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L-1 Visa: How To Get an L-1 Visa as a Doctor or Physician in the U.S.A

If you are a doctor or physician and considering moving to the United States to continue your medical career, here is everything you need to know about the L-1 visa option.

L-1 visas for doctors

The L-1 visa (intracompany transfer) is definitely a valid option for medical professionals wishing to work in the United States.

OnlineVisas’ lead attorney and CEO Jon Velie answers your questions.

Q1: What is the L-1 Visa for?

The L-1 visa allows multinational companies to transfer executives, managers, or specialized employees from an overseas location to a U.S. location. (Note, the U.S. work location or office can be newly opened.)

Q2: Does the L-1 Visa have to have employees?

Yes. An executive or manager needs to have employees to manage. Qualifying companies should have three tiers in their structure: executives, managers, and employees.

Q3: How many employees would meet the minimum?

In our experience, the realistic minimum for a qualifying organization is at least five individuals, most likely made up of one executive, one manager, and a minimum three individual employees.

Q4: Can you file an L-1 visa prior to opening an U.S. operation?

Technically, this is possible, but it proves very difficult to achieve in practice. We recommend you carry out the minimum steps required in order to show you have an active company ready to do business in the U.S. before you begin the process.

Please refer to the video for details, including organizing an LLC, getting a federal ID number, setting up a checking account, adding funds, etc. Also, having a business plan that complies with the “Matter of Ho” is important, and something we will be happy to advise you on.

Q5: How long must the L-1 visa petitioner have worked at the foreign location?

The visa holder must have worked for a minimum of one full calendar year within the past three years at the foreign location to qualify for an L-1 visa.

There are options to enter the U.S. on a B1 or B2 visitor’s visa and then later change status to the L-1. See video for details.