L1A Visa: Intra-Company Transfers for CEO, CFO or Managerial Executives
The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain employees from its foreign operations to US operations for up to 7 years. The employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of your US company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.
There are two types of L1 visas. The L1A visa allows U.S. employers to transfer their foreign executives and managers to their offices in the U.S. The L1B visa allows US employers to transfer their professional employees with specialized knowledge to their offices in the US
As a firm, we have extensive experience with L1A visas and have provided the information below to give you a general overview of how and for whom this works. For more specific information or for answers to other questions, feel free to contact our law offices today.
Employer Qualifications for a L1 Visa
Both the employer and the employee have to meet specific requirements to qualify for the L1A visa. The requirements for the employer include:
- The U.S. employer must have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company such as being the parent company, being a branch of the foreign company, or otherwise have an affiliation with the foreign company.
- The U.S. employer must be currently doing business in the U.S. as well as a foreign country for the duration of the employee’s stay in the U.S.
If the employer is seeking a L1A, it may not be necessary for the foreign company to show that it has current affiliations with a U.S. office. Instead, the employer can show that it is sending over an employee with specialized knowledge to help establish one.
Employee Qualifications for a L1A Visa
An alien who within the preceding three years has been employed abroad for one continuous year by a qualifying organization may be admitted temporarily to the United States to be employed by a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of that employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge.
Qualifications that the employee must meet to qualify for a L1A visa include:
- The employee typically must have worked for the foreign organization for at least one full year within the past three years of seeking admission into the U.S.
- For the L1A visa, the employee must be in an executive or managerial role. An executive means that the employee can make decisions and does not require a lot of oversight. A manager typically refers to an employee who supervises and controls the workforce or component of an organization’s workforce.
Blanket Petition for a L1A Visa
A petitioner that meets the following requirements may file a blanket petition seeking continuing approval of itself and some or all of its parent, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates as qualifying organizations if:
- The petitioner and each of those entities are engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more;
- The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and
- The petitioner and the other qualifying organizations have obtained approval of petitions for at least ten “L” managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals (L1B Visa) during the previous 12 months; or
- Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
- Have a United States work force of at least 1,000 employees.
Spouses and children of the L1A visa holder may obtain an L2 visa to enter and remain in the US. L2 Spouses may apply for a work permit while residing in the United States in L2 nonimmigrant status. L2 spouses and children may also attend school in the US.
“Helping you to obtain the right visa, when you need it”
When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures of the USCIS for your L1A visa or L1B visa case. As a client, you will receive personal attention and work directly with an experienced attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.
For all of your legal immigration needs, contact the immigration lawyers of Muston & Jack, P.C., at our San Francisco, San Jose or Pasadena California law offices to schedule an initial consultation.