USA Immigration: 

L1 Inter-Company Transfer Visa

L1 Visa Overview

The L visa is for employees of foreign companies where the parent branch is doing business in the U.S. and at least one foreign country.  The employee must have worked abroad for the company for at least one year in the previous three years.  In order to be eligible for an L1A visa, the employee to be transferred to the U.S. must have worked in a managerial or executive capacity for at least one of the last three years, and must have some specialized knowledge.  The L1A could also be used for employee coming to the U.S. to open or work in a new office.

Lebamoff & Associates
218 N. Lee Street
Suite 312
Alexandria, VA 22314,

More Details about L1 Visas

How does USCIS define "managerial capacity"?

The employee must manage a department, subdivision, function, or component of the company; supervise and control the work of other professional or managerial employees; have the authority to make hiring and firing decisions; and exercise discretion over day-to-day operations.

What constitutes "specialized knowledge"?

An employee with specialized knowledge of the company's products, services, research equipment, techniques, management, process and procedures.

What type of documentation does USCIS require?

The petitioning company must provide evidence that the company doing business in the U.S. is parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of a company from a foreign country.  Evidence may include articles of incorporation, an annual report, financial reports, and certificates of stock.  The foreign company will also need to supply a letter including information regarding dates of employment, specific job duties, and wages.  Also required is evidence that the employee worked in a managerial capacity for the company at least one of the last three years.

What is the duration of the L1A visa?

The L1A visa is valid for up to three years.  In the case of an employee transferring to the U.S. to open or work in a new office, the L1A is valid for a period of one year, and may be extended for a total of two years.

Can the spouse and dependents of L1A intracompany transferees  accompany the employee ot the U.S.?

Yes.  Spouses and children under 21 are allowed to accompany the employee to the U.S., and may remain in the U.S. for the duration of the visa.

Branch offices

An L-1 can also be used to open a "branch office" in the US for a company located outside the US, and there are numerous documentary requirements necessary to prove the company is an "on-going concern" in it's home country. An L1A visa could be used for a manager or executive for the branch office and a L1B may be used for "specialized knowledge professionals" to work in the branch office. Please be aware that there are many nuances to a "branch office" and the branch need not be a physical location; managers and specialized knowledge professionals on a L visa may work at a client site, for example.