How to Obtain an L-1 Intra-Company Transferee Visa

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Confirm Employment With Foreign & U.S. Companies Meet Requirements

The employee must have worked for the foreign company for at least one of the past three years, or six months for a blanket "L" scenario, and must work for the U.S. company in a similar position.


Confirm Employment Position Qualifies

The position must be in one of the three classes: manager, executive, or specialized knowledge. However, the position need not be classified under the same status as it would be overseas (for instance, what is considered a "specialized knowledge" position overseas could be classified as "manager" position in the United States.


Confirm Performance Control by U.S. Company

The foreign entity may pay the employee's salary but the U.S. company must control the employee's performance of work. Authority to engage and terminate the employee is strong evidence of control.



There are no numerical limits on the L visa and the spouse of an L visa holder may apply for work authorization. The L visa is initially valid for up to three years in the case of an existing business and up to one year where a new business is established in the United States. There is a five-year limit on L-1B employees with specialized knowledge staying in the United States and a seven-year limit for L-1A managers and executives. Consular posts generally see an increase in L-1 applications after the H1-B cap is reached. However, there is no legal reason why aliens eligible for H1-B status cannot legitimately seek out other type of visas, including L visas.

Additional Resources

Non-Immigrant Visas

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