How to Scale the L-1 Visa Requirements
The L-1 non-immigrant visa allows companies to transfer their employees to a subsidiary or even the parent company based in the US. Although, there are a lot of L-1 visa requirements that must be satisfied.
How can you qualify for the L-1 visa?Before you can be considered for the L-1 visa, you must be a manager, executive or person with specialized knowledge, as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Acts. In order to qualify:
- You must have worked with an employer outside the US for at least 1 year within the 3 years before your transfer.
- The employment must have been employed as a manager, executive or employee with specialized knowledge of the company*s products or processes.
- Your impending transfer must be to the same company in the US, whether its parent company, subsidiary or affiliate.
- You must be going to the US temporarily, to perform the same duties you performed in the foreign affiliate, subsidiary or parent company.
L-1 visa requirements for transfer as an executiveIn order to be considered an executive under the Immigration Act, you must have been functioning in the company in an executive capacity. Under the definition of *executive capacity*, you are required to primarily:
- Direct the management of the company or a major component or function; or
- Establish the goals and policies of your company or that function you direct; or
- Have a lot of decision making power; and
- Receive only general supervision from higher executives or the board.
L-1 visa requirements for transfer as a manager
If you are being transferred as a manager, then you must function in managerial capacity in the company. This means that your assignment in the company must primarily consist of
- Managing the company, a part of it or a function in the company.
- Supervising and controlling the work of other supervisory, managerial or professional employees or a department of the company
- Having the authority to hire and fire or recommend these actions
- Exercising discretion over your day to day activities in your company duties
First-line supervisors may have problems fulfilling these requirements because they usually answer to a higher supervisor. However, if the employees being supervised are professionals, then there may be no difficulty.
L-1 visa requirements for employees with specialized knowledgeIn order to qualify as an employee that has specialized knowledge of the company, it must be shown that you have a special knowledge of the company*s product and its application in international markets.
It can also be shown that you have an advanced level of knowledge of the processes and procedures of the company. Employees that qualify under this heading can obtain the L-1B visa.
Under the L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2004, some reforms of the L-1 visa were made. These reforms allow a company to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge to establish an affiliate of the company in the US. However, the company must file Form I-129 on behalf of the employee.