The L1 nonimmigrant classification allows a U.S. employer to transfer an employee from its foreign affiliate to the U.S. in order to work in a managerial or executive capacity (L1A) or specialized knowledge capacity (L1B). Generally, the following requirements should be met:
The U.S. employer should have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company (eg. Parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate);
Both the U.S. employer and the foreign qualifying organization should be doing business for the entire duration of the L1 nonimmigrant’s stay;
The employee must have worked in managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity at the foreign company for at least 1 year within the last 3 years prior to admission to the U.S.;
The employee must be coming to the U.S. to work in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity.
Managerial capacity is defined by the regulations as one wherein the employee primarily:
Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
Has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization) if another employee or other employees are directly supervised; if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority. A first-line supervisor is not considered to be acting in a managerial capacity merely by virtue of the supervisor's supervisory duties unless the employees supervised are professional.
Executive capacity is defined by the regulations as one wherein the employee primarily:
Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
Specialized knowledge capacity is one wherein the employee possesses specialized knowledge 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.
Foreign companies may send an employee on L1 nonimmigrant status to open a new affiliate office in the U.S. in which case, additional requirements should be met.
L1 nonimmigrants are usually allowed a maximum initial stay of 3 years except for those who will open a new office, who are granted an initial stay of 1 year. Extensions may be granted in 2 year increments for a maximum of 7 years for L1A nonimmigrants and 5 years for L1B nonimmigrants. Family of L1 nonimmigrants may accompany the principal on L2 status and the spouse may apply for work authorization.
If you are a U.S. employer who intends to transfer a manager, executive or specialized knowledge employee from your foreign affiliate to your U.S. office, or are an employee who intends to apply for a L1 nonimmigrant classification, feel free to contact the Law Office of Carlo Borja so we can assist you in the process.
Intracompany Managers or Executives (L1A) and Specialized Knowledge Employees (L1B)
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Carlo Franco L. Borja is a licensed attorney in California and is authorized to represent clients in immigration matters nationwide. Based in Southern California, the immigration law firm serves clients mainly in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County including, but not limited to: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, Eagle Rock, El Monte, El Segundo, Gardena, Glendale, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Habra, La Mirada, La Puente, La Verne, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Palos Verdes, Paramount, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Redondo Beach, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Temple City, Torrance, Vernon, Walnut, West Covina, Hollywood, Westlake Village, Whittier, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Santa Ana, Stanton, Tustin, Westminster, Adelanto, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Hesperia, Highland, Loma Linda, Montclair, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, San Bernardino, Upland, Victorville, Corona, Eastvale, Hemet, Indio, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Moreno Valley. Murrieta, Norco, Perris, Palm Springs, Riverside, Temecula and surrounding areas. Filipino Immigration lawyer representing clients in all US states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
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