An L-1 visa allows for intra-company transfers and is the method by which foreign workers can come to the U.S. temporarily to work on behalf of the foreign company. To qualify for an L-1, the employee must hold a managerial or executive capacity role or must possess specialized knowledge or capacity to do a particular job essential to the U.S. subsidiary.
The L-1 employee, also referred to as a transferee, must have worked for the parent company for at least 1 of the last 3 years. The employee must be coming to perform work consistent with the job that she had in the home country.
If the transferee is an executive or managerial employee, the L-1 can last for as long as 7 years. If the basis of the L-1 visa is specialized knowledge, the limit is 5 years. If the U.S. subdiary is a well established company, the initial L-1 visa will last 3 years. If the subsidiary is a "start-up," the visas will be given out in 1 year increments. At the end of 1 year, the company must establish that the business plan of the new company has continued and that the employee/transferee's role continues.
Obtaining an L-1 employee visa can be complicated and difficult. If you would like to discuss the possibility of helping you or your employee obtain a transferee visa, feel free to give us a call at (314) 961-8200 or fill out our contact form.