Transferring Executives or Managers using the L-1A Visa

The L-1A non-immigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or a manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices in the United States. L-1A enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one. The employee should have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States and he/she should be capable to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

The executive standard ensures that a beneficiary not only has the requisite authority, but that a majority of their duties relate to operational or policy management, not to the supervision of nonprofessional employees, performance of the duties of another type of position, or other involvement in the operational activities of the company. Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise control and direct the organisation and the work of professional employees and to manage the company, 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.

The employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations) and currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.

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Intracompany Transferees (L) | USCIS

L-1A Visa Benefits for Foreign Workers