L-1 Visa

Intra-Company Transferee Visa

An L-1 intracompany transferee visa is available to qualified international executives, managers, and specialized knowledge employees transferred from an overseas organization to work for the same organization in the United States or for its American subsidiary or affiliate.

How Long Can I stay on an L-1 visa?

An intracompany transferee is accorded an L-1 visa initially for one to three years. Extensions are available for a total of six years in the case of specialized knowledge employees and up to seven years for managerial or executive employees.

What are the Advantages of an L-1 visa?
What are the Requirements of an L-1 visa?

Thus, L-1 cases present two basic issues: whether the U.S. employer is a branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the employee’s employer abroad; and, whether the employee worked abroad continuously for one year during the past three years in a capacity which is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge.

What is a subsidiary, affiliate or branch office?
“Branch” means an operating division or office of the same organization housed in a different location.

“Subsidiary” means
“Affiliate” means
What jobs are “managerial” for purposes of an L-1 visa?

“Managerial capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee personally manages the organization, department, subdivision, function or component; supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization or department or subdivision of the organization; has authority to hire and fire or recommend personnel actions (if another directly supervises employees), or if no direct supervision, functions at a senior level and exercises discretionary authority over day-to-day operations of the activity or function.

What jobs are “executive ” for purposes of an L-1 visa?

“Executive capacity” means an assignment in an organization in which the employee primarily directs the management of an organization or a major component or function; establishes goals and policies; exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making and receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the Board of Directors, or stockholders of the business.

What jobs involve “specialized knowledge” for purposes of an L-1 visa?

“Specialized knowledge” is defined to include persons who have “special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets” or who have “an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.” Characteristics of a specialized knowledge employee include the possession of knowledge that is valuable to the employer’s competitiveness in the market place; unique qualifications that contribute to the U.S. employer’s knowledge of foreign operating conditions; possession of knowledge which can be gained only through extensive prior experience with that employer; and, employees abroad who have been given significant assignments which have enhanced the employer’s productivity, competitiveness, image, or financial position. Significantly, a specialized knowledge employee is not simply a highly skilled or professional worker.

What documents should I submit with my L-1 visa application?
An application for intracompany transferee L-1 status must be supported by the following:

In the case of a new business, evidence that within one year of approval of the L-1 petition, the U.S. operation will support an executive or managerial position as documented by a description of the following: the proposed number of employees and the type of positions they will hold; the size of the United States investment and the financial ability of the foreign entity to remunerate the L-1 beneficiary and support the U.S. company’s conduct of business; and, the size and staffing levels of the overseas company.

Once the petition is approved, it is forwarded to the United States Consulate in the beneficiary’s home country for visa issuance.

What about my spouse and dependents?

The L-1 beneficiary’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 are eligible for L-2 status. L-2 spouses are eligible to apply for employment authorization.

WARNING: The article above is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you get competent legal advice specific to your case.

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