L-1 Intracompany Transferee
The Intracompany Transferree Visa, also known as the L-1 visa, is a temporary visa which enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated US office to send an executive/manager to the US with the purpose of establishing one.
Or, it also enables a US employer to transfer an executive/manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States.
- Two types of L-1 visas. L-1A for executives and managers (valid up to 7 years) and L-1B for workers with specialized knowledge (valid up to 5 years).
- Open to employees/managers of international company. Company must have offices in both the United States and abroad, or an office abroad and looking to open one in the US.
- Temporary visa valid for relatively short amount of time. Approximately three months (for Iran nationals) up to five years (India, Japan, Germany).
- Extension may be granted. But only but for maximum of seven years.
This is a flexible option that does not restrict travel and allows your entire family to come to the U.S. with you. Employers use it for employees and those seeking personal immigration can set up their U.S. company, qualify for a visa and use this status as a stepping stone to permanent residency.
- Must be seeking to enter US to provide service as an executive or manager for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
- You must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (such as parent company, branch, subsidiary or affiliate) and currently be, or will be, doing business in the United States.
- Individual must be a specialized knowledge individual, or in an executive or managerial capacity.
- Must be working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year, within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States.
- You must currently be, or will be, “Doing business” with an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. (While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade).
“Doing business” means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.
There are two types of L-1 processes:
- Regular L-1 visas (must be applied for and approved for each individual by the USCIS)
- Blanket L-1 visas (available to employers that meet certain criteria)
- The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with fee, on behalf of the employee.