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L-1 Visa-Intracompany Transferees


The L-1 visa is available to international companies with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate office(s) in the U.S. This visa category allows companies to temporarily bring their foreign employees to work in the U.S offices. There are two L-1 visa types: L-1A for managers and executives, and L-1B for specialized knowledge personnel.

Main Requirement:

  • The trade must be international in scope: at least 50% of the total volume of international trade must be between the U.S. and the trader's treaty country.
  • The overseas company must be "the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate" of the U.S. company and is required to be doing business in the U.S. and in another country during the whole period of the transfer.

L-1 Blanket Petitions

Large multinational organizations may use the blanket petition program. This program allows the company to obtain only one approval from the USCIS for all their L-1 transferees. The initial period of approval is three years and can be converted into an indefinite period of approval after an extension is filed at the end of the initial period. The following are blanket petition requirements:

  • The petitioner and each of the qualifying organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services;
  • The petitioner has an office in the United States which 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

Family members

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of the L-1 visa holder are eligible to be admitted to the U.S. in L-2 status. Only spouses may apply for employment authorization for the time allotted their L-1 visa holder but both spouses and children may study in the U.S.