In Episode 1 we discuss the characteristics and differences of L-1A and L-1B Intracompany Transferee visas and the Employment Based First Preference multinational manager green card sponsorship process.
In this quick take article, we break down what employers need to know about these options for transferring and retaining employees from affiliated companies into the U.S.
L-1A Nonimmigrant Visa for Executive or Manager
The L-1A visa status provides a pathway for a multinational corporation to transfer an executive or manager from one of its foreign offices to one of its affiliated U.S. offices. Foreign companies that do not yet have an affiliated U.S. office can also transfer an executive or manager to the U.S. to establish a new office.
L-1B Nonimmigrant Visa for Employees with Specialized Knowledge
The L-1B visa status allows a multinational corporation to transfer a professional employee with “specialized knowledge” from one of its foreign offices to one of its affiliated U.S. offices. Specialized knowledge refers to either special knowledge possessed by an individual of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application to international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.
How can employers apply for an L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant visa on behalf of an employee?
Employers can file a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on behalf of their employee with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, and either be actively doing business or planning to do business as an employer in the U.S. and at least one other country for the duration of the employee’s stay in the U.S.
How do employees qualify for an L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant visa?
- Employees must have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for at least one continuous year within the three years immediately before admission to the U.S.
- For the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager visa classification, the employee must be entering the U.S. to provide professional services in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations in the U.S.
- For the L-1B Intracompany Specialized Knowledge visa classification, they must have special knowledge of the company product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests or expertise in their processes and procedures.
Employment-Based First Preference Multinational Executive or Manager Green Card Sponsorship Process
This is a fast track Green Card sponsorship process, typically applicable to those who are already in L-1A visa status. The sponsored employee must have worked for an affiliate of the sponsoring employer abroad in an executive or managerial capacity and then be working in the U.S. for the affiliate in a similar executive or managerial capacity. Employers must complete and file a Form I-140 Immigration petition on behalf of the sponsored employee with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
About Hasta La Visa, Baby: This podcast presents real world U.S. immigration law concepts by doing a deep-dive into the relationship between U.S. immigration law and fictitious characters in popular television and film.