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L-1-Intracompany Transfers

Our Attorneys focus on providing the clear connections between the U.S. and the foreign entity. Once established, our Attorneys will help you fulfill the transfer of the employee in order for him or her to begin their new employment in the United States.

This nonimmigrant visa is based on company affiliation between a U.S. entity and a foreign entity. The relationship of the entities can be parent, subsidiary, common ownership (affiliation), same company (branch office), or certain joint ventures. The petitioning company must be doing business in the United States and at least one other country for the duration of the intra company transferee’s stay in the United States.

The foreign employee must have been employed abroad for one of the past three years, and must have been employed in one of the following capacities: executive, managerial (line or functional), or one that involves specialized knowledge (product or process and procedures). The employee must also work in one of the qualifying capacities while employed in the United States. The definition of executives and managers allows for the individual to direct the management of a function, or manage a function of the organization without personnel responsibilities.

The L nonimmigrant visa category is a very useful tool to international companies needing to bring foreign employees to the United States. If a few basic requirements can be met, many advantages exist to using the L category. An employment-based immigrant preference category was created for managers and executives who meet the L-1 standards for those employees. These foreign nationals are considered first preference “priority workers”.

There are important elements of this classification to be considered in cases involving the opening of a new office and those involving small businesses. When an L visa is sought for an employee to open a new office or operation in the United States the initial approval is for one year. During this initial period the organization must become operational. After an organization has become operational, the petitioning company must show an increase in the number of employees, significant growth in cashflow, presence of significant customers and clientele, or similar elements to determine the need for a managerial or executive employee.