L-1A Intracompany Transfer of Executive Officer or Manager

The L-1A intracompany transfer executive or manager is one of the most popular non-immigrant visas for ambitious businessmen or large corporations. It allows a foreign company to transfer executives or managers to the United States to oversee the establishment of a U.S. affiliate or subsidiary. It also allows U.S. companies to transfer executives or managers of their foreign subsidiaries to work in the United States.

A perfect example of an L-1A applicant is Nike’s chief financial officer in Beijing who was transferred to the company’s offices in Chicago to lead its financial operations.

7

L-1A LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to individually tailor our services to each client. We are able to fluctuate our pricing standards for each client based on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of our L-1A visa steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard L-1A petition is $7,500, excluding government fees and third-party extensions. We are happy to customize your proposal during your consultation and walk you through what a standard L-1A case will look like. See below for more information.

7

L-1A CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: L-1A Visa Strategy Meeting

This is the most critical step in the entire L-1A visa process. We will review all supporting documentation to create a strategy, custom checklist, and timeline that serve as a guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit L-1A to USCIS

Our attorneys will draft your L-1A arguments, fill out all forms, assemble supporting documentation, and assemble carefully crafted arguments into the appropriate filing format. After a thorough review, we submit the application to USCIS.

Step 3: Respond to the Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

If USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), our attorneys will respond promptly to seek approval of your L-1A application.

Step 4: Prepare Client for Interview in the U.S. or Consulate

After USCIS approves the L-1A, it all comes down to this. We help guide clients in preparing for interviews at the U.S. Consulate by conducting mock interviews and ensuring clients are proficient in application materials. Our services include comprehensive strategies for answering the questions asked, practice questions, comprehensive feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed in their interviews.

Step 5: Respond to Consulate Request / Administrative Processing / Status Check / Fraud Alert

After the interview, we will help to formulate possible responses to the US Consulate from additional document requests to revised applications to fraud alerts. This step in the L-1A application is about paying close attention to the consulate process.

Step 6: Arrival Is Just the Beginning

Our services don’t end when you are approved for your L-1A – it’s just the beginning. To help adjust to this reality, our team will continue to provide guidance and support to you and your dependent family members post-approval with the following:

Consular Processing (“Visa Stamping”)

CBP – Airport arrival

Dependent visa/work permit

Re-entry permit and more!

Step 7: Ongoing Corporate Coaching

Obtaining initial L-1A approval is not everything. Many L-1A executives and managers are unable to obtain extensions and have to leave the United States because their L-1A operations failed to meet the extension requirements.

We will serve as your corporate counsel to ensure that the L-1A business meets all L-1A extension requirements while maintaining financial growth.

    7

    ADDITIONAL L-1A RESOURCES

    List of Evidence Required

    Have you provided the following?

    • L Classification Supplement to Form I-129
    • Evidence that the beneficiary maintains legal status (if applicable)
    • Evidence of a qualifying relationship based on ownership and control between the U.S. and foreign employer
    • Description of proposed job responsibilities and qualifications
    • Recommended work is based on evidence of ability in executive, management, or professional knowledge
    • Evidence of the beneficiary’s ability to work abroad for the required one year (if applicable)
    • Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing (if applicable)
    • For new office applications (L-1A) where the beneficiary will be employed in a managerial or administrative capacity:
      • A description of the proposed job duties and qualifications
      • Evidence that the petitioner has rented, leased, purchased, or otherwise acquired a physical location suitable for the type of work
      • Proof that the beneficiary has held an executive or managerial position for one consecutive year within the three years prior to filing the application
      • Evidence that the proposed employment involves executive or managerial authority over the new business
      • Demonstrate that anticipated U.S. operations will support executive or management positions within one year of approval
    • For new office petitions (L-1B) where the beneficiary will be employed in a specialized knowledge capacity:
      • A description of the proposed job duties and qualifications
      • Evidence that the petitioner has rented, leased, purchased, or otherwise acquired a physical location suitable for the type of work
      • Evidence that the applicant has the financial ability to pay the beneficiary and begin operating a business in the United States

    Application Fee

    The renewal filing fee for Form L-1A can be found here.

    When you pay, you agree to pay for government services. Regardless of what action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request, the application and biometric services fees are final and non-refundable.

    L-1A Visa Eligibility

    To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, an employer must:

    • Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign corporation (parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate, collectively, Qualified Organizations); and
    • While the beneficiary is in the United States in L-1 status, is or will be conducting business as an employer in the United States and at least one other country, either directly or through a qualified organization. Although the business must be viable, it is not required to engage in international trade.

