The L-1 intra-company transferee visa allows managers, executives and employees with specialized skills to transfer from a foreign company to a US branch, subsidiary, parent or affiliated company to perform temporary services
L1 visas are initially granted for a period of one to three years with extensions available in two-year increments and a maximum duration of stay of seven years for an L-1A (managers and executives) beneficiary and five years for those on L-1B (specialized knowledge) status.
The foreign company (the non-US company) should remain in operation during the entire duration of the L-1 visa status.
The spouse and children under 21 of the L-1 visa beneficiary may acquire dependent L-2 visas during the period of the transferee’s status.
An executive is a person who directs the management of the company or a major part or function of the organization. Typical executive positions are presidents, vice presidents and controllers. An executive is expected to have a supervisory role in the company (either over personnel or a function) and would not include people who are primarily performing the specific tasks of production or providing services to customers.
A manager directs the organization, a department, or a function of the organization. Like executives, a qualifying manager will not be overseeing the primary performance of a task. Exceptions may apply when a manager or executive is coming to the US to open a business.
If the L-1 visas are not appropriate for your particular circumstances, please peruse the content on the H-1B visa. Other types of US visas may also be helpful such as the E-2, H-2 or employment permanent visas.
Specialized knowledge refers to employees with:
A special knowledge of the company’s products and their applications in world markets and/or a proprietary knowledge of the company’s processes or procedures.