L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

Cupertino Business Immigration Attorney

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from a foreign office to an office in the United States. In other words, this allows a foreign company to send an executive to the United States to establish a U.S. office.

A manager has been defined as "someone who manages an entire organization or department, supervises and controls the work of others, has the authority to hire, fire or recommend personal decisions and is authorized to make decisions concerning day-to-day operations."

An executive has been defined as "someone who directs the management of the organization, sets goals or policies, possesses decision making authority, receives only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives or a board of directors or stockholders."

Obtaining L-1 Status

How can you obtain L-1 status? An employer must file a Form 1-29, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on behalf of the employee. To qualify for this classification, an employer must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company
  • Currently or will be doing business as an employer in the United States

The U.S. or foreign employer will need to collect evidence to file the petition. These pieces of evidence include the following:

  • An annual report
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Financial statements
  • Copies of stock certificates
  • A letter from the alien's foreign qualifying employer (this will detail your dates of employment, job duties, qualifications, salary, proof that you worked for the employer for at least one continuous year in the three year period preceding the filing and a description of the proposed job duties and evidence that you are in an executive position)

The named employee must have been working for the organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years preceding his/her admission to the United States and be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive capacity for a branch of the same employer.

The employer must also show that he/she has secured physical premises to house the new office and that the U.S. office will support an executive position within one year of the approval of the petition. An employee entering the U.S. to establish a new office is allowed a maximum, initial stay of three years.

Other Information You Should Know

Requests for extensions of stay are granted in increments up to an additional two years, until an employee reaches the maximum limit of seven years. A transferring employee can be accompanied by his/her spouse and unmarried children, under the age of 21.

Canadian citizens are exempt from the L-1 Visa requirement, so they can present a completed I-129S and supporting documentation to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at a port-of-entry. Benefits of the L-1 Visa include entering the country with a small investment and the potential of it leading to a GreenCard.

The L-1 is a versatile Visa that can be obtained in a month's time if you pay an extra $1000 for Premium Processing. While full time employment is not required to obtain L status, you must dedicate a large portion of your time on a regular basis to the company while in the U.S.

New employees cannot be transferred prior to serving one year abroad as a manager or executive of the foreign company.

Helpful Resources

An L-1 intracompany transferee Visa could be a viable option for you. There is no limit on the number of these issued each year, you can pursue permanent resident while on L-1 status and there is a matching permanent residency category which makes getting a green-card relatively easy. Check out the following links for more helpful information:

For more details, it is recommended that you contact the Law Office of Timothy D. Widman immediately. The firm would love to answer any of your specific questions and guide you through this process in a more comprehensive manner! The business immigration attorney has assisted businesses such as tech startups, corporate entities, and many other companies with obtaining visas for their foreign workers. You can reach Attorney Widman today by calling (408) 780-1684!