To qualify for L-1 status, the foreign (non U.S.) company for which the L-1 employee works must have a specific relationship to the prospective employer (petitioner) in the United States.
The two companies must have common control.
In relation to the foreign (non U.S.) company, the petitioner (U.S. Company) must be one of the following:
Parent or subsidiary.
USCIS recognizes four distinct business structures as subsidiaries.
The common element in all four cases is control by the parent company of both the alien employee’s foreign employer and future U.S. employer.
- Any legal entity of which a parent company owns, directly or indirectly, more than 50% and controls the entity.
- A business owned 50% by a parent company with control of the entity.
- A 50-50 joint venture directly or indirectly owned 50% by the parent company and equally controlled by the parent company, in which the parent company has veto power.
- Any entity of which, directly or indirectly, a parent company owns less than 50% but over which the parent company exercises actual control.
Affiliate (includes partnerships organized in the U.S.).
An affiliate is a type of subsidiary.
L-1 affiliates are usually either:
One of two subsidiaries of a common parent.
One of two entities owned by a common group of individuals. Each owner must own approximately the same share of each entity.
50-50 joint venture.
- Must be directly or indirectly owned 50% by the parent company and equally controlled by the parent company, in which the parent company has veto power.
- Any office or division of the same organization located in another country is considered to be a branch.