L-1 VisasDo you qualify?
What is an L1 Visa?
The L-1 visa facilitates the temporary transfer of foreign worker in the managerial, executive or specialized knowledge category to the U.S. to continue employment with an office of the same employer, its parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate. This non-immigrant visa is usually short term, and typically lasts months, to three to seven years. There are limits to renewal.
Qualifying Organization for an L1 Visa Petition
There is no restriction on the types of business that can sponsor an L1 visa – corporations (S, C, LLC etc.), partnerships, government-owned entities, non-profit, religious, or charitable organizations are all eligible. The sponsoring employer need not be U.S. owned or incorporated. There are several business entities in the United States that can offer employment to the alien – a parent company, a branch, a subsidiary, or an affiliate of the foreign company.
• Subsidiary: Means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity of which: a parent owns, directly or indirectly, more than half of the entity and controls the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, half of the entity and control the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, 50 percent of a 50-50 joint venture and has equal control and veto power over the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, less than half of the entity, but in fact controls the entity.
A firm, corporation, or other legal entity which has subsidiaries.
Few examples: 1. A foreign parent must own at least 50% of a U.S. subsidiary, and have veto powers over the subsidiary’s actions; 2. A U.S. parent must own must own at least 50% of the foreign subsidiary, and have veto powers over the subsidiary’s actions; 3. Affiliate U.S. and foreign companies must each be at least 50% owned by the same ultimate parent;
1. One of two subsidiaries both of which are owned and controlled by the same parent or individual, or
2. One of two legal entities owned and controlled by the same group of individuals, each individual owning and controlling approximately the same share or proportion of each entity, or
3. In case of a partnership that is organized in the U.S. to provide accounting services along with managerial and/or consulting services and that markets its accounting services under an internationally recognized name.
The worker does not need to be directly employed by the sponsor, and can be paid through a personnel service company or an agency, or even as an independent consultant, as long as the sponsor had management and control over the worker during the qualifying year.
If there is only a contractual relationship such as licensing or franchising between the U.S. company and a foreign company, that is usually insufficient to establish the qualifying relationship to qualify for the L-1 visa.
If either or both of the qualifying entities go through the corporate change such as merger or acquisition or spin-off, the USCIS must be informed of the same who will determine whether the qualifying relationship still exists between two entities.