L-1 Intracompany Transfer L-1 visas are available to Intracompany Transferees who have been employed outside of the U.S. for at least one of the prior three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge. The foreign parent company must have at least 50% ownership of a U.S. subsidiary company. The subsidiary will petition the employee to come work in the U.S. operation in L-1 status and may be initially granted for up to 3 years with a maximum stay of up to 7 years. Requirements include incorporation documents from both the U.S. and foreign companies; proof of the foreign national’s qualifications as an executive, managerial, or specialized-knowledge employee; proof of financial ability; and evidence of the viability of the U.S. business.
The L-1 category applies to aliens who work for a company with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate in the U.S. These workers come to the U.S. as intracompanytransferees who are coming temporarily to perform services either
· in a managerial or executive capacity (L-1A) or
· which entail specialized knowledge (L-1B) for a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the same employer that employed the professional abroad. The employee must have been employed abroad for the corporation, firm, or other legal entity (or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof) on a full-time basis for at least one continuous year out of the last three-year period to qualify. There is currently no annual cap on L-1 visas.
Note: The employer is not required to obtain a labor certification prior to petitioning in this category. Compensation level is not prescribed, but U.S. income must be sufficient to prevent the alien from becoming a public charge.
Petition Document Requirements
This must be supported by information regarding:
1. the proposed nature of the U.S. office (size and scope, organizational structure, and financial goals),
2. financial information about the foreign entity (the size of the U.S. investment and the financial ability to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the U.S.), and
3. the organizational structure of the foreign entity.
If the alien is coming to the U.S. in a specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B) to open or to be employed in a new office, also file the petition with evidence that:
·Sufficient premises to house the new office have been secured;
·The business entity in the U.S is or will be a qualifying organization
·The petitioner has the financial ability to compensate the alien beneficiary and to begin doing business in the U.S.
Dependents (i.e. spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of L-1 workers are entitled to L-2 status with the same restrictions as the principal. Dependents may be students in the U.S. while remaining in L-2 status. Now L2 dependents may obtain work authorization and work in the U.S.