Who May Qualify:
L-1A is for intracompany transferees working as a manager or
L-1B is for intracompany transferees working as a "specialized
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).
- 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
- 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;
- Must engage in the required duties in the United
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
Interest Waiver (NIW).
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.
Generally, the L-2 children cannot work
while the L-2 spouses are permitted
L-2 holders can attend schools while maintaining their L-2
- No numerical limitations exist.
Individual L-1 Petition
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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