Immigration Lawyers

L-1 Visas for Intracompany Transferees


Getting a visa based on an Intracompany Transfer of a Worker to the United States

If you work for a company that has an office in the United States, and the company is interested in transferring you to work from that office, you may be eligible for an L-1 visa as an intercompany transferee. This visa allows employers to transfer executives, managers, and specialists from a foreign office to an office in the United States.

Depending on the type of L-1 visa granted, the employee can remain in the United States for up to seven years. While there are relatively few elements to the visa application, each element requires a lot of evidence and explanation. As a result, L-1 petitions are often complex and require a great deal of time to put together.

Types of L-1 Visas

L-1A Visa for Executives and Managers: This category grants the employee a visa for three years, which can be renewed twice for two years each time. The employee must be coming to the United States to perform an executive or management role for the US company. To be approved for the visa, the company will need to file evidence of the employee’s qualifications and experience in relation to the job.

L-1B Visa for Specialist Workers: This category grants the employee a visa for three years, which can be renewed once for two years. The employee must have specialized knowledge of the company product or of company procedures and be coming to the United States for a job related to this knowledge. As with the previous visa type, the employer will need to file evidence that the employee has the training and skills necessary for the job.

L-1 Visa for a New Office in the US: If the US company has been doing business in the United States for less than one year, the employee can apply for a visa to run this new office. The visa will be granted for one year, with the possibility to renew for up to seven years. The employer will need to prove that the new business will be able to support the employee, who will work in either a managerial, executive, or specialist capacity.

Blanket L Visa: Very large companies that wish to transfer multiple employees to the United States over a long period of time can apply for a “blanket petition”. Only companies who deal in commercial trade or services are eligible for this visa, and they must have an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more. If the petition is approved, each employee needs only to request an L-1 visa from their local consulate abroad, which is a much shorter process.

There are many complex guidelines and case law about whether or not a certain job fits into one of these visa categories. We suggest speaking with an attorney who specializes in US immigration law to understand if your proposed employment fits this category.

Required Elements of an L-1 Visa Application

The employer must file the visa application on behalf of the employee they wish to bring to the United States. In order to be approved, the employer must show the following elements:

A Qualifying Relationship between the Foreign and US Employers: The foreign and US employers must be connected through a relationship such as parent/subsidiary, or where one company is a branch or affiliate of the other. The two employers do not need to be in the same field of work, however, the US employer must be currently “doing business” in the United States. The employer will need to submit evidence of the relationship, including proof of incorporation and organizational charts of each company.

At least one year of employment abroad: The employee must have been employed by the foreign company for at least one continuous year at any point within three years before the petition is filed. This previous job can be different from the job the employee is coming to the United States to perform (unless the employee is coming to the United State as a manager or executive of a new office, in which case they will need to have worked as a manager or executive at the foreign company for at least one year). The employer will need to submit evidence of this employment, such as pay slips or an employment contract.

Family of L-1 Visa Holders

Spouses and children of L-1 visa holders will receive an L-2 visa, which will allow them to live alongside the employee in the United States. While the L-2 visa does not itself permit foreigners to work, they may request work permission (EAD) from the US government.

Options to Receive Permanent Residence after the L-1

The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which means that the employee does not receive permanent residence (a “green card”) automatically. However, you can apply for a green card while you are in the United States on your L-1 visa. The most common ways to do this for a foreign worker are an EB-1 or EB-2 visa, which are designed for foreign expert workers and result in a green card upon approval.

Related articles

O-1 Visa

There is a special visa meant for extraordinary individuals. This visa is called the O-1 visa. It is a visa for people who are at

Read More »

Why work with us?


 We are US and Israeli lawyers that have a deep understanding of both cultures and therefore, can streamline your process with the US immigration authorities.


We handle your case from start to finish – from the initial consultation until your application is approved.


We believe in being transparent and efficient, updating you at every stage.