U.S. Immigration: Intracompany Transferees
U.S. Non-Immigrant Work Visas for Executives, Managers, & Specialized Knowledge Transferees
L-1A VISA CATEGORY:
INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE - EXECUTIVE OR MANAGER
The L-1A visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa category popular among multinational companies with operations in the U.S. with wishes to transfer an executive or manager from one of its subsidiary foreign locations to one of its offices in the U.S. The L-1A visa facilitates the mobility of high level executives of global companies and allows them to maintain uniform performances across international locations. This visa category also offers executives and skilled human resources of an equal opportunity global company access to positions in the U.S. and consequently contributing to an increase in innovation and competitiveness in the U.S.
A company that does not have any representation or offices in the U.S. can also benefit from the L-1A visa category to relocate one of its executives or directors to the U.S. for the purpose of establishing a new market in the U.S. Normally the employer files a petition for a non-immigrant worker and pays the government fee on behalf of the employee.
The L-1A visa can also be used by smaller businesses or foreign start ups who intend to set up operations in the U.S. It is imperative to note that Canadian citizens can apply directly at a port of entry (USCBP) or with the USCIS. All other eligible foreign nationals must apply with the USCIS, then obtain the L-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The USCBP will then allow the foreign nationals who were granted the L-1 visa to enter the U.S. without adjudicating or questioning their L-1 visa. .
For an employer to qualify for L-1A visa, the current or prospective business in the U.S. must also qualify as a business that has corporate ties to the foreign subsidiary or parent company. It must be viable as it should be operational and engaging actively in the trade of goods or services, whether through the U.S. branch, locally in the country of origin, or globally.
An important condition for the transferee or the applicant of an L-1A visa is to have been employed in an executive or managerial capacity with the foreign company at a foreign location for at least one (1) year continuously out of the past three (3) years.
L-1B VISA CATEGORY:
INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREE - SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE
The USCIS defines specialized knowledge as “special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.”
The L-1B non-immigrant visa allows a U.S. employer to transfer a professional worker with specialized knowledge directly related to the company's interests, trade, and business, from one of its foreign locations to one of its existing or prospective offices in the U.S.
For an employer to qualify for L-1B visa, the current or prospective business in the U.S. must also qualify as a business that has corporate ties to the foreign subsidiary or parent company. It must be viable as it should be operational and engaging actively in the trade of goods or services, whether through the U.S. branch, locally in the country of origin, or globally.
An important condition for the specialized knowledge transferee or the applicant of an L-1B visa is to have been employed in the same capacity with the foreign company at a foreign location for at least one (1) year continuously out of the past three (3) years.
Effective Jan. 17, 2017 there will be a 60-day grace period for non-immigrant workers in the USA following loss of employment. This new rule applies to foreign nationals in E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1, or TN classification to allow them to apply for a change of employer or change of status. READ MORE...
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To know more about a strategic solution for your intracompany transferee cases under the L-1A or the L-1B visa categories, including how to apply for either visa, processing times, government fees, conditions for accompanying dependents or individuals and family members, length of stay in the U.S., and conditions of re-entry to the US, please schedule a consultation with our law firm.
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