvenience or disruption to its U.S. or foreign-based operations if it were unable to transfer the beneficiary; 
    • Whether the salary to be paid to the beneficiary is comparable to similarly situated peers in the U.S. operations. 

    A specialized knowledge worker does not need to occupy a managerial or similar position or command a high salary compared to his or her peers. Rank and salary might be factors considered when analyzing whether a beneficiary has specialized knowledge, but there is no requirement that a beneficiary be of a certain rank or have a salary “elevated” compared to his or her peers. The memorandum notes that this is especially applicable to startups. 

    Specialized knowledge L-1Bs who are later promoted to managers or executives can change from an L-1B status to L-1A status upon approval by USCIS. However, the employee must have been employed for at least six months in the managerial or executive position in order to be eligible for a stay of seven years or the change and extension of status must be requested before the L-1B has been in that status for four and a half years. 

    Owners of Businesses 

    An owner or shareholder of a business may qualify as an L-1 if the petition is accompanied by evidence that the beneficiary’s services are to be used for a temporary period and evidence that the beneficiary will be transferred to an assignment abroad upon the completion of the temporary services in the United States.8 

    The petitioner must also establish that the foreign qualifying company will be doing business the entire time the owner or shareholder is in the United States as an L-1. 

    New Offices

    L-1 beneficiaries who are transferring to offices in the United States doing business for less than one year are subject to additional requirements. USCIS, not surprisingly, tends to apply greater scrutiny to these petitions. 

    The main consequence of a “new office” petition is the length of time for which the L-1 petition will be approved. An initial L-1 for a new office will be approved for only one year versus up to three years for other L-1s. Also, only those who have worked as executives or managers abroad may seek L-1A visas for new offices. As noted above, a specialized knowledge employee abroad transferring to the United States to work as a manager or executive may seek an L-1A for other L-1 petitions. 


    Spouses and children under the age of 21 can accompany an L-1 by using the L-2 visa. The period of stay for the L-2 corresponds to that of the L-1. If an L-2 applies for the visa at a consulate after the L-1 is already in the United States, then the applicant only needs to document the relationship to the L-1 and that the L-1 is in valid L-1 status in the United States. L-2 spouses may apply for employment authorization using Form I-765. 

    As a result of litigation regarding long delays in adjudicating Employment Authorization Documents,  USCIS agreed to modify its policy with respect to L-2 spouse EADs and provide a limited automatic extension of an EAD that is expiring IF the following conditions are met:

    • They timely filed a renewal Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, based on the same L-2 nonimmigrant status;
    • They have an unexpired Form I-94 showing their status as an L-2 nonimmigrant.
    • The automatic EAD extension will continue until whichever comes first:
    • The end date on the dependent spouse’s Form I-94 showing valid L-2 nonimmigrant status;
    • The date USCIS approves or denies the application to renew the EAD; or
    • 180 days from the “Card Expires” date on the front of the EAD.
    • Eligible L-2 dependent spouses may present the following evidence of the automatic EAD extension to employers for purposes of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification:
    • Form I-94 indicating the unexpired L-2 nonimmigrant status;
    • Form I-797C for a timely-filed EAD renewal application (Form I-765) stating “Class requested” as “(a)(18)”; and
    • The expired EAD issued under the same category, Category A18.

    L-2S Classification

    In late January 2022, CBP indicated they would follow a policy where for L-2 spouses entering the United Stated would be identified in their I-94s as having L2S designation which will make it possible for L-2 spouses to be able present documentation to an employer of work authorization. CBP will apparently not update I-94 records for L-2 spouses already in the United States before the L2S annotations start. 

    Processing Notes 

    I-129 petitions are filed with a USCIS service having jurisdiction over the state where the U.S. office is located. Spouses and children L-2 applications are filed using I-539. 

