The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for alien managers or executives (L-1A), or those with specialized knowledge (L-1B), working for a foreign company to transfer to a U.S. company where the companies are related as parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliates of each other. The alien must have been employed abroad by the foreign company for one continuous year within the preceding three years.
A manager, under 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l)(1)(ii)(B) is defined as one who (1) manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization; (2) supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization; (3) has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization) if another employee or other employees are directly supervised; if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and (4) exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority. A first-line supervisor is not considered to be acting in a managerial capacity merely by virtue of the supervisor’s supervisory duties unless the employees supervised are professional.
An executive, under 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l)(1)(ii)(C), is defined as one who (1) directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization; (2) establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function; (3) exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and (4) receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
The employer must be, or will be, doing business in the United States and at least one other country. If the employer has a new office (i.e., is in existence less than one year), and the employee is coming to work as an executive or manager, the employer must show, under 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l)(3)(v), (1) sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured; (2) the beneficiary has been employed for one continuous year in the three year period preceding the filing of the petition in an executive or managerial capacity and that the proposed employment involves executive or managerial authority over the new operation; and (3) the intended United States operation, within one year of the approval of the petition, will support an executive or managerial position.
If the employee is coming to the United States to work in a specialized knowledge capacity in a new office, the employer must, under 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l)(3)(vi), show: (1) sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured; (B) the business entity in the United States is or will be a qualifying organization (i.e., parent, branch, subsidiary, affiliate); and (3) the employer has the financial ability to pay the employee and to begin doing business in the United States.
If opening a new office as either an L-1A or an L-1B employee, their maximum initial stay is for a period of one year. Where the office is not new, the employees initial period of stay is a maximum of three years, renewable in increments of two years for L-1A and L-1B employees. However, the maximum periods of stay for L-1A employees is seven years and for L-1B employees is five years. Employees may bring their spouse, and unmarried children (children must be under the age of 21), who will be given L-2 status.
Do you have questions about an L-1 visa? Please contact a Woodland Hills L-1 visa immigration attorney for a consultation so we can help you obtain an L-1 visa. In addition to Woodland Hills, we provide immigration attorney services in a variety of other areas, including Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Burbank, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Eagle Rock, Encino, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles, Mission Hills, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pasadena, Reseda , San Fernando , Santa Clarita, Sherman Oaks, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Warner Center, Winnetka, and West Hills. Even if your city is not listed, please don’t hesitate to contact us to see if we can help. Since immigration law is federal, we can help you wherever you live in the United States.