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L-1 (Intracompany Transferee)


Attorney Fee

Filing Fee $320.00
Premium Process $1,000.00


Who May Qualify:

L-1A is for intracompany transferees working as a manager or executive;

L-1B is for intracompany transferees working as a "specialized knowledge" employee;

L-2 is for the spouse or children of an L-1 visa holder.

The transferee needs to be employed continuously for one year during the preceding three years (exception: half year for a transferee under a blanket petition).

Employment Requirement:

  1. May be employed in the U.S. in any one of the three capacities (manager, executive, or "specialized knowledge" employee), and not necessarily in the same capacity in which he or she was employed abroad;
  2. Must remain a full-time employee of the petitioner's worldwide organization and must work significant amount of time (if not full time) for the petitioner's U.S. entity;
  3. Must engage in the required duties in the United States primarily.

Route to Immigration:

L-1/L-2 visa holders may be eligible for the greed card under the employment-based "first preference" category (EB-1 Multinational Managers and Executives), if he/she was also a manager or executive abroad.

"Specialized knowledge" employee may consider to transfer to H-1B or apply for the green card under the employment-based "second preference" (EB-2) category and Labor Certification or National Interest Waiver (NIW).

L-1/L-2 Restrictions

  • Five/Seven Year Limit:

The L-1A (manager or executive) is limited to seven consecutive years, and the L-1B (specialized knowledge employee) to five consecutive years.

The employee is ineligible for L status again until he or she has lived outside the U.S. for a total of one year.

  • L-2 work and study:

Generally, the L-2 children cannot work while the L-2 spouses are permitted to work.

L-2 holders can attend schools while maintaining their L-2 status.

  • No numerical limitations exist.

Procedures for Individual L-1 Petition

Petition Filing

The L-1 petition is filed to the CIS by the employer for L-1 visa and admission, extension, and change of status to L-1. NAFTA permits Canadians to file the L-1 petition with authorities other than the CIS, such as the U.S. immigration officers at the border.

The CIS will make decision on a completed L-1 petition within 30 days of filing. Premium processing is now available for a decision within 15 calendar days.

Documents to File

The petitioner need to file Form I-129 and the L supplement with the detailed information regarding the following:

  • Employing organizations and eligibility evidence;
  • Employment history;
  • Prospective employment and classification;
  • Employee's qualification, such as education, training, or experience;

Additional information is typically required for a new office, which may include the following:

  • Lease or deed, office building plan, construction contract for the new office;
  • Ability to support the manager or executive for a year;
  • Staffing-financial-operation-expansion plan;
  • Financial ability (oversea and U.S. investment) to pay for the business operation;
  • Corporate bank statements, tax returns, or financial accounting statement.

L-1, L-2 Visa Application

L-1/2 visas will be issued by the consular office based upon the original L-1 approval notice (Form I-797) for a period of up to three years (or only one year in the case of a new office).

Change of Status to L-1

The change of status to L-1 is effectively accomplished by the approval notice (Form I-797). If the person leaves the U.S. while the application is pending, he or she needs to obtain the L-1 visa at the consulate for re-entry.

L-1 Extension

In general, there is no need to submit supporting documentation for L-1 extension application, except in the case of a new office.

If the L-1 employee came in to work for a new office on a one-year L-1 visa, the extension application requires a new petition with the following new evidence:

  • Evidence to show that the business is still going, and the employing organization is still eligible;
  • Statement of the L-1 employee's past and future duties;
  • Evidence of the new office's viability, such as, the current staffing situation, operational and financial status.

Denial and Appeal

If the individual petition for L-1 visa and admission is denied, the petitioner has the right to appeal.

However, the petitioner cannot appeal the denial of extension or change of status. In such case, the beneficiary needs to depart and apply for an L-1 visa for re-entry.

Procedures for Blanket L-1 Petition

A blanket L-1 petition may be sought for certain eligible commercial organizations. The petition is to be filed with the USCIS, and the approved petition will be valid  for three years and may be extended indefinitely for qualifying organizations.

Eligible Companies:

A company must meet the following conditions for the blanket petition:

  • Engaged in commercial trade or service (nonprofit organizations are excluded);
  • Has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more;
  • Has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and
  • Has successfully petitioned for at least ten ''L'' managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals during the previous twelve months; or has U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $ 25 million; or has a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

Eligible Employees:

Managers, executives, and specialized knowledge professionals, who have worked for the company for at least six months during the past three years., may be admitted to the U.S. under the blanket petition.

Additional Documentation for Blanket Petition:

  • Corporate statement stating the commercial and for-profit nature of the company that has been in business in the U.S. for more than a year;
  • Statement as to two of three qualifying factors: (1) combined annual sales of the U.S. entities are at least $ 25 million; (2)  U.S. workforce of more than 1,000; (3) More than 10 successful petition for managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals within the last 12 months.

Visa Procedures Under Blanket Petition:

To seek an L visa, change of status, or extension of stay, the applicant needs to present to a U.S. consul or file with the CIS office that approved the blanket petition, the Form I-129S (Certificate of Eligibility) and the Form I-797 (Blanket-petition approval). Additional documentation is normally needed to affirm eligibility and qualification of the applicant.

For visa application, consular officers make the decision on whether an applicant is eligible under the blanket petition. If the visa is denied, that decision is final, but the applicant is then permitted to file an individual L-1 petition again.  The denial of an individual petition is appealable.

NAFTA permits Canadians to seek admission directly with the border authorities.


If you may qualify for an L visa,  email or call to schedule a case evaluation.


923 E. Valley Blvd, Suite 112A, San Gabriel, CA 91776  Tel: (626) 286-6558 Fax: (626) 573-9053 Email: info@jianglaw.com  

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