    Canadian L-1 applicants file a form I-129 with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port-of-entry on the Canadian-U.S. land border or at Pre-Clearance/Pre-Flight Inspection facilities (PFI) in Canada.17 Canadians can also file an I-129 with a USCIS Service Center, and if approved, may seek admission to the United States without a visa by use of the approval notice. If the CBP officer approves the application, they will issue an I-94 and then forward the approved I-129 to USCIS where a Form I-797 approval notice is issued.

    Mississauga L1 Visa Lawyer – Free consultation

    Seeking an L1 visa lawyer offering free consultations is crucial for immigrants residing in Mississauga who aspire to relocate to the US. A free consultation allows individuals to discuss their immigration aspirations and concerns with the lawyer without initial financial obligations. It serves as a valuable opportunity to evaluate the lawyer’s expertise in L1 visa matters and determine if they are a suitable fit for handling the immigration process. In Mississauga, having access to such legal assistance ensures that immigrants receive personalized guidance and representation, navigating the complexities of US immigration law with confidence and compliance.


    Can an immigration lawyer help with provincial nominee programs in Ontario?2023-11-07T13:44:36+00:00

    Yes, an immigration lawyer can assist with provincial nominee programs (PNPs) in Ontario. They can guide you through the specific requirements of Ontario’s PNP, helping you understand the criteria, preparing your application, and maximizing your chances of nomination for permanent residency.

    It’s essential to consult with an immigration lawyer in Ontario for personalized guidance on your specific immigration needs and circumstances.

    What services can I expect from an immigration lawyer in Ontario?2023-11-07T13:45:31+00:00

    Immigration lawyers in Ontario offer various services, including evaluating your eligibility, preparing and submitting applications, representing you in immigration hearings or appeals, and providing legal advice throughout your immigration journey.

    How do I choose the right immigration lawyer in Ontario?2023-11-07T13:46:22+00:00

    When selecting an immigration lawyer in Ontario, consider their experience, specialization in immigration law, and track record of successful cases. It’s also essential to ensure they are licensed and in good standing with the relevant legal authorities.

    Why should I hire an immigration lawyer in Ontario?2023-11-07T13:46:56+00:00

    Hiring an immigration lawyer in Ontario is beneficial because they possess in-depth knowledge of Canadian immigration laws, policies, and procedures. They can help you understand your options, prepare your applications correctly, and navigate the complex immigration system, increasing your chances of success.

    What does an immigration lawyer in Ontario do?2023-11-07T13:47:19+00:00

    An immigration lawyer in Ontario specializes in Canadian immigration law and provides legal assistance to individuals and families seeking to navigate the immigration process. They offer guidance on various immigration matters, including visa applications, permanent residency, work permits, family sponsorships, and legal representation in immigration proceedings.

    Our Array of Immigration Services in Canada Includes:

    Skilled Worker

    Express Entry is an online system used to manage and expedite permanent residency applications skilled workers under federal and some provincial programs.

    Provincial Nominee Program

    Determine which Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP’s) “streams” may be available to you based on your skills, education, and occupation for Canadian immigration

    Investors & Entrepreneurs

    Canada is seeking newcomers with ownership and/or business management experience to start/purchase an existing business through its Federal & PNP program

    Self-Employed / Permanent

    Learn about Canadian immigration, requirements for citizenship and paths to green card.

    Business Immigration

    Explore options through investment and/or business to live permanently in the Mississauga.

    Family Sponsorship

    Do you speak French? Consider your options to live, study or work in Mississauga.


    Highly professional staff that will provide you with personalized assistance. Extremely knowledgeable with all immigration options. Assisted us with family-based petition and made the process seamless. I would highly recommend their professional services!


    Amazing to work with. Always available to answer questions and dealt with all hurdles and obstacles to retain my immigration status. Was able to meet deadline to file case efficiently and quickly. If you want your case to be treated with priority and dedication, let Poonah Immigration Law Firm help you!


    I cannot recommend this law firm enough. In my time of need, they were there to provide the best legal advice to help me. I owe my peace of mind to them and I am highly grateful. If you are looking for a well-rounded law firm, this law firm is for you!


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