L-1 International Executive, Manager or Specialized Knowledge Employee
The L-1 visa is available to individuals who are coming to the United States to work for a company related to the international company that the individual worked at for at least one year during the last three. The L-1A visa is available to qualifying executives and managers. The L-1B visa is available to employees with specialized knowledge. L-1 recipients are able to bring their spouse and minor children to the United States.
Who is eligible:
Executives, managers and employees with specialized knowledge are eligible for L-1 visa status. The foreign national must have worked for a business for at least one continuous year before coming to the United States to work in a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary company. The one year of work must of occurred during the last three years. The affiliate company must sponsor the visa recipient and can be a profit, nonprofit, religious, or charitable organization. Additionally, the employee must continue working as a manager, executive or in a specialized knowledge position when in the United States.
To qualify as an executive, an employee must demonstrate that the position:
- Manages an organization or major component,
- Has authority to establish goals and policies,
- Has discretionary decision-making authority, and
- Is subject to only general supervision from higher executive, the board of directors, or stockholders.
To qualify as a manager, the employee must demonstrate that the position:
- Manages an organization or department,
- Supervises and controls other managers or professional level personnel,
- Has authority to make personnel decisions, and
- Has discretion over day-to-day operations of the activity or function.
To qualify as an employee with specialized knowledge, the employee must demonstrate a special knowledge of the company product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management or other interests and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.
Duration of Visa:
A L-1A visa holder can stay in the United States for up to seven years. The L-1B visa holder can stay in the United States for up to five years. The visa will have to be renewed to reach the upper limit.
Family and Work Authorization:
L-1 visa holders are authorized to work and to bring their spouse and minor children to the United States. The spouse and minor children will be given L-2 status. The spouse of the L-1 visa holder will be able to work after obtaining the proper work authorization.
For more information, please visit the USCIS website. If you think you, or an individual in your company, may be eligible for a L-1 visa, please contact Gafner Law Firm to learn more.