Applying for an L-1 Visa in India
This information has been prepared for the general information of clients of The Law Offices of Jay I. Solomon. It is accurate as of January, 2005. Please verify information provided by checking the internal links provided.
Where to apply
You must apply in the consular district where you live. There is an exception for individuals who are in the Chennai district who have never had a visa refused by a U.S. consul, who speak English fluently, and who can demonstrate a business reason why they need to travel before Chenai can schedule an appointment. In that case, Delhi and Calcutta will consider their applications. The waiting time may be less than Chennai.
.The information below should be verified here to assure it is current..CHENNAI: The consular district includes the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and the Union Territories of Lakshadweep islands and Pondicherry.
American Consulate General
The New Delhi consular district includes the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and the Union Territory of Delhi. American citizens in the New Delhi consular district who need assistance, have specific questions, or who wish to register as U.S. citizens, should contact:
Embassy Tel: 011-2419-8000, x8562, 4249
MUMBAI: The consular district includes the states of Mahrashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli
American Consulate General Mumbai
CALCUTTA: The consular district includes the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
American Consulate General
There is a nonrefundable fee paid to file a visa application, and there is a fee which is collected to issue a visa. There is also a fee for the required courier service. As of this writing, these fees are as follows:Visa fees are as follows for Indian nationals:
The fees (and the exchange rate!) are subject to change. Check the consular web site for current information.
The Visa Application
The application for an L visa is made using forms DS156 and - for men between 16 and 45, DS157. While these forms are available online, if you contact our office, we will send you a questionnaire which will help us review your information and complete these applications. One recent (within the past six months) passport size photograph, 50mm X 50mm with a white or off-white background is also required.
The L visa requires that a petition first be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service ("CIS"). This will either be an individual petition filed by your employer for you, or a blanket petition approved for your employer in advance. The approval of the petition is documented by a Notice of Action, Form I-797 issued by the CIS.
You must have the original approval in the case of an individual L, or a copy of the approval in the case of a blanket L. (You will have multiple copies of the latter). You may also have a copy of the L application made on your behalf.
In addition, you will need to document that you are employed as an executive, a manager, or an employee wtih "specialized knowledge." Your employer will supply you with documentation wtih your cooperation.
The L visa is based on your having been employed by the same company outside the U.S.- or its parent, subsidiary or affiliate - as will employ you in the U.S. You should have documentation as to the length of your current employment - which may include pay slips and tax records.
The following is the list of documents currently required - check the consular web sites for updates:
The visa appointment
Most visa applicants must now have an appointment and apply in person. Plan well in advance if possible as there may be a long wait for an appointment. Security clearances are completed before any visa is issued - and such clearances may be subject to delays for reasons beyond your control - and beyond the control of your employer or your attorney.
For an appointment in Chennai, Calcutta or Delhi, check here.
For an appointment in Mumbai, check here.
Copyright 2005, Jay I. Solomon