An L-1 visa is an intracompany transfer visa. If someone works for an affiliated company abroad for one in the preceding three years, then they would be eligible to be transferred to a related company in the US. They must have worked in a manager, executive or specialized knowledge capacity in the position abroad.
To be considered a manager, one must have managed high level professional employees or an essential function of the business and be transferred into the US company to do the same or be a higher level executive. An executive is one who is in charge of creating the policies of the company and is involved in the highest level of decision making for the organization. A specialized knowledge employee holds knowledge that would not be common. It may have taken many hours, months or years to rise to the complex level and ability that they hold and a typical worker would not have this. In order to prove special knowledge, you must be able to show evidence of how the knowledge was attained and why it is not common.
The two companies can be affiliated in a variety of ways:
- Common ownership
- Joint Venture
- Branch Office
- Affiliated entities in a group of companies
An L-1 petition may be filed for a new office or an existing business. If the petition is for a new office, the period of time that the visa will be issued for is one year. After the first year, the company will have to prove that it hired employees and is viable in order to get the visa extended. Our office is well versed in the intricacies of L visa filings, please contact us for a consultation.