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Work Visas for Intracompany Transferees

Every year, thousands of foreign employees come to work in the United States for a parent, branch, affiliate, or a subsidiary of a multinational company on a L-1 visa. This type of visa is very helpful for any company doing business both in the United States and in a foreign country. In addition, if you are seeking to open a new office in the United States, you can use an L visa to send an experienced high-level executive or a manager to establish the new office.

While there are several types of non-immigrant work visas for foreign workers, if you are a multinational employer, the L visa category is an important option to consider, as it has several benefits over other types visas.

  • Compared to other work visas, L-1 visa has relatively low requirements. For an L-1 visa, all that needs to be shown is that the employee worked as a manager, executive, or is an employee with specialized knowledge.
  • Another significant benefit of an L-1 visa over H-1B visa is that there is no labor certification
  • Another important benefit over the H-1B option is that there are no education requirements and no annual caps on the amount of visas that can be issued.
  • L-1 visa is considered a “dual intent” visa, which allows the employee to pursue a green card, without violating the conditions of their status. If you come to the United States as an L-1A holder, you would be a prime candidate for an EB-1 green card for managers and executives.
  • Blanket petition. If you are a multinational employer that meets certain requirements, you can file a single petition to transfer multiple employees to the US. If you would like to learn more about this option, the attorneys at the Justice Firm can answer any questions you might have.

There are two types of L-1 visas. L-1A visas are for intracompany transferees who have worked in high-level managerial or executive positions for the company outside the United States. L-1B visas are used to transfer employees who work in positions requiring specialized knowledge. 

Both the L-1A and L-1B categories require that the employee has already been working for the petitioning employer outside the US for one continuous year within the last three years in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. 

In addition to the employee requirement, the petitioning employer has to meet two main requirements.

  • There must be a qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the US company. This can be a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate relationship, collectively known as a “qualifying organization”.
  • AND, the company is currently, or will be doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the employee’s stay in the US as an L-1 employee.

The L-1A visa can also be used to send an executive or a manager to open and establish a new office in the United States. There are three things that employer has to show in addition to a qualifying relationship:

  1. Proof that the employer has secured sufficient physical premises (lease or a deed);
  2. The employee meets the one-year continuous employment requirement as an executive or manager; and
  3. The intended U.S. operation will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition. Factors that could be considered are the size of the investment, financial ability of the foreign entity to compensate the employee, organizational structure, and nature of operations.
Hiring A California Immigration Attorney

Speaking to an immigration attorney is important to determine, which work visa is the best option. The Justice Firm is here to help answer any questions you might have, or to provide you with a more detailed information on the requirements and process for an L visa. You can contact The Justice Firm locally at (310) 914-2444 or our Toll-Free number at (866) 695-6714, or visit our website. Our immigration attorneys serve clients in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties.

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