L1 (L-1) visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer their employees from their foreign offices to the U.S. offices. To qualify for a L1 (L-1) Intracompany Visa, you must be a manager, executive or a worker with “specialized knowledge”. To get a L1 (L-1) visa, an alien employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of his company outside of the U.S. for at least one year out of the last three years prior to being granted L1 (L-1) status. An L-1 status is usually granted for three years in the first instance, except new office applications may be approved for only one year. Extensions are usually granted in two-year increments. The total period of stay for aliens on an L1 (L-1) visa is limited to give years for aliens admitted as specialized knowledge workers, and seven years for managers and executives. Once the limit is reached, the alien who was formerly on an L1 (L-1) visa may not reenter the U.S. as an L1 (L-1) or H nonimmigrant until the alien has resided and been physically present outside the U.S. for one year. Our Philadelphia office has represented various types of companies in L1 (L-1) applications. Please contact our office today if you want to know more about L1 (L-1) Intracompany Visa.
Our firm has successfully represented clients in cases of L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visas, view our L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa Success Stories.
Organizations Qualifying for L1 (L-1)
There are no restrictions on the types of business that can apply for a L1 (L-1) visa for alien employees – corporations, partnerships, joint ventures and sole proprietorships are all eligible L1 (L-1). The sponsoring U.S. employer, however, has to be sufficiently related to a foreign employer where the alien has worked, through one of the following relationships to qualify for a L1 (L-1) visa:
• The U.S. employer is a parent or a subsidiary company of the foreign business;
• The U.S. employer is affiliated with the foreign business (e.g. both entities are owned and controlled by one entity); or
• Both the U.S. employer and the foreign business are accounting partnerships marketing their accounting services under the same internationally recognized name.
Employees Qualifying for L1 (L-1)
For an L1 (L-1) approval, the alien’s work for the foreign business must have been, and the proposed U.S. work in the U.S. business must be, either in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
• Executive for L1: To qualify as an executive under the L1 (L-1) regulations, an alien must direct the management, establish the goals and policies of the organization, exercise wide latitude in discretionary decision-making, and receive only general supervision from higher level executives, directors or stockholders of the organization.
• Employee with special knowledge for L1: The Act for L1 visa defines employees with “specialized knowledge” to include, without limitation, those with “special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets” or “an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company”.
Each category for L1 visa needs to be scrutinized carefully as each of them has specific requirements that need to be satisfied by an L1 (L-1) applicant. Please contact immigration lawyers at Getson & Schatz, P.C. today to find out under which L1 (L-1) category you or your employee may receive an L1 (L-1) visa.