The L1A visa is a perfect solution for multinational managers or the individuals with significant control in the company. The L1B, in comparison, allows employees with specialized knowledge to be transferred from the home country to the U.S. affiliate for a temporary work.

It is important to note that L1-A visa is a dual intent visa, unlike other visas. You also do not have to work only in the U.S. That is to say, while you must work part-time as an executive in the United States to obtain this L1A, you can cross the border to work outside the U.S. as well.

L1A Manager Visa Requirements

  • You must act as a supervisor and be responsible for the actions of other employees.
  • You must act in the managerial capacity for example hire or recommend employees.
  • You must decide on and control the quality of work of other employees. In addition to supervising them, you must have control over their responsibilities and the content they produce.
  • You must have adequate education and be able to complete duties successfully.
  • You must be seeking only temporary work status though many later apply for green cards.
  • Within the past three years, you must have worked for a period of 1 year in the parent company abroad.
  • You must act as the manager over a subdivision, department, or entire organization.
  • You must first submit a petition with USCIS on Form I-129 in order to apply for L1A visa. In addition to this you must have documentation that proves the requirements above. If already living in the United States, you can request that your status to be changed. Spouses and dependent children can apply and may be awarded L-2 visas if the L1-A visa is approved.

 L1B-intracompany Transferee Visa Requirements

  • Minimum of 1-year previous work experience in parent company in the home country. This work must have been completed within three years prior to the visa application.
  • The candidate must have specialized knowledge of the company’s transactions.
  • A L1B visa is a non-immigrant work visa that allows you to work in the United States for a short period of time. This period of time ranges from three months to one year. It can be extended up to 7 years.
  • In order to qualify as specialized employee, applicant must be employed in a position that requires and demonstrates special knowledge. This can include, but is not limited to, the knowledge of:
    • Products
    • Services
    • Management
    • Operation

After the successful approval, you will receive an I-797 Notice of action showing the approval of the petition. This does not, however, guarantee that the visa will be issued. It does, though, show that such a visa will normally be granted if the U.S. Consular officer in the home country is convinced that the applicant holds such aforementioned specialized knowledge.

What is the difference between the L1A and the E2 Investor Visa?

Investor Visa enables the applicant to work and live in the US on a two-year basis, on the condition that he/she will control the commercial enterprise. The investment has to be substantial (recommended the minimum of  $100,000). There are no regulations on how many times this visa may be renewed.  To obtain an E2 visa, one must have at least 50% of shareholding or a controlling interest or stake in the company.

L1A Work Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, valid for a short amount of time (1 year). Depending on where you apply from it may be possible to extend this visa for additional three years and the maximum is seven years. The L1 visa consists of two distinct types: the L1 visa and the Blanket L-1visa. The L1 visa is available for the individual workers and the second is available for several employees. The E2 has no such categories for defining visa status. The requirement for L1 visa is that the individual must have worked abroad for minimum of one year for the parent company and that the company must continue to engage in similar business and activities in the U.S. The individual must show that his employment in this company is a result of specialized knowledge in a specific field of relevance to the business.

Learn more about L1A Visa here.
Learn more about Dual Intent when applying for L1A visa.