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L-1 Visa Requirements

There are 2 different types of L-1 visas and each has their own set of L-1 Visa Requirements:

L-1A is for  managers or executives.

L-1B is for workers with specialized knowledge employees

There are also two different procedures to get L-1 visas; Regular and Blanket.

Regular L-1 visas are individual and need to be approved by USCIS individually while Blanket L-1 visas do not need to be approved individually and are made available for employers that meet certain criteria.

L-1 Visa Requirements – Qualifying Employer Relationship

  • The company must have a relationship which makes them eligible for this type of visa, such as an affiliate company, another branch or subsidiary on foreign grounds.
  • The company must also 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. This does not mean though that this organization is doing international trade. Doing business in those terms mean positioning goods/services regularly in foreign grounds.

The L-1 visa is not country specific, and it is a Dual Intent visa. Dual Intent means that beneficiaries are not required to maintain a foreign residence and may apply for a green card later.

L-1 Visa Requirements for the Employee

L-1 visa requirements for the L-1A Visa:

  • The employee must have worked abroad for the overseas company for a continuous period of one year during the preceding three years before admission to the United States.
  • The employee must have been employed abroad in an executive or managerial position, otherwise known as a qualifying position.
  • The employee must be coming to the U.S. Company to work in an executive or managerial position. According to federal law, executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight. Managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, 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 employee must be qualified for the position by virtue of his or her prior education and experience.
  • The L-1 visa holder must intend to depart the United States upon completion of his or her authorized stay.

L-1 visa the requirements for the L-1B Visa;

  • The employee must have worked abroad for the overseas company for a continuous period of one year during the preceding three years before admission to the United States.
  • The employee must be seeking to enter the United States to ender services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.
  • Specialized knowledge is beyond the ordinary and not commonplace within the industry or the petition organization. In other words, the employee must be more than simply skilled or familiar with the employer’s interests. This specialized knowledge can refer to the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets. Or, it could refer to an expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.
  • The L-1 visa holder must intend to depart the United States upon completion of his or her authorized stay.
  • Following the 2004 Visa Reform Act, an L-1B non-immigrant will be in violation of status if they are stationed primarily at the worksite of an employer other than the petitioner, and if one of the following occurs:
  • The alien will be principally under the control and supervision of the unaffiliated employer, or
  • The placement at the non-affiliated worksite is “essentially an arrangement to provide labor for hire for the unaffiliated employer,” rather than placement in connection with the provision of a product or service for which specialized knowledge specific to the petitioning employer is necessary.

L-1 Visa Requirements for the Employer – Document Checklist

All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by a notarized English translation.

L-1 Visa Requirements from the Foreign Company:

1)     Most recent annual report or financials – last 3 years.

2)     Company Brochure or Marketing Material.

3)     Copy of Office Lease.

4)     Evidence of Ownership with U.S. Company.

5)     A job offer letter detailing duties to be performed in the U.S.

6)     A copy of a detailed Organizational Chart of the Foreign Company

L-1 Visa Requirements from the U.S. Company:

7)     Most recent annual report or tax return– last 3 years.

8)     Company Brochure or Marketing Material.

9)     Copy of Office Lease.

10)  Evidence of Ownership with Foreign Company.

11)  A copy of a detailed Organizational Chart of the U.S. Company.

L-1 Visa Requirements from the Foreign National

12)  Copy of Visa and I-94 (if in the U.S.).

13)  Evidence that Alien worked at foreign company for at least 12 of

Last 36 months (letter from employer, paycheck copies, etc.)

14)  Copy of Resume.

15)  Copies of diploma and transcripts from university degrees (if available).

16)  Copies of letters of experience from previous employers (if available).

L-1 Visa Requirements for the Blanket L-1

The company must already have an office in the United States that has been operating for at least one year.

The company must have at least three domestic/foreign branches, affiliates or subsidiaries.

In addition, the company must meet one of the following:

The company must have obtained a minimum of 10 L-1 approvals in the 12 month period prior to filing a blanket petition

The company and its U.S. subsidiary and affiliates must have combined annual sales of at least $25 million dollars.

The company has a workforce in the United States of at least 1,000 employees.

L-1 Visa Requirements for a new company:

All of the above, but instead of annual report or tax return a business plan (including projected income statement, balance sheet and organizational chart).

L-1 Visa Requirements for an Extension / Renewal:

All of the above, and copies of the beneficiaries 3 most recent paychecks.


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