Immigration Services > Non-Immigrant Visas

L-1 visas are temporary nonimmigrant visas available for employees who intend to enter the United States to work temporarily in either a managerial or executive capacity, or in a capacity that involves specialized knowledge for a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their current employer.

Intracompany Transfers for Managers & Executives (L-1)

Our office regularly obtains L-1 visas on behalf of multi-national companies wishing to transfer an executive, manager, or employee with specialized knowledge to a U.S. branch or subsidiary.  Most of our L-1 clients wish to open a branch of their successful foreign company in the United States and the presence of an executive or manager is necessary to ensure the U.S. entity can get up and running smoothly, and L-1 visas are also available to companies wishing to send an employee with specialized knowledge to a U.S. branch.  L-1 visas are often attractive to our clients because securing the visa is comparatively fast and cost-effective as the requirements are relaxed when compared to similar visa categories. 

Our L-1 clients come from a wide range of industries and we offer a money-back guarantee where our legal fees are refunded if we are fail to obtain the visa, so you can rest assured we will not accept a case that will not be successful. Please continue reading for further information or contact us to learn more.

L-1 visas are temporary nonimmigrant visas available for employees who will enter the United States temporarily and work as managers or executives (L-1A) or in a capacity that involves specialized knowledge (L-1B). The U.S. entity must be a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their current employer.  A successful L-1A beneficiary must have been employed abroad continuously for one (1) of the previous three (3) years by a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of the U.S. company as a manager or executive or in a capacity involving specialized knowledge.  To request an L-1 visa, our office files Form I-129 and an L-Supplement with a USCIS field office.  Processing times have historically been in the 30 to 60 day range, and premium processing, which guarantees a response within 15 days, is also available.

The primary advantage of the L-1 over the H-1B is that the filing a Labor Condition Application ("LCA") is not required, which eliminates Department of Labor oversight and accelerates processing time. This is especially beneficial to non-profit and charitable organizations, which may not be able to meet DOL salary requirements. Also, unlike the H-4 dependents of an H-1B visa holder, L-2 dependents may obtain Employment Authorization Documents and work legally in the U.S.

As with the H-1B category, the presumption of nonimmigrant intent does not apply in the L-1 category, The L-1 visa category is considered a “dual intent” category, like the H-1B, so nonimmigrant intent is not presumed.  This means that an L-1 beneficiary may later pursue permanent residence in the United States, often through either the EB-1 or EB-5 categories.

To successfully petition for an L-1, the petitioning employer must show that the beneficiary meets a number of strict criteria, as noted above. The more clearly an employee can demonstrate he or she meets these criteria, the stronger his or her petition for an L-1A visa will be.

An employee functioning in a managerial capacity is likely someone who:

  • Manages the organization, department, subdivision, function, or component;
  • Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization or department or subdivision of the organization;
  • Has authority to hire and fire or recommend personnel actions; and,
  • Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations.

An employee functioning in an executive capacity is likely someone who:

  • Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function;
  • Formulates goals and policies;
  • Possesses wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and,
  • Receives only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, board of directors, or other governing body.

Specialized knowledge

An employee with specialized knowledge must demonstrate that he or she possesses specialized and unique knowledge of company products, services, proprietary research techniques, equipment, or other interests. He or she will also be able to show that knowledge applies to international markets and demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the processes and procedures of the company.

Call or email our office today to learn more.