Exploring L-1 Visa Options for Intra-Company Transfers to the U.S.

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The L-1 visa is used to transfer a business's critical employees from an overseas company to a related company in the United States. L-1 visas are frequently referred to as “intra-company transfers.” The employee pursuing an L-1 visa must be transferred from a foreign company to a qualifying business in the United States.

Only some employees can become eligible for an intra-company transfer visa. The employee needs to have served in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity with the foreign company. Additionally, the employee needs to be transferred to the U.S. to serve in one of these specialized capacities.

Can I Transfer Employees to My U.S. Location?

The business located in the U.S. needs to meet certain requirements before it can transfer foreign workers into the U.S. For example, the U.S. and foreign companies need to be related by at least 50% common ownership or control.

The employee seeking a transfer needs to have been employed by the foreign entity for at least one year within the prior three years before making the transfer. Time spent by the employee in the U.S. before the transfer does not count towards the required one year of employment, but it also doesn't interrupt the count.

Are My Employees Eligible for a Transfer to the U.S.?

There are three categories of employees who can transfer to the US using an L-1 visa: those with executive capacity, those with managerial capacity, and those with specialized knowledge. When applying for a visa, you must prove that the employee has experience working in one or more capacities.

Executive Capacity

An employee works in an executive capacity when he or she primarily directs the management of the business, or likewise, a major component or function of the business. This means that he or she established organizational goals or policies, and exercises wide latitude and discretionary decision-making. Typically, those in an executive capacity only receive general supervision from higher-level executives, stockholders, or the board of directors.

Managerial Capacity

An employee works in a managerial capacity when they supervise and control the work of other supervisory, managerial, or professional employees. Employees who manage an essential function within the organization, subdivision, or department are also considered to be working in a managerial capacity.

Specialized Knowledge

An employee has specialized knowledge when they have particular knowledge related to the business's product, research, service, equipment, techniques, or management team. Specialized knowledge includes advanced expertise or knowledge of the business’s processes and procedures.

Questions About the L-1 Visa Process? We are Here to Help

Navigating the immigration process can be challenging, and the attorneys at Ray Law International are prepared to help you throughout the process. Whether you are a business that would like to transfer employees to your U.S. location or you're an individual pursuing a visa, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to contact Ray Law International to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.