L-1 Intracompany Transferee

L-1 Basics

The L-1 classification is a nonimmigrant status. It allows for the intracompany transfer of a foreign employee from a foreign entity to their U.S. company. The U.S. company might be the parent, affiliate, subsidiary or branch of the foreign entity. The qualifying relationship between the two entities is generous so an intelligent analysis of your particular situation is important to determine a potential qualifying organization’s eligibility. Dependents of an L-1 can be a spouse and any children. Dependents can obtain L-2 status and the L-2 spouse may apply for employment authorization.

The Two Types of L-1

The L-1 status is split into two distinct branches: L-1A and L-1B.

  1. An L-1A is for the intracompany transfer of a manager or executive from the foreign entity to the U.S entity.

  2. An L-1B is reserved for the foreign employee with specialized knowledge of the organization’s interests.

What's the Time Limit on L-1?

An L-1A can be granted for a maximum of seven years: three years initially then two two-year extensions. An L-1B is approvable for a maximum of five years: three years initially then two additional years in one extension.

Are New Office Situations Allowed?

An L-1 is also obtainable for a new office in the U.S. Therefore, L-1 does not require that the U.S. company have previously existed provided a qualifying relationship now exists between the foreign entity and the new office in the U.S. New office petitions have a maximum L-1 validity of one year initially but extension requests may be filed later. Regardless of whether the U.S. entity is a new office situation or not, the foreign employee being transferred must have been employed continuously in a full-time capacity by the foreign entity as a manager, executive or in the specialized knowledge capacity for no less than one year within the three years immediately preceding the filing of the L-1 petition.

Speak with an Immigration Attorney

Sunil C. Patel Immigration Law understands the complexity of the L-1 process and are here to help. We are committed to honest, cost-effective immigration advice and services in every case. Contact us for more information about how we can assist you. Also read about what some of our clients have to say about our representation.