Areas of Interest
 
   
Common Visa Types
 
   
Search OUR site
 

Requirements for aN L-1 Visa

Intra-company transfer

The L-1 nonimmigrant visa is normally issued for three years, and it can be extended for a total period of seven years. At any time after obtaining the visa, the visa holder may apply for a "green card"; an L-1 visa holder receives preferential treatment. The recently enacted Immigration Act of 1990 established for the first time a separate category for multinational executives and managers seeking permanent residency in the U.S. Under the new law intra-company transferees are accorded entitlement in the first-preference category. Processing in the "EP-1" category means that the application for alien labor certification is waived and immigrant visas are immediately available. Under the new rules the qualifying manager or executive need not have a university degree. As you can see, the advantage of entitlement under this category is substantial.

Qualifying Organizations

To petition for an L-1 visa on behalf of an intra-company transferee, the U.S. business entity must be either a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, branch, or headquarters of the foreign venture. INS defines the qualifying relationships as follows:


Parent or Subsidiary

  • One company owns at least 50% of the other, and controls the other;
  • One company owns 50% of a 50/50 joint venture and has equal control and veto power; or
  • One company owns less than 50% of the other, but in fact controls it.

Affiliates

  • The two entities are owned and controlled by the same parent or individual;
  • The two entities are owned and controlled by the same group of individuals, each individual owning and controlling approximately the same share or proportion of each entity; or
  • Two accounting firms offer their services under the same internationally recognized name and under an agrement with a worldwide coordinating organization.

Branch Office

  • The U.S. operation is a branch office of the foreign company, or vice versa.

Eligibility Requirements of the Intra-Company Transferee

Transferee Must Have One Year Prior Experience at Foreign Enterprise.
The transferee must have been employed by the foreign corporation as an executive or manager for at least 12 continuous months prior to applying for the L-1 visa.

Transferee Must Be an Executive or Manager.
The definition of executive and manager follows traditional business practices. However, the recent regulation expanded eligibility guidelines to include an individual who manages an essential function of the enterprise. It is not required that the individual have managerial responsibility for other employees.


Other Requirements

U.S. Business Entity Must Have Done Business For At Least One Year.
The U.S. entity must have been doing business for at least one year. (If it has not, the L-1 visa will be issued for an initial period of one year instead of three, and during the first year the transferee may not apply for an immigrant visa. This provision prevents start-up U.S. ventures from immediately transferring overseas executives and managers to the U.S. as permanent residents.)

Documentation Required
Documentation must be submitted to prove that the U.S. company qualifies as petitioner and that the transferee qualifies for L-1 status. The documents can be in various forms, depending on the nature of the venture. However, it should be noted that while international business ventures can be quite complex, the INS rules and regulations regarding the visa process are rigid. Documentation must be provided as follows:

From Foreign Company

  1. Foreign tax report from previous two years.
  2. Listings of all foreign business locations, and names and job titles of all employees.
  3. Audited accounting report or similar profit and loss statement from previous two years.
  4. Company brochure or other evidence of the product made or services rendered.
  5. Documents showing foreign incorporation (or other documents proving ownership, including stock certificates).
  6. Detailed letter documenting position held by transferee prior to entry into the U.S.

From U.S. Petitioner

  1. Federal income tax report from previous year.
  2. Listings of names and job titles of all employees.
  3. Audited accounting report or similar profit and loss statement from previous year.
  4. Company brochure or other evidence of the product made or services rendered.
  5. Articles of Incorporation (or other documents proving ownership, including stock certificates).
  6. Lease agreement
  7. 941 Federal Withholding Report
  8. Detailed letter describing the job duties to be performed by the transferee.






Kingston, Martinez & Hogan immigration represents clients throughout the United States and California, Ca, Southern California, santa barbara, goleta, santa ynez, goleta valley, ventura, oxnard, camarillo, los angeles, and Los angeles county. nationally, many clients come from Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, new mexico, colorado, detroit, chicago, dallas, new york city, boston, philadelphia, and washington d.c. Internationally, we work with companies and individuals all over world, including mexico and canada.