Learn about how your company can utilize the L-1A visa to transfer employees from foreign offices to US ones. Chugh, LLP Join Immigration Attorney Joy Dungca shares important details on what is required of US employers and employees to qualify for the L-1A visa. This conversation was recorded on August 26, 2021.
The L-1A visa allows US employers to transfer an executive or manager from an affiliated foreign office to work in one of its US offices.
To qualify for the L-1A visa, the United States employer must:
US petitioning companies must show that they have a qualifying relationship with a foreign entity to sponsor an individual on an L-1A visa. This means that they must show that either the US company or foreign entity has a direct or indirect legal right or authority to control the management or operations of the other.
This can be accomplished by showing that:
While documentation may vary by jurisdiction of the foreign entity, you can demonstrate that a qualifying relationship exists with items like:
Both the US and the foreign entities involved must be in business for at least one year before sponsoring the L-1A employee. This means they must regularly and systematically provide goods or services. The mere presence of an agent or lease will not suffice. For example, a business cannot be merely incorporated in a US state. It must also have business activity there.
Businesses can prove that they are doing business with documentation including:
If your business has been operating for less than one year, it is still possible to sponsor an L-1A visa under the new office category. In this case, the petitioning company must prove that:
Employees are also subject to certain requirements for the L-1A visa. These include:
Employees sponsored on the L-1A visa must meet certain requirements to qualify as managers of their organization. Managers must:
To document that your L-1A employee performs managerial duties, your immigration professional may ask for documentation like:
While some requirements are related to personnel management, individuals can also qualify for an L-1A visa if they are functional managers. Functional managers may not have people reporting to them. Instead, they manage an essential function within the organization.
It is also possible to sponsor an executive on an L-1A visa. This role is for individuals that:
You can document executive roles with items like a copy of your company’s organizational structure.
For help sponsoring your employee on an L-1A visa, or for help understanding which visa may be the best fit, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.