L-1 TRANSFEREE

L-1 (Visa)
The L visa classification enables a US employer to transfer an executive, manager, or a professional employee with specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated US office to send an executive, manager, or a professional employee with specialized knowledge to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

 

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Employer’s qualification
• Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations); and
• 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 must be engaged in international trade

Employer’s qualification
L-1A

• 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
• Seeking to enter the United States to render services in an executive** or managerial capacity*** to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
• For the new offices, the employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition
L-1B
• 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
• Seeking to enter the United States to render services in a specialized knowledge**** capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations

 

GENERALLY REQUIRED EVIDENCE

• Evidence showing the relationship between the US company and the foreign company
• Evidence showing the legitimate entity of the US company and the foreign company
• Evidence showing the financial status of the US company and the foreign company
• Evidence of the beneficiary’s qualification as an executive, manager, or professional employee with specialized knowledge.

 

PROCEDURE

 
A. Change of Status in the United States

Stage 1: Collecting Evidence        
Stage 2: Submit Petition to USCIS        
Stage 3: Approval
         
B. Consular Processing outside the United States
Stage 1: Collecting Evidence        
Stage 2: Submit Petition to USCIS        
Stage 3: Visa Application        
Stage 4: Interview at the US Embassy        
Stage 5: Approval/Return of Passport & Visa

 

TIME FRAMES

A. Change of Status in the United States
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 2 months
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 3 months

B. Consular Processing outside the United States
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 2 months
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 2 months (depending on the workload and processing time of the US Embassy you are applying to)
Stage 3 to Stage 4: about 3 weeks- (depending on the workload and processing time of the US Embassy you are applying to)
Stage 4 to Stage 5: about 1 week
 

EXCEPTIONS & NOTICE

A. Doing business means 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.
B. Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.
C. Managerial capacity generally refers to 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 a 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.
D. Specialized knowledge means special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures
E. Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years
F. Adults dependent on a L-1 visa holder may apply for work authorization

 

BLANKET PETITIONS

Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition:
1) Employer and each of the qualifying organizations must be engaged in commercial trade or services
2) Employer must have an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or longer
3) Employer must have three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates
4) Employer must meet one of the following criteria    
• Along with the other qualifying organizations, have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period; or    
• Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or    
• Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

Siyuan Chang