L-1 Intracompany Transfer Work Permits
The end goal is to acquire work permits for business owners and key personnel to support the expansion of existing foreign business operations into the United States.
Multinational businesses may apply for L-1 intracompany transfer visas if the following conditions are met:
- They are transferring to an enterprise that has a qualifying relationship with their current employer (parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate);
- They will continue to maintain operations in at least one other country, besides the U.S., directly or through a qualifying organization;
- The employee they wish to transfer has worked abroad (full-time hours) for the multinational corporation for at least 12 consecutive months over the past 3 years;
- The U.S. company will provide goods or services through the business, during the entire period of time the company will have employees on L-1 status in the U.S.;
- The U.S. company has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office or business operations (which might vary depending on the type of business to include warehouses, factories, etc.);
- The company is financially sound and has the ability to immediately support any employees being transferred to the U.S. office; and
- The U.S. operation will be a viable enterprise and will support continued employment within 1 year of approval.
Some larger companies have prequalified the required intercompany relationships in advance with USCIS. This prequalification allows them to file blanket L visa petitions, which expedite the process since they are permitted to apply for the L-1 directly with the U.S. Embassy. In order to pre-qualify for blanket L visa petitions, the following requirements must be met:
- The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services;
- The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more;
- The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and
- The petitioner, along with the other qualifying organizations, meet one of the following criteria:
- Have obtained at least 10 L-1 visa approvals during the previous 12-month period;
- Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25M; or
- Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.
Not all employees are eligible for an L-1 intracompany transfer visa. L-1 visas are restricted to the following positions.
L-1A: Executives and Managers
L-1A visas are for executives or managers who have worked for the employer for at least 1 year over the last 3 years. They must occupy a similar position as an executive or manager in the U.S. company. Per USCIS, executive capacity refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. Managerial capacity refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others.
L-1B: Specialized Knowledge Employees
L-1B visas are for employees who have specific specialized knowledge of the company’s products, services, or processes. Per USCIS, specialized knowledge means either 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.
Duration of Work Permits
For L-1 visa applications for the purpose of establishing U.S. operations, the initial work permit is issued for a maximum of one (1) year. All other qualified employees are allowed initial work permits of three (3) years. Requests for visa extensions may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years.
The maximum work permit duration is 7 years for Executive and Managerial positions (L-1A visas), and 5 years for Specialized Knowledge employees (L-1B visas).
What You Can Expect
When you unwrap the way this service works, here’s an overview of what you can expect…
A Strategic Plan
We don’t believe in “winging it”. This service includes an initial meeting with a lawyer to discuss your goals, your concerns, and to answer any questions you have. We will go over the visa requirements and will guide you through the entire process. You will feel comfortable, knowledgeable, and confident.
An Execution Strategy
A plan is nothing without execution. You’ll get a customized checklist so that you can start gathering the best possible evidence for your application. We will make document collection as painless as possible with a customized upload link and a secured shared folder that you can add to, whenever it is most convenient for you.
Attention to Detail - Always
We’ve got checks and balances along the way to ensure that nothing gets missed. You’ll do a few simple questionnaires and we will do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes. We have systems, processes, and technology in place to help reduce the chance of errors.
Support - Reach out anytime you get stuck
Schedule a call or email us with your questions - whenever, at no extra charge. You can always expect a response within one business day. However, the goal is to anticipate as many of your questions as possible and provide you with lots of resources and information so that you always have a clear picture of what comes next.
Snapshot of our Process
Here's a snapshot of our process:
This will allow us to get to know each other and figure out if we are a good fit. If you decide to move forward within 30 days of your consultation, the consultation becomes free.
After you agree that we are a good fit, it is time to come up with a tailored plan and execute it. We will go over strategy and a roadmap of how to gather the best evidence, what affidavits are required, and how to put together flawless forms.
Amazing—now that we are almost there, we will put your entire application through an error-proofing review system and discuss how it can be made even better. No cutting corners here.
Please note, to keep up with our high service standards, there are limited spots available each month.