Working in the United States: L1 and E visas (Fr)
It is impossible to work on American territory without a visa adapted to your situation.
A / The L1 visa: "intracompany transfer visas"
It is a visa issued for a person transferred within an American subsidiary or branch. This visa is issued for a period of 3 years and is renewable for a period of 4 years. It makes it easier to obtain the Green Card than other visas.
It also allows the spouse and children of the L1 visa holder to be automatically assigned an L2 visa which allows them to study in the USA.
There are three cumulative conditions for granting this visa: the applicant must have worked for one year with the French parent company during the last three years preceding the visa application, the parent company must hold at least 51% shares of the subsidiary and finally and the applicant must occupy management or senior executive positions in the United States.
The INS Local requires a certain number of documents, namely:
- The articles of association, shareholders' agreements and share certificates of the parent company and the subsidiary.
- Proof of the manager's functions of the person concerned
- Proof of the financial capacity of the American subsidiary to compensate its employees
- The parent company's balance sheet
- Document I-129 approved by the INS
- Proof that the employee in question has worked one year in the last three years for the parent company. The American company must then file with the local INS (that of the head office of the subsidiary) an application for admission to the United States on behalf of the employee.
This authorization is materialized by the delivery of document I-129; The interested party must then send all the documents to the American consulate in France to obtain his visa.
The disadvantage of this type of visa lies in the fact that its issuance is longer than for an E visa. It generally takes 3 to 4 months; in case of emergency it is possible to obtain a visa in fifteen days on condition of paying an additional sum of 1000 dollars (premium processing).
B / The E visa There are two types of E visa: the E1 “treaty trader” visa and the E2 “treaty investor” visa.
These visas are issued to people who come to the United States in order to exercise international trade activity between their country of origin and the United States.
French nationals have the establishment agreement dated November 25, 1959 between the USA and France.
The E1 visa is granted to people who represent a foreign company in the USA, of which 50% commercial activities are carried out with American companies.
This visa is granted for an unlimited number of years, (it is to be admired as long as the American company justifies a commercial activity with significant France) and allows the spouse to remain on the American territory and the children to go at school. It concerns small and medium-sized enterprises.
The E2 visa is granted to people who will create a business in the United States and who will invest a minimum of $ 250,000.
This visa lasts as long as the activity of the American company.
The documents to provide in addition to the passport are the following: The statutes of the American company, the reports of assembly, the certificates of actions and the proof of an important commercial activity: Invoices, orders, contract, bank account. This visa is advantageous because its delivery is much faster since the application is made only at the American consulate in France.
On the other hand, it would appear more difficult to obtain the green card via the E visa because there is a limited number of E visas granted each year. These quotas do not exist for L1 visas which, if the documents are correctly assembled, will be issued automatically.
Finally, for people with particularly high professional qualifications who are highly qualified, the American employer will have to apply for an H or O visa depending on the situation of the person concerned. The candidate will be allowed to stay in the United States for the period necessary to fulfill these specific functions.
The American legislation in the area of immigration is very framed, it is necessary to have the required visa because otherwise the sanction of expulsion from the territory would be immediate.