The L-1 Visa

An L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa document used to enter and work in the United States for a period of up to seven years. L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both a home country and the United States, or which intends to open a new office in the United States while maintaining its home country presence. The L-1 visa (L-2 for the worker's spouse and family) allows the worker to enter the United States to work for the same employer after having worked abroad for a related entity for at least one continuous year in the past three years.  During this time, the employee would have had to have worked as either a either a Manager/Executive or a Specialized Knowledge Employee and in order to be eligible for the L-1 visa, the employee must continue to work in one of these capacities.

General requirements for a Manager/Executive: An executive or a manager should have supervisory responsibility for professional staff and/or for a key function, department or subdivision of the employer. He/she must plan, organize, direct, and control an organization's major functions and work through other employees to achieve the organization's goals. Individuals who primarily perform the tasks necessary to produce the product(s) or provide the service(s) of an organization are not employed in an executive or managerial capacity. Duties should be related to operational or policy management.

General requirements for a Specialized Knowledge Employee: A person should have knowledge of the company's products/services, research, systems, proprietary techniques, management, or procedures. Knowledge which is widely held which is readily available in the United States job market is not specialized for purposes of L classification. The level of knowledge required and the employment of the specific alien must directly relate to the proprietary interest of the petitioner. To be proprietary, the knowledge must relate to something which relates exclusively to the petitioner's business. Persons whose general knowledge and expertise enable them to merely produce a product or provide a service are not eligible for this visa.

Immigration law can be complex, and you may not be familiar with all of your immigration options. The foregoing is not meant to be construed as legal advice. The Normandy Law Group has attorneys and lawyers in major metropolitan areas, including New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Charlotte, Los Angeles, to counsel on your immigration options.

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