The L1 visa authorizes foreigners to work in the United States for an American company related to their foreign employer. The American employer could be a subsidiary, branch office or parent company of the overseas business.
The R-L2 visa--the R stands for "regular"--is available for spouses and children of an L1 visa holder who want to visit or stay with him. An L2 visa holder can stay in the country as long as the L1 visa remains valid.
The L2 applicant must provide American officials with a passport; a letter from the L1 holder's employer confirming the L2's family relationship; and a marriage certificate for a spouse or birth certificates for children. There will also be several immigration forms to fill out.
L2 visa applicants are not required to share their spouse's last name or have it on their passport or other documents to qualify for the L2 visa.
L2 visa holders are free to leave America and return as often as they like, as long as the L1 visa is still valid. L2 visa holders can study full-time in America and with immigration-service approval, and they can also find jobs of their own.
- "we are all immigrants" sign image by Christopher Martin from Fotolia.com