L-1 Intra-Company Transfer

L1 visas are available for workers of foreign companies who want to transfer to a U.S. office or establish a new office in the United States.


L-1A visas are available for intracompany transferees who work in managerial or executive positions in a company that is located outside the United States. Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight, and managerial capacity generally refers to the ability of the employee to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization. It may also refer to the employee’s ability to manage an essential function of the organization at a high level, without direct supervision of others.

To qualify for an L-1A visa, you must generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately before your admission to the United States and be seeking to enter the United States to provide service in an executive or managerial capacity for a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

L1A to Establish New Offices

This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.

For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to establish a new office, they must show that:

  • They have a physical location for the new office;
  • The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years before filing the petition; and
  • The new office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.

Blanket Petitions

Certain organizations may establish the required intracompany relationship in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions by filing a blanket petition. Eligibility for blanket L certification may be established if:

  • The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services;
  • The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more;
  • The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates; and
  • The petitioner along with the other qualifying organizations meet one of the following criteria:
  • Have obtained at least 10 L-1 approvals during the previous 12-month period;
  • Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or
  • Have a U.S. work force of at least 1,000 employees.

The approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that an employee will be granted L-1A classification. It does, however, provide the employer with the flexibility to transfer eligible employees to the United States quickly and with short notice without having to file an individual petition with USCIS.


L-1B visas are available for intracompany transferees who work in positions requiring specialized knowledge relating to the organization’s interests. Specialized knowledge either means knowledge you have about the petitioning organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization’s processes and procedures.

The classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with this specialized knowledge from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send a specialized knowledge employee to the United States to help establish one.

The Process

The process to obtain an L-1 visa can be very complicated, and retaining an attorney who thoroughly understands the process can help ensure that you get the visa you need as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Step 1: Petitioner (Employer) files Form I-129

Step 2: Petitioner receives receipt notice

Step 3: Biometrics services notice, if applicable

Step 4: Interview, if required.

Step 5: Receive decision

Spouse and Children

We can assist L1 workers’ spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age to seek admission in L-2 nonimmigration classification. If approved, they will generally be granted the same period of stay as the employee.


The employment immigration attorneys at the Scott Law Firm are committed to helping clients through the immigration process. These petitions can be quite complex, so it is important to have the help of a skilled attorney.

To learn more about the process of applying for an L1 visa or your immigration options in general,contact our immigration attorneys in Baton Rouge, LA today.

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