L1-A Visas

Visas for foreign executives or managers who will be transferred to a company's U.S. offices.
The L1-A visa is one of the ‘L1’ visa types for intracompany transferees, which permits, U.S. employers to transfer foreign employees in executive or managerial roles to one of their affiliated offices in the U.S. An L-1A petition is valid for three years following approval in cases where the U.S. employer has been doing business for at least one year. Petitions may be extended in two-year increments. The maximum stay with this visa is seven years.

FUNCTIONS THAT COULD BE CLASSIFIED AS EXECUTIVE AND MANAGERIAL

EXECUTIVE
  • Directing day-to-day management of the organization.
  • Creating policies, goals, and procedures of the organization.
  • Policy-making decisions.
  • Receiving general direction(s) or supervision(s) from high-level executives, stockholders, and board of directors.
MANAGER
  • Managing a department or organization, function, subdivision, or part of the company.
  • Supervising and controlling work of those in professional, managerial, or supervisory roles.
  • Having the ability to fire, hire, and recommend personnel.
  • Exercising direction over day-to-day activities.

L1-A REQUIREMENTS


Petitioning employers and their foreign employees must meet certain requirements for the visa application to be processed successfully.

FUNCTIONS THAT COULD BE CLASSIFIED AS EXECUTIVE AND MANAGERIAL

EMPLOYEES MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING L1-A VISA REQUIREMENTS
  • The employee should have been working for the organization abroad for at least one continuous year, within the three years prior to coming to the U.S.; and,
  • An employee who is entering the U.S., must be doing so for a branch of the same organization or employer.
EMPLOYERS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING L1-A VISA REQUIREMENTS
  • Must have a relationship with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate foreign company; and,
  • Currently doing business, or will be doing business, as an employer in the US and in at least one other country for the period of the employees stay in the US as an L-1A visa holder.

NEW OFFICES


If the employee is coming to the U.S., for the purpose of establishing a new office(s), they must meet the following requirements.
  • The employer must show that they have secured sufficient physical premises to establish the new office;
  • The employer must show that the employee was employed for one continuous year in a managerial or executive position within the three years before filing the petition; and
  • The employer must demonstrate that the U.S. office will support the manager or executive within one year of the petition’s approval.
  • Normally, there need to be comprehensive business plans in place. These plans need to detail the foreign and domestic entities, include financial accounts/statements, documentary evidence of investments, and the ability to pay employees (comprehensive recruitment plans are also beneficial).
New office petitions tend to be more document intensive and are only given for one year, however, it may be extended for two additional years up to a maximum of seven years. There are many entrepreneurs who are executives or managers that are able to immigrate to the U.S. by establishing a new office. The L-1A visa holder may have an option to pursue lawful permanent residence status via an EB-1.

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