L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager

In today’s global marketplace there are a significant number of companies that do business in more than one country. Having a presence in multiple countries creates a need for transferring employees between those locations. Governments, like ours, that are interested in competing in the global marketplace have immigration laws that make this possible. This article will discuss briefly the L-1A Intracompany Transferee Visa, for Managers and Executives, that is available to qualifying company petitioners seeking to relocate high ranking foreign personnel (beneficiaries) to the United States.

8 C.F.R. §214.2(L)(1)(i) states that:

“an alien who 1) within the preceding three years has been employed abroad for one continuous year by 2) aqualifying organization may be admitted temporarily to the United States to be employed by a 3) parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of that employer in a 4) managerial or executive capacity…”

I included the numbering and bold face type to emphasize the four major elements a petition for Intracompany Transferee must prove to the government before an L-1A visa will be granted.

On first read, the code seems simple enough. However, embedded in each of the emboldened legal terms are lengthy statutory definitions, previous appeals decisions, advisory opinions, the Adjudicator’s Field Manual, etc. all contributing to the criteria used to scrutinize whether the petitioner, and the beneficiary, meet the requirements of this statute. The average L-1A petition consists of about three hundred pages. Twenty of those are the I-129L USCIS application itself. Another ten pages makes up the legal basis for your argument and the introduction of the exhibits, and the rest of the pages are evidence presented in those exhibits.

It is well established in immigration law that the burden of proving each of the above elements rests squarely on the shoulders of the petitioner and his skilled immigration lawyer. The key to success in this process is selecting and properly organizing the evidence that best satisfies the elements set forth in the code above. A solid legal argument writes itself when it’s backed up by convincing probative documentation. It is in the evidence gathering stage of the process where the petitioner is most useful. A good petitioning company representative will listen carefully to what documentation her lawyer is requesting and provide exactly that. If an exact match is not possible, then the company representative will work closely with the attorney to select a next-best option. Evidence that is created solely for the petition, such as business plans or organization charts, should be created in a professional format using company logos and be consistent with the petitioner’s corporate image and visual representation guidelines. Presentation goes a long way.

An advantage of the L-1A over other temporary work visas is that it will allow a petitioner and beneficiary to have what is known as “dual intent.” Dual intent visas allow a beneficiary to pursue a permanent resident work visa (green card) without repercussion while in L-1A temporary status in the United States as long as he is sponsored by a company willing to petition on his behalf.

Additionally, family members of L-1A beneficiaries are permitted to enter the United States as L-2 beneficiaries. There is no application process for the L-2 other than consular processing. Work permits may be obtained for family members so that they may seek employment while in the United States without the need of a corporate sponsored work visa.

The L-1A is a great option for multinational employers looking to transfer managers or executives to the U.S. Future posts will go into more detail regarding the L-1A petition and the types of documentary evidence typically used to satisfy adjudicating officers.


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