When considering the multitude of visa options for entering and living in the United States, determining which one best fits your situation can be a challenge. Foreign nationals who are seeking entry into the United States may work with their employer as part of a transfer, where they are moved from a foreign branch to a US branch of the same company as part of an L visa. For workers who are executives or managers, the L-1A visa provides options for this transfer.
L-1A Visa Employer Qualifications
An employer can transfer an employee to a US branch of a foreign company (or send someone to start up a new branch in the US) under an L-1A visa, but only by fulfilling certain criteria. The petitioning employer must have a valid relationship with the foreign branch that the employer is sending the worker to, and the company must provide goods or services within the United States. A company that has been built in the US but does not actually offer services or products does not meet the requirements for L-1A visas.
L-1A Visa Employee Qualifications
Employees who are moving to the United States as part of an L-1A visa must also meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for the visa. The worker who is being transferred as an executive or manager must have worked for the petitioning employer for at least one of the previous three years. In addition, the employee must serve in a leadership position, and this position must exist within one year of developing the business (if a new branch is being created in the US).
One of the most challenging aspects of getting an L-1A visa application approved is proving management or executive duties. In general, an employee is considered to be a manager or executive if the employee’s main role is to supervise other staff—and, perhaps more importantly, that no one is supervising the employee (though the employee may still receive generalized direction from superiors like a board of directors for the company as a whole). In other words, the employee must lead a chain of command. This may occur by putting the employee in charge of a department or division where the worker must be responsible for the work, evaluation, and hiring of staff.
Management positions tend to establish the goals and policies of the organization. They also have wide latitude in discretionary decision-making and are responsible for upholding company policy and enforcing rules upon the staff. An employee must be able to prove that these tasks are part of the L-1A job in order to qualify for the visa.
Reach Out To An Experienced Immigration Attorney
Qualifying for an L-1A visa and proving that you possess sufficient managerial or executive experience can be challenging, and that is why it is important to work with someone who is familiar with the visa process. The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge can assist you in proving your specialized knowledge and set you up for success in being approved for an L-1A visa. Reach out to discuss your situation by calling 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online.