An L-1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant work visa for foreign nationals who have been employed for at least one continuous year outside the United States by a foreign entity that is affiliated to the sponsoring U.S. employer. The U.S. company must be a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, parent of the foreign entity and the foreign national must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year prior to their entry to the United States. There are three types of L-1 visas:
Executive (L-1A): An employee is considered executive when he or she:
- Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
- Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
- Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
- Receives only general supervision of direction from higher level executives.
Managerial (L-1A): An employee is considered managerial when he or she:
- Manages the organization or department, subdivision, function or component of the organization;
- Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
- Has the authority to hire, fire, or recommend similar personnel actions (such as promotion or leave authorization) if another employee or other employees are directly supervised; and
- Exercises discretion over the day –to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.
Specialized Knowledge (L-1B)
An employee is considered to have specialized knowledge when he or she possesses and advanced level of expertise and proprietary knowledge of the company’s products, services, research activities, in-house procedures and processes, management or other interests of the company that are not readily available in the U.S. labor market. Such knowledge does not have to be unique or narrowly held within the company, but it must be demonstrated to be more than a general expertise that is required to produce the product or provide the service of that company.
Please note that the above listed information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice regarding an individual matter. We strongly encourage you to work closely with qualified legal counsel when pursuing any immigration benefits. If we can be of further assistance to you, please contact our office via phone at (408) 567-9445 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org