1) The foreign office and the U.S. office must have a qualifying relationship.
• That is, they must be related as parent/subsidiary,
branch offices of the same company, or affiliates of
the same company.
2) The transferring worker must have worked at the foreign office in certain roles for at least one year within the three years preceding admission to the United States in L status.
• That work must have been as an executive, manager, or specialized knowledge employee.
3) The transferring working must be coming to the U.S. to work as an executive, manager, or specialized knowledge employee.
• Executives and managers are granted an initial period of stay of 3 years, renewable in two year increments for up to a total of 7 years.
• Specialized knowledge employees are granted an initial period of stay of 3 years, renewable in two year increments for up to a total of 5 years.
4) Foreign companies can use the L visa to transfer an employee to the U.S. to open a new office.
• The foreign office must continue doing business after the employee’s transfer.
• The transferee’s “new office” L visa will be good for one year, and can be
renewed thereafter once it is shown that the U.S. office will support the transferee.
5) Spouses and children of the transferring employee can accompany him or her to the U.S.
• The accompanying spouse can also obtain a work permit once in the U.S. Children can attend school but cannot work.
6) Some L visa holders have an easier time transitioning to a green card than other employment-based visa holders.
• The L-1A visa for executives/managers has very similar requirements to the EB-1C green card category, which is reserved for multinational managers and executives.
• The government usually looks favorably on EB-1C applicants who currently hold L-1A visas.