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Intracompany Transferee (L - visa)
The L-1 Intracompany Work Visa is the visa given to the foreign nationals who come to the US temporarily for work either in a managerial or executive capacity or which demand specialized knowledge for a parent, branch, affiliate and subsidiary of the same company that employed them abroad. The former is called L-1A and the latter L-1B.
L-1 visas allow an applicant to transfer him/her to work in the United States for an employer, for whom he/she has worked abroad for 1 continuous year within past 3 years in a related business entity in a manager/executive or specialized knowledge staff capacity. The applicant must be coming to the US to continue providing services for this same employer. The worker does not need to be directly employed by the sponsor. It is OK even if he/she is paid through personnel service company or an agency, or even as independent consultant, as long as the sponsor has management and control over the worker during the qualifying year.
L-1A visas are designed for those being brought to the United States to engage in a senior-level managerial or executive role. In America, immigration candidates in this stream must be entering a role with supervisory responsibility for professional staff and must be responsible for a key department, division or function of the US company. Managers and executives plan, organize, direct, and control an organizations major functions and work through other employees to achieve the organizations goals. Individuals who primarily perform the tasks necessary to produce the product(s) or provide the service(s) of an organization are not employed in an executive or managerial capacity. The initial petition will be approved for 3 years, and can be renewed twice for 2 years each for a total of 7 years.
L-1B visas are intended for those coming to live and work in the US who have specialized knowledge and experience of a companys products, services, systems or procedures. Knowledge which is widely held or related to common practices or techniques and which is readily available in the United States job market is not specialized for purposes of L classification. The level of knowledge required and the employment of the specific alien must directly relate to the proprietary interest of the petitioner. The initial petition will be approved for 3 years, and can be renewed once for 2 years for a total of 5 years.
The L-1 new visas is designed for when a new parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate office is opened in the US and wishes to employ a manager or executive but does not have proof of extensive business activity in the US. A new office is defined as organization which has been doing business in the US for less than one year.
To obtain an L-1 visa based upon opening a new office, the company must show that it has sufficient physical premises for the office (such as securing a lease); the intending foreign beneficiary meets the one year physical presence requirement; and the intended US operation will support an executive or managerial position.
The L-1 Blanket visa is designed for companies who have a high volume of intra-company employees that need to transfer from one parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate office to another.
The significant benefit of obtaining a Blanket L-1 visa is that the employee can apply for his/her L-1 visa directly at the embassy or consulate in their home country rather than have the application processed by USCIS. Not only does this result in significant time savings, but also financial savings for the company.
To qualify for a L-1 Blanket visa, the company must have an office that has been doing business in the US for more than one year; has 3 or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and have combined US annual sales of $25 million, US workforce of 1,000, or received approval of at least 10 L petitions in the last 12 months.
L-2 visa is issued spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the L-1 visa holder in the United States.