L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa
L-1 is an employment-based, temporary, non-immigrant visa for employees of multinational companies. It allows international companies to transfer foreign employees in a managerial or executive position, or employees with specialized knowledge, to the U.S. L-1 employees can continue to work for the same company, its parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate in the U.S.
L-1 Employer needs to do business in the U.S. and in at least one other non-U.S. country during the beneficiary’s stay in the U.S. as an L-1 and needs. To have a qualifying relationship with a non-U.S. company - being a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate. L-1 Employee beneficiary needs to work for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the U.S., and seeks to enter the U.S. to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity, or in a specialized knowledge capacity, for one of its qualifying organizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to stay in the U.S. during the validity of my L-1 status?
L-1 visa holders are not required to stay in the U.S. for a continuous period of time to maintain L-1 status. The company must employ the L-1 visa holder on a full-time basis, but you may work for the company outside of the U.S. and still maintain L-1 status to work in the U.S.
What is the difference between L-1A and L-1B visas?
L-1A is issued to transfer employees in management and executive roles. L-1B is issued to professional employees with specialized knowledge of the company’s systems, trade secrets, patents, etc. L-1A is issued for a maximum of 7 years; L-1B is issued for a maximum of 5 years. Initially it will be granted for 1 year or 3 years, with extensions granted in 2-year increments till you reach the maximum period.
L-1A visa holders can apply for permanent residence under EB-1C category as the priority dates are almost always current. Labor Certification is not required. L-1B visa holders cannot apply for permanent residence under EB-1C. They usually apply for EB-2 or EB-3, which requires Labor Certification.
I am currently working on a L-1 visa in the U.S. Can I change to another U.S. entity, which is also a subsidiary of our overseas company?
You cannot use your original L-1 visa to work for any other company, even if that company has a qualifying relationship with your overseas company. If you move to another U.S. entity, that entity must file an independent L-1 petition for you.