Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Can I Apply for a L1 Visa on My Own?

Generally, an L1 visa requires a qualifying employer-employee relationship with a foreign company doing business in the US. This relationship is needed because the L1 visa process starts with the employer filing a petition on behalf of an employee.

So, as I understand your question, you are asking whether you, as owner of the company and employer, can file a petition on behalf of yourself, as manager and employee of the company. A pretty confusing question but initially It doesn’t seem like you will have trouble establishing that you are both an owner and employee of the company so the answer will depend on whether you are doing business in the US.

Doing business is a broad term and just means the regular provision of goods or services by an organization. The presence of an agent or office in the US alone will not be considered doing business, but pretty much any business operation beyond that will. You don’t necessarily have to be currently doing business in the US as long as you plan to begin doing business in the US soon. The fact that you are already incorporated in the US will likely help to establish that if you are not currently doing business here, you at least plan to.

If you can demonstrate these two requirements, you may qualify. Visa applications can be extremely complex and time-consuming so I would suggest that you speak with an immigration attorney. 

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