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General Requirements for L-1 Visas

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Specific Requirements for the L-1 Employer

To qualify for L-1 visa application, the Petitioning Employer must:

  • The company must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as a parent company, branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign company. These are collectively referred to as qualifying entities or qualifying organizations.
  • The company must also 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.

Specific Requirements for the Employee: L-1A

The qualification for the L1A Beneficiary Employee are:

  • Employee must have worked in the same company abroad, for at least one continuous year prior to the transfer within the previous three years.
  • The employee must have been employed abroad in an executive or managerial position, otherwise known as a qualifying position. For more information on qualifying positions
  • The employee must be coming to the U.S. to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
  • The employee must be qualified for the position based on his/her prior education and experience.
  • The L-1 visa holder must intend to leave the United States upon completion of his or her authorized stay.

Specific Requirements for Employee: L-1B

The qualification for the L1B Beneficiary Employee are:

  • Employee must have worked abroad for the overseas company for a continuous period of one year within the three years immediately preceding his/her admission to the United States. Any time spent working in the United States will not count toward the one year of required employment.
  • The employee must be seeking to enter the United States to ender services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
  • The L-1 visa holder must intend to depart the United States upon completion of his or her authorized stay.

Additional Requirements for New Offices

One of the benefits of the L1 visa program is that it allows companies the opportunity to re-locate employees to the United States to expand their business and open up new offices. For foreign companies who want to send an L-1 visa employee to the United States for the purpose of establishing a new office, the following criteria must also be met:

  • The company must have secured a sufficient physical premise to house the new office.
  • The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
  • The new U.S. office will support the said executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge position within one year of receiving petition approval.

For more information on the L1 visa program requirements, please visit the USCIS web page.