L-1 Visas — Intra-company Transferees
The L-1 visa allows foreign businessmen and businesswomen to work in the United States on a temporary basis. Intra-company transferees are divided into two categories. The L-1 visa also allows international companies to send their employees to American with the sole purpose of establishing a U.S. presence, though there are specific rules and regulations which govern that process. L-1A is for managers and executives; L-1B is for employees with specialized knowledge.
L-1A requirements for employers and employees
- Employers must have a relationship with an affiliated foreign company, known as a qualifying organization, such as a foreign branch, subsidiary, parent company or affiliate.
- Employers must be, or plan to be, in business as an employer in the United States and at least one other country.
- For an employee to qualify, the intra-company transferee must work for a qualifying organization for at least one year within three years immediately prior to the transfer in an executive or managerial capacity.
- The employee must intend to enter the U.S. in order to render services in a managerial or executive capacity at a branch of the same company or one of its qualifying organizations.
L-1B requirements for employees
The requirements for employers seeking L-1B certification parallel those for L-1A visas:
- The L-1B intra-company transferee must plan to occupy a position in a specialized field with a branch of the company. The employee must have worked for one year at a qualifying organization (foreign branch) within three years of the transfer in a position involving specialized knowledge of the foreign company.
- L-1B employees stationed at worksites of unaffiliated companies must demonstrate two qualifications. First, the employee will not be under the control of the unaffiliated company. Second, the work provided by the employee will not be labor for hire for the unaffiliated company.
New offices in the USA?
Companies seeking to bring an executive or manager to the U.S. to open a new office should speak with an immigration law firm to ensure they meet the following requirements:
- The premises for the new office must already be obtained.
- The employee in question meets the work requirements.
- The intended office in the U.S. will support the executive or managerial position within one year.
If you need assistance in transferring a manager into the U.S., speak with an experienced business immigration lawyer.
Duration of stay
Employees entering the U.S. to establish a new office may stay for one year. Other employees are normally granted a period of stay initially for a 3-year period. L-1 employees may stay in the U.S. for a total period of 5 to 7 years depending on whether they are here pursuant to L-1A or L-1B status. Speak with an immigration lawyer about ensuring that your employee arrives in the U.S. at the right time and can stay long enough.
Any qualified L-1 employee may be accompanied during their transfer by their spouse and children under 21 years of age. Spouses may apply for authorization to work in the United States.
Consult with the Law Offices of KahBo Dye-Chiew, a respected and able immigration law firm, about how to successfully transfer your employees with specialized knowledge or your managers and executives to American offices.
Contact us for assistance with L-1A and L-1B visas
Call the Law Offices of KahBo Dye-Chiew, an immigration lawyer, today for a comprehensive consultation on any immigration question you may have at 866-510-7082, or complete the online email form.