    Conducting business means the regular, systematic, and ongoing provision of goods and/or services by a qualified organization, excluding the existence only of agents or offices of the qualified organization in the United States and abroad.

    To qualify, designated employees must also:

    • Have one year of continuous employment generally in a qualifying organization abroad within the three years prior to entering the United States; and
    • Be seeking entry into the United States to provide services in an executive or managerial capacity to an affiliate of the same employer, or to one of its qualifying organizations.

    Executive ability generally refers to an employee’s ability to make a wide range of decisions without much supervision.

    Managerial ability generally refers to an employee’s ability to supervise and control the work of professional employees and to manage an organization or a department, division, function, or component of an organization. It may also refer to an employee’s ability to manage the basic functions of an organization at a senior level without the direct supervision of others. For a complete definition, see section 101(a)(44) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and 8 CFR 214.2(l)(1)(ii).

    Employer

    1. Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company.
    2. Currently/will conduct business as an employer in the United States and at least one other country.

    L-1A Visa Affiliations with U.S. and Foreign Companies

    For managers or executives who will be opening or employed in a new U.S. office, you must demonstrate that a qualifying relationship exists between the U.S. entity and the foreign entity.

    • To prove ownership and control of a qualifying U.S. entity, evidence may include, but is not limited to, current copies of the following documents:

      • Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K

      • Annual report, meeting minutes, articles of association, articles of association

      • Stock certificates, stock ledgers, proof of stock purchase or capital contribution (wire transfer receipt, bank statement, canceled check or deposit receipt)

      • Federal income tax return

      • Partnership agreement or sole proprietorship registration document, franchise purchase agreement

      • Evidence that the foreign entity has been authorized to operate in the state as a branch by the appropriate state agency

    • To prove ownership and control of a qualified foreign entity, evidence may include, but is not limited to, current copies of the following documents:

      • Securities and Exchange Commission Form 10-K

      • Detailed list of owners

      • Annual reports, meeting minutes, articles of incorporation and articles of association

      • Stock certificates, stock ledgers, stock purchase certificates

      • Income tax returns, articles of organization, partnership agreement or sole proprietorship and registration documents

      • Evidence that the U.S. entity is authorized by the appropriate authority (of foreign nationality) to operate as a branch of (foreign company)

    What we do: We require that all relevant documents be submitted to us, which we organize and submit on behalf of our clients. With our expertise and experience, we are able to guide the process and determine the sufficiency of the evidence.

    The initial plan is the most critical. Without effective planning, the rest of the process is at risk. At Tsang and Associates, we can help you from the start.

      Employee

        1. 1 year of 3 consecutive years of employment abroad for a qualifying organization prior to entering the United States

        L-1A Previously Worked For One Year

        For managers or executives who will be opening a new office in the U.S. or who are employed by a new U.S. office, you must demonstrate that the beneficiary was continuously employed in an executive or managerial capacity for one year during the three-year period prior to his or her application to enter the U.S.

        It is often difficult to prove the duration and timing of employment, as well as the managerial or executive nature. Applications must be submitted before the expiration of one year following the three-year period. Therefore, proficiency and promptness are key.

        When a client retains our L-1A services, we evaluate the documentation provided and have them clarify past job descriptions. While descriptions may be of administration or execution, often insufficient evidence is documented. For example, the client may not have training records or written descriptions of past work.

        In order to determine L-1A eligibility, the following evidence must be provided to USCIS:

        • Copies of the beneficiary’s training, payroll or other personnel records. These should show that the beneficiary has held managerial or administrative positions abroad.
        • An organizational chart or chart showing the organizational structure and staffing levels of a foreign entity. If the employment is managerial, a letter from the foreign entity’s authorized representative describing the management decisions made by the beneficiary on behalf of the entity. The letter should describe the beneficiary’s typical management responsibilities and the percentage of time spent on each responsibility.
        • If the employment is administrative, a letter from the foreign entity’s authorized representative describing the administrative decision made by the beneficiary on behalf of the entity. The letter should describe the beneficiary’s typical duties performed and the percentage of time spent on each duty.

        What do we do: Tsang & Associates serves as the firm’s in-house legal department. When a client lacks the necessary evidence, we often contact the beneficiary’s supervisor or the foreign entity’s human resources department on behalf of our clients and provide a sample letter describing the beneficiary’s employment history and experience with the foreign entity. When payroll records are lacking, we step in with the solution.

        To avoid RFEs and unnecessarily prolong the process, applicants must be proactive. Otherwise, one year’s work will expire after the three-year period. And, at Tsang and Associates, we’re ready to help you through every step of the L1-A process to success.

