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L-1A Non-Immigrant Visa

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The L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification allows companies seeking global growth and expansion in the U.S to transfer their executives or managers temporarily to work at their existing U.S. office or to set up a new office. It is the employer who files the petition on the behalf of the prospective employee and has the burden to show that all of the requirements are satisfied.

Qualifying as an Employer

The U.S. employer must show that:

  • It has a qualifying relationship with a foreign company which is either the parent company, the affiliate, the branch, or the subsidiary, and
  • Both the U.S. and the foreign companies are doing business (engaged in regular, systematic, and continuous provision of services or goods) in the U.S. and at least in another country directly or through the qualifying organization during the entire period of the employee’s temporary assignment in the U.S.
  • Qualifying as an Executive or a Manager

The U.S. employer must show that the prospective employee:

  • Has been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding the year of the employee’s transfer to the U.S., and
  • Will be transferred to the U.S. in an executive or managerial capacity.

An Executive is generally an employee who retains ample discretion on the decision-making on the management of the organization’s operations with little direction.

A Manager may be one who fulfils an essential function of the organization or supervises and control the work of professionals or middle-managers.

Additional Requirements for a New Office

If the foreign employer is seeking to transfer the executive or the manager to set up a new office, the employer must show that:

  • The new office will have the ability to support the executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition
  • The employee has been employed as an executive or a manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition.

The employee is not required to hold the same type of position at the foreign company and at the U.S. office.

Validity of the L-1A nonimmigrant visa

The L-1A nonimmigrant visa is generally issued for one year for a new office in the U.S. (less than a year) which can be extended for another two years and not to exceed seven years. Any time the executive or the manager spends outside the U.S. can be recovered towards the seven-year limit.

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©Scott Global Migration Law Group, 2017

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