The basic requirements for the L-1A category are:
1)Ownership of business entity in US and foreign entity employing alien must be "substantially similar." 2)For duration of alien's stay in US, petitioner must continue to do business both in US and in at least one other country, either directly or through related entity. 3)Alien must have been employed abroad continuously by foreign entity for at least 1 year w/in last 3. 4)Alien's prior year of employment abroad and prospective employment in the US must be in managerial/executive capacity. 5)Alien intends to return abroad at end of authorized stay, unless alien becomes permanent resident of the US during authorized stay. 6)Must be able to document existence of foreign operations to which employee can reasonably be expected to be transferred at end of assignment in US. 7)Petitioner must be actively engaged in providing goods and/or services in US and abroad, either directly or through related entity with employees in both countries, for duration of alien's stay.
The L-1B and the "Blanket L"
A less advantageous, but still valuable alternative is the L-1B Visa, is reserved for specialized knowledge employees possessing a type of knowledge and advanced level of expertise different from the ordinary in a particular field, process, or function. Knowledge which is widely held or related to common practices or techniques and which is readily available in the US job market does not qualify. The L-1B is usually less desirable as it does not lead to a green card and has a five-year limit. A procedural option available mostly to large companies is the "Blanket L" petition, which allows a petitioner to seek continuing approval of its status. Thus, the employer is able to streamline the process.
As you can see, the L visa can be a very useful and rewarding tool for international businesses and their managers, executives and specialized knowledge employees.