Intracompany Transferees: L-1 Status
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
for a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the same employer that employed the professional abroad. The employee must have been employed abroad for the corporation, firm, or other legal entity (or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof) on a full-time basis for at least one continuous year out of the last three-year period to qualify. There is currently no annual cap on L-1 visas.
If the employer wishes to speed up the processing of the petition, they may wish to use USCIS’ premium processing procedure. Also,the company can apply for a blanket L-1 visa which allows individuals to file a copy of the approved blanket petition instead of filing for a regular L-1 visa. In order to be granted a blanket petition, the USCIS must determine that the company qualifies for the intracompany transferee visa.
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The employer is not required to obtain a labor certification prior to petitioning in the L-1 category. Compensation level is not prescribed, but U.S. income must be sufficient to prevent the alien from becoming a public charge.
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, Dependent spouses may apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Petition Document Requirements
A U.S. employer or foreign employer may file the I-129 petition, but a foreign employer must have a legal business in the U.S.
The petition must be filed with:
- Evidence of the qualifying relationship between the U.S. and the foreign employer which address ownership and control, such as an annual report, copies of articles of incorporation, financial statements, or stock certificates;
- A letter from the alien’s foreign qualifying employer detailing his or her dates of employment, job duties, qualifications and salary and demonstrating that the alien worked for the employer abroad for at least one continuous year within the three-year period before the filing of the petition in an executive or managerial capacity or in a position involving specialized knowledge; and
- A detailed description of the proposed job duties and qualifications and evidence the proposed employment is in an executive or managerial capacity or in a position involving specialized knowledge.
A petitioner may apply for an extension of an individual L-1 petition using Form I-129. Supporting documentation is not required, except in those cases involving new offices or when requested. For details, please refer to 8 CFR 214.2(l)(14)(i).