Written by attorney Brian David Lerner

L-1 One year continuous employment requirement overview

In order to be eligible for an "L" nonimmigrant classification, the intracompany transferee must have been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof. Detailed descriptions of the beneficiary's prior year of employment abroad are required from the petitioner to determine if the beneficiary was employed in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity. As long as the beneficiary was "employed," L-1 status is available if the beneficiary is a principal owner of the foreign parent company, or even the sole stockholder. Time spent in the United States in another status in excess of three years does not interrupt the one out of three year requirement if the companies have the qualifying parent/subidiary relationship. A corporation is a separate entity from its stockholders for the purposes of qualifying an alien beneficiary as an intracompany transferee, and one of a few or even a sole stockholder of a corporation may be "employed" by that corporation and thus be qualified for an L-1 classification. The types of documentation required to establish L eligibility include documents showing the beneficiary's employment abroad, such as a letter signed by an authorized official of the petitioner describing the prospective employee's employment abroad for at least the prior year, including the dates of employment, job title, specific job duties, number and types of employees supervised, qualifications for the job, level of authority, salary, and dates of time spent in the United States during the previous year. In cases where the accuracy of the statement is in question, the director may require other evidence, such as wage and earning statements or an employment letter from an authorized official of the employing company abroad.

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