I am hoping for some clear guidance please. I am due to move to either San Antonio TX or Charlotte NC with my UK employer who owns businesses in both these states on an L1a visa. My intention long term if all goes to plan is to permanently stay in the USA (Green card) helping my company to be a success whilst in turn securing employment for permanent US residents.

Visa's for my 15 YO, my wife and myself are not an issue. The biggest concern I have is for my 19 YO daughter as her dependant status is different due to her age. Basically what I am being told is that we will be able to organise an L2 visa for her which will only cover her for up to 5 years, during these 5 years she can study and work on the college for up to 20 hours per week.

All of this we can manage, however I am struggling to get any guidance on how my 19 YO daughter would be able to stay in the USA permanently and gain normal employment once her L2 visa expires. This option should not be a problem for me, my wife and 15 YO and it seems very strange as the likelihood is, at the end of her L2 visa the only alternative would be for her to move back to the UK when the remaining 3 of us will be allowed to stay.

My wife is self employed as a beauty therapist in the UK doing nails and nail art where she works out of a rented shop. I have discussed with my wife the option of renting and opening a shop in the USA once she has gained the relevant US certificates as she is allowed to do this as long as she has an EAD certificate. This would then allow an option for my daughter to gain full employment but again I do not know if this is possible.

Could someone please offer some sound advice for me please as I am desperate to have a plan for her or the whole thing may be called off due to eventually the family having to split up. :-(

Many Thanks,


  • All family members of a L1A visa holder need a L2 visa to come to the US. Family members can be a spouse and all unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. So I am confused about your question. What visa are you trying to get for your wife and 15 year old daughter?
    – IanDan
    Jul 3 '19 at 14:15
  • If you naturalize in the US (or your wife, for that matter) you would be able to sponsor your adult daughter for a green card. She can also of course seek an employment visa in her own right; many foreign students manage to do that, though it can be difficult of course. But consider this as well: In five years your daughter will be 24. What are the chances that she'll go off somewhere far from you (whether you're in the UK or the US) at that age? In most cases, they're fairly high. At that age, she might want to go to her home country for a year or two, or even indefinitely.
    – phoog
    Jul 3 '19 at 14:18
  • Hello Ian, As per my original post it will be L2 visas for my family. Basically what I am asking is; Is it possible for my 19 YO to gain the right to work in the USA and not only college or University. What I am being told is that the only way my 19 YO can stay in the USA is either education or marry an American citizen.
    – Phil Hall
    Jul 3 '19 at 14:21
  • Unfortunately, no. She won't have the right to work as a L2 visa and if she changes to an F1 (student) visa she will have to comply with the work limitations of the visa which are, as you said, 20 hours during the semester and 40 during the break (only at school). There are 2 work programs for F1 holders, CPT and OPT, but they also have very specific requirements and limitations. It is also a concern that she will be over 21 soon. So you would have to be sponsored for a green card in the next year or so in order to add her to the petition.
    – IanDan
    Jul 3 '19 at 15:03
  • Thank you for the responses this has been very helpful. I have 1 further question if anyone can help; My employer is UK based and has opened 5 facilities in the USA over the last 10 years. My employer has never mentioned green card sponsorship to get round my 19 YO daughters issue. I have even had a conference call with my HR lead in the USA along with a attorney in Texas that specialises in visa's for people like myself. At no point was it mentioned sponsorship for green cards by my employer or the attorney. Is this option possible, the research I have done states it is????
    – Phil Hall
    Jul 5 '19 at 11:49

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