Who Qualifies for an Intracompany Transfer Visa?

The L-1 visa, more commonly known as the intracompany transfer visa, allows qualifying foreign national professionals who are employed by multinational companies to come to the U.S. to work for the U.S. based operation of the company. The foreign national employee may be coming to work for the company’s U.S. branch, or an affiliate or subsidiary of the company. This type of visa can also be utilized if the company is looking to establish a U.S. based operation, but does not have one already and needs to send a key employee to the U.S. in order to establish this U.S. presence for the company. First, however, the employee must qualify for an intracompany transfer visa.

Qualifying for an Intracompany Transfer Visa

In order to be eligible for an intracompany transfer visa, the U.S. location must be related to the company in a capacity such as a branch office, affiliate, or subsidiary. The visa applicant must have been employed by the company for a minimum of one year in his or her country of residence. Additionally, the foreign employee must possess a specialized skill, or manage or serve the company in an executive capacity. The visa applicant must only work for the company or a company related to the one sponsoring the visa. The L-1 visa must be granted before the applicant may begin work in the U.S.

There is also documentation you must submit as part of an application for an intracompany visa. The employer must file the visa petition, Form I-129. The foreign employee must submit Form DS-156, a nonimmigrant visa application. Additionally, the foreign employee must have a current passport that will be valid for a minimum of 6 months after the visa is set to expire. Form I-797, approval notice, is also required.

There are two different kinds of L-1 visas. The L-1A visa is for employees who work for a company in an executive or managerial role. The L-1B visa is for employees who possess specialized knowledge about the products, services, and management procedures about a company. Each visa has its own additional set of requirements. For instance, an L-1A visa requires the executive or manager be able to prove that they have previously worked in such a capacity prior to being transferred to the U.S. to take on a similar or the same role. The employee applicant must be prepared to provide clear evidence of his or her position within the company, showing that he or she is responsible for organizing and controlling the major functions of the company. It must be demonstrated that the employee applicant possesses a level of authority that comes with the responsibility of running or managing a business and its employees.

To qualify for an L-1B visa, the employee does not work for the company in an executive or managerial capacity but possess specialized knowledge that is critical to the company. This type of proprietary knowledge is usually gained through years of experience. Possession of such knowledge will generally make an employee of key importance to the overall functioning and success of the business in keeping up with the competition.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com