The L1-A visa is reserved for foreign managers or executives of a foreign entity coming to the United States to work as a manager or executive of a subsidiary of the foreign entity in the United States.
The L1-B visa is for intracompany transferees who work in positions requiring specialized knowledge.
L-1A Minimum Requirements
The foreign entity that wishes to send an employee to the U.S. as an executive or manager to establish a business must:
- Have a physical location
- The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years before filing the petition; and
- The new office will support the executive / manager position within one year of the approval of the petition
L-1B Minimum Requirements
The foreign entity that wises to send an employee with specialized knowledge to work in the U.S. entity must prove:
- That the employee has working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately before admission to the United States; and
- Be seeking to enter the United States to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
Specialized knowledge either means knowledge you have about 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.
The petitioning employer must also meet general qualifications.
L Visa Process
Your employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on your behalf. All fees and evidence must be included at the time of filing. Once approved, the executive / manager can apply for the L visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may also apply for an L2 visa as the dependents of the L visa holder.
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