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Visa for Intra-Company Transfer in the US

Visa for Intra-Company Transfer in the US

The visa for intra-company transfer in the US, or the L-1 visa, allows a US employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated offices abroad to one of its offices inside the country. This type of visa also enables a foreign firm that does not have an affiliated office in the US to send an executive or a manager to the country with the aim of forming one. If you do not qualify for this type of visa, you might want to apply for an investor visa

residence permit in USA is quite easy to obtain through an investor visa.

 Quick Facts  
 Special regulations applicable (YES/NO)  Yes, specific requirements apply to the employee and employing company

 Special visa required (YES/NO)

 Yes, the L-1 visa must be obtained for employee relocation to the USA

 Availability for EU residents (YES/NO)

Yes, the visa can be obtained by EU nationals 

 Availability for non-EU residents (YES/NO)  Yes, the visa must be obtained by non-EU nationals
 Requirement for employer to apply for the visa (YES/NO)

Yes, the employer must apply for the US L-1 visa 

 Employment conditions in the USA

 The employee must have worked for the same group of companies for at least one year within the past 3 years before applying for the visa

 Duration to obtain the visa (approx.)

 The duration varies from a few weeks to maximum 4 months

 Access to permanent residency (YES/NO)

 No, the intra-company visa cannot be used to secure a Green Card for the USA

 Visa available for company managers (YES/NO)

Yes, company managers can obtain L-1A visas 

 Availability of the intra-company visa for skilled workers (YES/NO) Yes, skilled and specialized workers can qualify for the L-1B visa 
 Specific experience/qualification requirements (YES/NO)

 Yes, a minimum experience of one year

 Limitation quotas on L-1 visas (YES/NO)

 ICT visas are not capped

Validity of US  intra-company transfer visa 

The L-1 visa has a duration of one to 3 years 

 Possibility to extend visa (YES/NO)

 Yes, the L-1 visa can be extended two times

 Support in applying for ICT visa (YES/NO)  YES, our immigration lawyers in USA can assist in applying for L-1 visas.

Intra-company transfer in the USA under the L-1 visa

The L-1 visa was created in 1970 according to information here and is a non-immigrant visa available only for a manager, executive, or anyone with specialized knowledge qualified to be transferred from a foreign company to a US company. The US business must be the foreign business’ parent, subsidiary, or affiliate. The transferred employee must occupy the same position within the US organization.

There are two types of visas under which intra-company transfers in the USA become available, namely:

  • the L-1A visa for a person who will work as a management or executive;
  • the L-1B visa if the individual will work as a person with specialized knowledge.

A managerial capacity implies:

  • administering the company, or one of its departments or subdivisions;
  • supervising and managing the work of other management, professional, or staff members;
  • take charge of a department or other division of the organization that performs a crucial role.

 When it comes to executive capacity the main purpose is to oversee the management of the business or a significant part or function of the company.

If you need more information about the eligibility conditions of the two types of visas, you can rely on our immigration lawyers in Miami.

Requirements for the Intra-Company Transfer Visa in the US

In order to qualify for the visa for intra-company transfer, there are certain requirements that the employer has to meet. These are:

•    To have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent firm, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, known as qualifying organizations); and
•    To be in business, presently or in the near future, as an employer in the US and a minimum one other country directly or by a qualifying organization while the visa candidate will live in the US. Our immigration lawyers in Miami can give you more details on this matter. 

Here is also an infographic on this type of visa:

The requirements for the employee who applies for the L-1 visa for intra-company transfer are:

•    To have been working for a qualifying organization outside the US for one full year in the last three years before his or her admission in the country; and
•    To have the intention of coming to the US in order to render service as an executive or manager for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

The investor visa in the US, also known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, is also available to applicants and their immediate families (spouses and children under the age of 21) who engage in a US business and maintain or create 10 full-time, permanent jobs for US citizens. These are some of the conditions associated with this visa, so please get in touch with our lawyers for complete details. We can also help you apply for USA citizenship. 

Intra-company transfer visas are also available for those who relocate to USA from UK.

New office in the US

If the foreign employer wants to send an employee to the US as an executive or manager to launch a new office, the employer also has to prove that:

•    Adequate physical locations for the new office were secured. Our immigration attorneys in the US can help you with this issue;
•    The employee has been working as an executive or manager for one full year in the last three years before filing the visa application; and
•    The new office in US will ensure an executive or managerial job within one year after the L-1 visa approval. 

If you are interested in USA citizenship, you can send your questions to our lawyers. Due to the rising incidence of marriage fraud in visa applications, USCIS gives these visa cases extra attention. Learn how to submit an application for a spouse visa to the US from our immigration specialists. Protect yourself and your life partner by using specialized services that enable you both to live here legally.

Who must file for the visa?

Intra-company transfer in the USA is subject to a special procedure unlike filing for a work visa with the prospect of obtaining a Green Card. Specifically, the US company must apply for the transfer of the foreign employee. In the case of foreign-owned businesses, it is also common for the entity located abroad to decide or approve the application for the L-1 visa.

Depending on your case, if you need assistance in filing for an L-1 visa, you can get in touch with our lawyers who can help you.

Salary requirements under the L-1 visa for the USA

Intra-company transfer visas for the USA do not require the local employer to pay a specific wage to the foreign employee. The compensation must be, however, consistent with the position and work title in order to qualify for some visa categories. Also, laws governing the minimum wage at state and federal levels will still apply to the US employer.

Considering this is a case-to-case scenario, if you are a US employer seeking to transfer employees, you can request the advice of our immigration lawyers who can guide you properly.

Advantages of the US intra-company transfer visa

Intra-company transfers in the USA come with certain benefits for both employee and employer. In the case of the first, the perks are:

  • the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may travel with the employee to the United States;
  • as dependents, the spouse and unmarried children would be granted the L2 status.
  • the spouse can also apply for employment and work in the United States under the conditions imposed by state laws;
  • children can be enrolled in US schools to start, continue, or complete their education.

Also, the L-1 visa is subject to the premium issuance rules, meaning it can be released in 15 days, provided an additional fee is paid.

Compared to other types of working visas, intra-company transfer visa applications for the United States are not capped. We also have a video on this type of visa:

Duration of visas obtained for intra-company transfers in the USA

Employees who are qualified and come to the US to open a new office can initially stay in the US with a visa for intra-company transfer for a maximum of one year. All the other employees who are qualified can initially stay in the country for up to three years. For L-1 intra-company transfer visa holders, requests for stay extensions could be issued in increments of a maximum of two supplementary years, until the visa holder stays for up to seven years in the US.

L-1 visas have different validity periods, as follows:

  • the L- 1A visa for managers and executives has an initial validity period of 3 years;
  • the L-1B visa also has a validity period of 3 years;
  • the L-1A visa can renewed for 4 more years, totaling 7 years;
  • the L-1B visa can renewed for 2 more years, up to a total of 5.

If you need assistance to complete an intra-company transfer in the USA, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

As a Canadian, if you have already applied for this visa and are now interested in how to immigrate to US from Canada, our team can answer your questions.

We are qualified immigration lawyers in the United States and we can help you apply a for residence permit in USA. If you need to know more about this type of visa, please contact us