Do You Want to Transfer to the U.S.?

Transferring within your company is difficult enough, you have to find a new place to live, settle children and pets into new places, and help your spouse find a new job just to name a few possible issues! And if you’re transferring to a different country, you have to obtain a visa. The U.S. immigration system is notoriously tricky, so here is some quick and dirty information if you are transferring to the U.S. within the same company.

First, you do not apply for your visa, your employer does! You must have worked for the company abroad for at least one continuous year (in the past three years). The employer abroad and the employer in the U.S. must have one of four types of relationships: parent and subsidiary, branch and headquarters, sister companies owned by a mutual parent, or “affiliates” owned by the same; or people, in approximately the same percentages.

There are two possible types of intracompany transferee visas under this category of L visa: L-1A and L-1B. L-1A is an executive or managerial type worker. Managerial  means you are directing the organization itself (or a department, subdivision or the like), supervise other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, can hire and fire or make similar decisions, and can control daily activities. Basically, top of the food chain types. Executive means an employee who chiefly deals with the management of the organization and establishes organizational goals and policies. An executive has a lot of leeway in decision-making, and is what most people think of when they think of an executive. An L-1A visa is valid for up to seven years and it can be used as a legal stepping stone to a green card because it allows dual intent.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A NATIONAL INTEREST WAIVER UNDER THE EB 2 VISA - Do You Want to Transfer to the U.S.?

If you are not an executive or manager, you can still apply for an L-1B visa if you have “specialized knowledge.” That means they have to have special information regarding the company product and its application internationally, or an advanced knowledge of processes and procedures of the company. However, USCIS has been tightening the interpretation of specialized knowledge, because it used to be a way to transfer technical personnel easily in order to avoid other visa quota issues. This is no longer the case. Now employers must submit a lot of paperwork which shows how the employee gained that knowledge, why the information is so closely held, proprietary or unavailable to U.S. workers, and how that knowledge will be applied. All of these facts have to be proved with a trove of evidence. An L-1B visa is valid for five years, but if you are promoted (congratulations!), as long as it is more than six months before the expiration of your visa, your visa can be changed to an L-1A.

    Employers can avoid handling this complicated procedure alone, by hiring an experienced immigration attorney. This will help to minimize issues with presenting the correct evidence to USCIS the first time, resulting in a more expedited and a more likely to be successful, application.

Complete your immigration paperwork using our online software. We make it easy!

Complete your immigration paperwork using our online software. We make it easy!

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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. All graphics and images depicted on the Zontlaw website, aside from those clearly identified as being of our team members, are purely fictional representations. All images and graphics, if not owned by Zontlaw, its attorneys, and/or its affiliates, are used under valid license. Nothing depicted on the website constitutes legal advice for a particular case or situation or creates an attorney-client relationship. If you need advice regarding your individual situation you should consult a licensed immigration attorney. We welcome phone calls, letters and all electronic means of communication. Writing to us does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established through a written agreement. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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