US L-1 intracompany visas-an alternative for international employers

Such US visas enable employers to bring qualified foreigners of any international firm to live and work in the US. L-1 intracompany transferee visa—A US L-1 intracompany transferee visa is an immigration category that helps an employer in the US to transfer any executive (including those in the managerial position) to its offices in the US from its affiliated international offices.

Moreover, a foreign firm or a company not having its affiliated office in the US can also use this type of US visa to send its manager or its executive to the US for setting up of its affiliated office there.

Two types of L-1 visas—

• L-1 A visa for managers/executives;

• L-1B visa for employees having specialized knowledge.

The concerned employee or worker for US L-1A visa as well as US L-1 B visa needs to have employed overseas for a minimum of one of the three previous years for a parent, affiliate, subsidiary or branch of the US employer.

Eligibility for employees to qualify as US L-1 intracompany transferee— Employees, manager or executives having specialized knowledge are eligible for US L-1 intracompany transferee visas. When we say manager, we mean to include any employee managing essential business functions of a business within any qualifying organization. And employees with specialized knowledge mean those having special knowledge with regard to the service, production, equipment, management or other interests of the organization in the international or foreign markets.

Specialized knowledge includes

• Knowledge valuable to competitiveness of the employer in the market place;

• Knowledge gained from key job assignments outside the US and have increased productivity, financial standing, image and competitiveness of the employer;

• Knowledge of a process/product which is not easily taught or transferred to any other person;

• Knowledge which cannot gained without prior experience with overseas operations of the employer.

Qualifying criteria for companies wanting to transfer workers to the US— Companies fulfilling definitions (of Immigration Service’s) of a parent, subsidiary/affiliates, branch qualify for filing petition for a US L-1 intracompany transferee visa.

A point worth notable here is that both the US and the foreign operations need to be doing business for the entire period when the employee on a US L-1 visa is working in the US.

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