L-1 Visa

Individuals who work for multinational companies may qualify for L-1 non-immigrant work visas. The individual must have worked for at least one year of the last three years for a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of a US employer. Both the US and foreign company must share common ownership by the same entity.

There are two types of L-1 visas: the L-1A, which is for executives and managers, and the L-1B, for workers with specialized knowledge.

 

L-1A:

--An “Executive” directs the management of the company or a major part or function of the company.

 

--A “Manager” directs the organization, a department, or a function of the organization.

 

A multinational executive or manager may work in the United States in L-1A status for up to seven years. Many choose to apply for permanent residency as an EB-1, Multinational Executive or Manager.

 

L-1B:

--“Specialized knowledge” refers to employees with (1) a specialized knowledge of the company’s products and their applications, and (2) an advanced or proprietary knowledge of the company’s processes or procedures.

 

An employee of a multinational company may work in L-1B status for up to five years. Some choose to apply for permanent residency through Labor Certification during that time.