U.S. Business Immigration & Legal Services
L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa Overview
The L-1 visa is available to foreign nationals who are Managers, Executives or Specialized knowledge workers of a foreign enterprise with an affiliate company in the U.S. The applicant must be able to show at least one year of experience as a Manager, Executive or Specialized Knowledge worker with the foreign company within the last three-year period in order to qualify.
Qualifying Corporate Relationship
A qualifying corporate relationship exists where the foreign employer and US company are affiliated as follows: parent / subsidiary companies, sister companies (common owners), or a branch office.
Working in a “Managerial capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
- Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
- 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;
- 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
- 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 his or her supervisory duties unless the employees supervised are professional.
Working in an “Executive capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
- Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
- Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
- Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
- Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
Specialized Knowledge Worker
“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 an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.
To serve in a specialized knowledge capacity, the employee’s knowledge must be different from or surpass the ordinary or usual knowledge of an employee in the particular field and must have been gained through significant prior experience with the petitioning organization. A specialized knowledge employee must have an advanced level of expertise in his or her organization’s processes and procedures or special knowledge of the organization, which is not readily available in the United States labor market.