Intracompany Transfer (L-1)
The L-1 visa enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive, manager or person with specialized knowledge from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The individual to be transferred must have been employed abroad by the U.S. employer (or a company with which the U.S. employer has a control relationship) for one year in the three preceding years. There are two categories of L visas:
The L-1A visa, available for executives or managers. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers an executive to be an employee who has the ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. A manager is an employee who supervises and controls the work of professional employees and manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization.
The L-1B visa, available for persons with specialized knowledge of the petitioning company’s processes and procedures.
Duration of Visa
Persons who are granted an L-visa in order to establish a new office in the U.S. are permitted a maximum initial stay in the U.S. of one year. Other qualified L-visa recipients are permitted a maximum initial stay of three years. L-visa renewals are granted in increments of up to two years. L-1A visa holders are allowed a maximum stay of seven years. L-1B visa holders are allowed a maximum stay of five years.
FAMILY VISA ELIGIBILITY
Spouses and minor children (under the age of 21) of L-1 visa holders are allowed to remain in the U.S. under an L-2 visa. L-2 visa holders may apply for employment authorization.