An L-1A is an alien coming temporarily to perform services in a managerial or executive capacity for the same corporation or firm, or for the branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of the employer who employed him abroad for one continuous year within the three-year period, immediately preceding the filing of the petition, in an executive or managerial capacity.
If an L-1A subsequently seeks legal permanent residence status he may apply through EB-1 without the need for a labor certification.
General Qualifications of the Employer and Employee. To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, the employer must:
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company (parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively referred to as qualifying organizations); and
- Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States as an L-1. While the business must be viable, there is no requirement that it be engaged in international trade.
Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.
To qualify, the named employee must also:
- Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her 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.
Executive capacity generally refers to the employee’s ability to make decisions of wide latitude without much oversight.
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.
Qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to an additional two years, until the employee has reached the maximum limit of seven years.
New Office. For foreign employers seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager to establish a new office, the employer must also show that:
- The employer has secured sufficient physical premises to house the new office;
- The employee has been employed as an executive or manager for one continuous year in the three years preceding the filing of the petition; and
- The intended U.S. office will support an executive or managerial position within one year of the approval of the petition.
Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed a maximum initial stay of one (1) year.