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L-1: INTRACOMPANY TRANSFEREES

The L-1 category applies to aliens who work for a company with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate in the U.S. These workers come to the U.S. as intracompany transferees who are coming temporarily to perform services either in: a managerial or executive capacity (L-1A) or who entail specialized knowledge (L-1B) for a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the same employer that employed the professional abroad.

L-1 is available only to an applicant who: 

(1) has been employed abroad continuously for one year during the last three years; 

(2) by a firm or corporation or other legal entity; 

(3) in a managerial or executive capacity or a capacity that involves specialized knowledge; and 

(4) seeks admission to the U.S. to be employed in one of such capacities by a qualifying organization that is a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the foreign employer.

Blanket L Petition 

Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition. Eligibility for blanket L certification may be established if: 

  • The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services; 

  • The petitioner has an office in the United States which has been doing business for one year or more; 

  • The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and 

  • The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations meet one of the following criteria: 

  • Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period; 

  • Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or 

  • Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

Period of Stay 

Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years.  

L-1A (managerial or executive transferee) is limited to seven consecutive years, the L-1B to five consecutive years. 

Dependents 

Dependents (i.e. spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of L-1 workers are entitled to L-2 status with the same restrictions as the principal. Dependents may be students in the U.S. while remaining in L-2 status, however, dependents may not be employed under the L-2 classification.