L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa

The L-1 visa category allows multinational companies to transfer employees from a foreign office to a U.S. office. There are two categories under the L-1 classification: L-1A for executives and managers, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge.

L-1A Executives and Managers

An employee is working in an "executive" capacity if he or she has the ability to make decisions of wide latitude with little oversight.  An employee is working in a "managerial" capacity if he or she supervises and controls the work of professional employees and manages the organization or part of the organization.

  • Petitioning employer must have qualifying relationship with a foreign company:
    • Parent company
    • Branch
    • Subsidiary
    • Affiliate
  • Petitioning employer must be (or will be) doing business in the U.S. and in at least one other foreign country for the duration of the L-1A employee's stay.
  • L-1A employee must have been employed by company abroad for at least one continuous year in the three years preceding admission to the U.S.
  • L-1A employee must be entering U.S. to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity.
  • New Offices
    If the L-1A employee is coming to U.S. to establish a new office, employer must also demonstrate:
    • Physical premises secured (e.g., office lease)
    • Employee has been employed by petitioner for at least one continuous year in the three years prior to filing of petition
    • The new office will support an executive or managerial position within one year
  • Duration of Stay
    L-1A employees entering U.S. to establish new office will be granted initial stay of one year. All other L-1A employees will be granted a maximum initial stay of three years. Extensions may be granted in two year increments, up to a maximum total stay of seven years.

L-1B Specialized Knowledge

Specialized knowledge is defined as either: (1) 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 (2) an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.

  • Petitioning employer must have qualifying relationship with a foreign company:
    • Parent company
    • Branch
    • Subsidiary
    • Affiliate
  • Petitioning employer must be (or will be) doing business in the U.S. and in at least one other foreign country for the duration of the L-1B employee's stay.
  • L-1B employee must have been employed by company abroad for at least one continuous year in the three years preceding admission to the U.S.
  • L-1B employee must be seeking to enter the United States to provide services in a specialized knowledge capacity.
  • New Offices
    If the L-1B employee is coming to the U.S. to establish a new office, additional requirements must be met:
    • Physical premises secured
    • Employer must demonstrate ability to pay employee and begin doing business in the U.S.
  • Duration of Stay
    L-1B employees entering U.S. to establish new office will be granted initial stay of one year. All other L-1B employees will be granted a maximum initial stay of three years. Extensions may be granted in two year increments, up to a maximum total stay of five years.

How We Can Help

  • We prepare the L-1 petition and assemble all supporting documentation.
  • We provide representation through the process of obtaining visa at the consulate abroad.
  • We consult with companies intending to open new offices in the U.S.
  • We can assist your company in applying for a green card for your L-1 employee.

We welcome you to contact the Brian M. Wang | Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP to schedule a consultation about how we may be of service in your immigration matter. Based in the Albany, NY Capital District area, we assist clients throughout New York, in all 50 states, and worldwide with United States immigration law.

How Can We Help?

Fill out our online form