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L-1A / L-1B Intracompany Transferees

bigstockphoto_Passports_31148L-1 Multinational Intracompany Transferee

If you are an executive, manager or employee (with some unique or specialized knowledge) of a multinational company, your company may petition for you to temporarily work in the United States. To be eligible to work in the United States:

  • You must have been employed abroad by the parent, branch or subsidiary corporation (sponsor or petitioner) for at least 1 year of the prior 3 years
  • Your company must have a legal business entity, nonprofit charitable or religious organization operating in the United States

L-1 A Manager

To be eligible for L-1A classification as a multinational manager, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your assignment includes:

  • Managing the organization, or a department, subdivision, function or component of the organization
  • Supervising or controlling the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees, or managing an essential function within the company or a department or subdivision of the organization
  • Has the authority to hire and fire or has the responsibility of personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization).  
  • Exercising discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

L-1 A Executive

To be eligible for the L-1A classification as a multinational executive, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your assignment includes:

  • Directing the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization
  • Establishing the goals and policies of the organization, component or function 
  • Exercising wide latitude in discretionary decision-making
  • Receiving only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors or stockholders of the organization

L-1B Employee with Specialized Knowledge

To be eligible for L-1B classification as an employee with specialized knowledge, your sponsoring company must demonstrate that your job knowledge includes specialized knowledge about a company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the company’s processes and procedures.

L-1A or L-1B Sponsors

To be eligible to apply for an L-1A or L-1B employee transfer from an entity abroad to a United States entity, your employer must be part of a qualifying organization. Qualifying organization means a United States or foreign firm, corporation or other legal entity that is a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary of the entity you are transferring from. Your organization must be doing business in the United States as an employer as well as at least one other country. Your company must demonstrate an employer-employee relationship with you. The L-1A or L-1B visa is not limited to for-profit corporations or partnerships, so the organization applying for you may be a charitable, religious or other non-profit group.

Application Process

A qualifying organization must submit a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with the following materials:

  • Evidence of the qualifying relationship between the United States and the foreign employer (i.e., evidence that the petitioner is a firm, corporation, or other legal entity or parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary thereof), based on ownership and control, such as an annual report, articles of incorporation, financial statements or copies of stock certificates
  • Evidence that the employee will be in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity, including a detailed description of the services to be performed
  • Evidence that the employee has at least 1 year of continuous, full-time employment abroad with a qualifying organization within the 3 years preceding the filing of the petition
  • Evidence that the employee’s prior year of employment abroad was in a position that was managerial, executive, or involved specialized knowledge and that the alien’s prior education, training and employment qualifies him or her to perform the intended services in the United States 
  • If the beneficiary employee is coming to the United States to open or to be employed in a new office, the petition must also be filed with copies of evidence showing that the business entity is located in the United States, and the required materials including, but not limited to
    • Already has sufficient premises to house the new office
    • Has or upon establishment will have the qualifying relationship to the foreign employer
    • Has the financial ability to remunerate the alien and to begin doing business in the United States, including evidence about the size of the U.S. investment, the organization structure of both firms, the financial size and condition of the foreign employer, and if the alien is coming as an L-1 manager or executive to open a new office, such evidence must establish that the intended United States operation will support the executive or managerial position within 1 year

Period of Stay

Your period of stay will only be for the length granted on your Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, application filed by your employer. The total period you may remain in the United States may be as long as 3 years with the possibility of a 2-year extension. L-1A manager and executive may be eligible for an additional 2-year extension for a total stay in the United States of 7 years.

Family of L-2 Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) may be admitted to the United States in L-2 status. Your spouse in L-2 status may be authorized to work in the United States. To apply for work authorization as an L-2 nonimmigrant, your spouse may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Please see the “Work Authorization” link to the right for more information on the application procedures.

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