EMPLOYMENT BASED VISAS
What Is The L-1 Visa?
The L-1 visa allows a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This visa also allows a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
Eligibility Requirements To Receive The L-1 Visa
To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, the employer must:
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations)
- Currently be, 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 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” is defined as 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.
Other qualifications include:
- Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States; and
- Be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
“Executive capacity” is defined as the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.
“Managerial capacity” is defined as the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others.
How To Apply For An L-1 Visa
The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with fee, on behalf of the employee.