On November 15, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released Policy Memorandum (PM) clarifying the L-1 one-year foreign employment requirement. This PM is effective immediately.
What is an L-1 Petition?
The L-1 visa is designed for “Intracompany Transferees.” It is a temporary, non-immigrant petition which allows a person to work in the United States provided they:
- Will be transferred from a foreign entity to a U.S. parent, branch, affiliate, subsidiary or joint venture of a foreign company; and
- Have worked for the foreign entity for at least 1 year within the past 3 years prior to filing of the L-1.
What does the PM clarify?
The PM clarifies the following:
- The Beneficiary must be physically outside the US to meet the continuous 1 year of qualifying employment.
- Brief trips to the US for business or pleasure do not interrupt the continuous 1 year.
- Time spent by the Beneficiary working in the US for the qualifying Petitioner results in an adjustment of the 3-year period.
- Time spent by the Beneficiary in the US in these instances will not result in an adjustment of the 3-year period:
- As a dependent of another visa type
- As a student
- Unemployed or working for an unrelated employer
- At the time of the initial L-1 petition filing, the Petitioner and Beneficiary must meet all L-1 requirements.
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