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L-1 Visa requirements

  1. The foreign company for which the L-1 Beneficiary has worked for must be related to the US company in a particular way. The general rule is that one of the companies should have effective control over the other company.
  2. The L-1 Beneficiary to be transferred to the U.S. must have worked for one year in the last three years at the foreign company.
  3. The US company and the foreign company must continue to do business during the entire period of the L-1 Beneficiary's stay in the US on L-1 status.
  4. The L-1 Beneficiary must be qualified for his job duties by virtue of his education and work experience. The L-1 Beneficiary to be transferred should be working in the foreign company in either a “managerial”, “executive” or “specialized knowledge” position (these terms are defined below in detail) and should continue to work in the same position upon transfer to the US on L-1 status.
  5. The L-1 Beneficiary must have the intention to depart the US upon completion of L-1 status stay in the US but can apply for and obtain Permanent Residency status during L-1 status stay in the US.

Managerial capacity is defined as:

Managerial capacity means an assignment with the organization in which the employee personally:

  1. Manages the organization, department, subdivision, function or component;
  2. Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees or manages an essential function within the organization or subdivision of the organization;
  3. Has the authority to hire and fire or recommend personnel actions (if another directly supervises employees), or if no direct supervision, functions at a senior level and
  4. Exercises discretion over day-to-day operations of the activity or function.

Executive capacity is defined as:

  1. Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function;
  2. Establishes goals or policies;
  3. Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision making and
  4. Receives only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, board of directors or stockholders.

Specialized knowledge is defined as:

  1. Someone who has special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.

Additional information regarding L-1A visas and L-1B visas

  1. Managers and executives are given L-1A visas and can stay on L-1A status in the US for seven (7) years. L-1A visa holders have a fast track to Permanent Residence status, which is not available to the L-1B visa holders.
  2. Specialized knowledge personnel are given L-1B visas and can stay on L-1B status in the US for five (5) years.
  3. Both L-1A and L-1 B visa do not require Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) to be filed with the INS as is required for H-1B visa.
  4. L-1A and L-1B visa holders can be transferred to any work site in the US without the requirement of any additional documentation being filed with the INS. In the case of H-1B visa holders, the employer is required to file for a new H-1B visa in the event the H-1B worker is sent to work at a work site, which is not covered under the existing H-1B application and LCA.

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