L-1 Intracompany Transferees
Both large and small companies looking to send workers to the United States may benefit from the L1 intracompany transferee visa program. This category is ideal for workers employed by a company with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate in the U.S. and for those companies, large or small seeking to open a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in the U.S.
L1 Intracompany transferees may enter and work in the U.S. either in a managerial or executive capacity (L-1A) or worker who possesses specialized knowledge (L-1B) for a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the same employer that employed the professional abroad. The employee must have been employed abroad for the corporation, firm, or other legal entity (or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof) on a full-time basis for at least one continuous year out of the last three-year period to qualify. There is currently no annual cap on L-1 visas.
No labor certification is required and compensation must only be sufficient to prevent the worker from becoming a public charge. Workers may also bring their spouses and children to the U.S. in L-2 status.
So what are the REQUIREMENTS?
An employer must demonstrate:
- The qualifying relationship between the U.S. and the foreign employer which address ownership and control, such as an annual report, copies of articles of incorporation, financial statements, or stock certificates;
- The employee was employed for the required time period prior to submission of the L1 application. If coming as a worker with specialized knowledge, he or she must provide evidence of same.
- If the position is managerial or executive in nature, the employer must provide adequate evidence of same.
- If the worker is coming to open a new office, the new premises have been secured prior to filing the application;
- The beneficiary has, or upon establishment will have, the qualifying relationship to the foreign employer and the qualifying position; and
- The intended U.S. operation will be able to support the executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
If the foreign worker is coming to the U.S. and possesses specialized knowledge (L-1B) to open or to be employed in a new office, then evidence of the following should be filed with a Petition:
- Sufficient premises to house the new office have been secured;
- The business entity in the U.S is or will be a qualifying organization
- The petitioner has the ability to pay the foreign worker beneficiary for his or her services and to begin doing business in the U.S.