        L-1A Management or Executive Capabilities

        For managers or executives who will be opening a new office in the United States or who will be employed in a new office in the United States, you must demonstrate that the proposed employment involves executive or managerial authority over the new office.

        Satisfying the requirements of a management or executive role is arguably the most difficult to achieve. It cannot be assumed that USCIS can tell this distinction from job duties or supporting documentation. The applicant has to convince them with all kinds of evidence.

        Requirements for persons with managerial or executive capabilities include, but are not limited to:

        1. Responsible for managing an entire organization or department
        2. Supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees
        3. Power to hire and fire
        4. Demonstrate that they oversee the day-to-day operations of the activity or function they manage
        5. Prove they spend a lot of time in their position

        When a client comes in, Tsang & Associates sits down and begins to understand their situation. Since every company’s industry, country and size are different, it’s important to build a case that suits the company and its needs; that’s what we did. Sometimes we get clients who are short on time, or clients who have very little staff. Every company dynamic needs proof.

        In order to overcome USCIS review, sufficient evidence must be submitted. Documentation that may prove helpful in a successful L-1A petition:

        • Organizational Chart for U.S. and Foreign Positions:
          • For HR managers: Displays all subordinate employees who report to the beneficiary and who reports to the subordinate by name and title
          • For functional managers: Shows the beneficiary at the top level of the organization, department. or segment
        • Detailed job descriptions for U.S. and foreign positions:

          • The specific duties performed and the percentage of time spent on each duty should be provided.

          • The decision-making authority of the beneficiary should be clearly defined.

        • Educational documentation of subordinates if they are considered professional.

        • Form W-2 or subordinate payroll statements or quarterly payroll reports to show adequate staffing is available to support the manager.

        What we do: At Tsang & Associates, our experience is that the beneficiary’s role is both management and executive, as companies are usually small enough. Given that, we find it useful to submit all evidence relevant to both roles.

        Given the scrutiny this section receives and the inability of USCIS to witness day-to-day activities, Tsang & Associates has constructed sample documents to communicate beneficiary qualifications, whether it is a cover letter, resume, daily agenda sample, or any such document that needs to be documented to strengthen the case evidence. Tsang and Associates has extensive experience with USCIS standards and will assist you in meeting them.

        USCIS often considers this part to be the most difficult to prove. However, planning and experienced assistance from Tsang and Associates can help avoid future RFEs and other application issues.

        7

        SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

        $

        USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate filing fees.

        $

        USCIS Mailing Address: This is the address to which mail is sent to USCIS.

        $

        USCIS Processing Timeline: This will help you determine how long processing will take.

        $

        ASC Field Offices: Lists the addresses of biometric field offices.

        7

        FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

        How long can I stay in the United States with an L-1A visa?

        Qualified employees entering the United States to establish a new office will be allowed an initial stay of up to one year. All other qualified employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of three years. For all L-1A employees, requests for extension of stay may be extended by up to two years until the employee reaches the maximum seven-year period.

        What if I send employees to open a new office in the United States?

        For foreign employers seeking to send employees to the United States as executives or managers to establish a new office, the employer must also demonstrate:

        • The employer has acquired sufficient physical space to house the new office;
        • The employee has served as an executive or manager for one consecutive year within the three years preceding the filing of the application; and
        • The proposed U.S. office will support executive or management positions within one year of application approval.

        For more information, see 8 CFR 214.2(l)(3)(v).

        Can I bring my family with me as an L-1A worker?

        Transferring employees may be accompanied or followed by their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Such family members may seek admission in the L-2 nonimmigrant category and, if approved, will generally be granted the same period of stay as the employee.

        If these family members are already in the United States and seek to change status or extend their stay in the L-2 category, they may collectively petition to change/extend nonimmigrant status through Form I-539.

        The spouse of an L-1 worker may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Paid Employment Authorization. If approved, there are no specific restrictions on where the L-2 spouse can work.

        What is a Blanket L Petition?

        Some organizations may be able to establish the required intra-company relationships prior to filing an individual L-1 petition by filing a blanket petition. Eligibility for blanket L certification is determined if the following conditions are met:

        • The applicant and each qualifying organization are engaged in a commercial trade or service;
        • The petitioner has an office in the United States and has been in business for one year or more;
        • The applicant has more than three branches, subsidiaries, and affiliated companies at home and abroad; and
        • Petitioners and other eligible organizations meet one of the following criteria:
          • Received at least 10 L-1 approvals during the preceding 12-month period;
          • Have a U.S. subsidiary or affiliate with annual gross sales of at least $25 million; or
          • Have a U.S. workforce of at least 1,000 employees.

        Approval of a blanket L petition does not guarantee that the employee will receive L-1A classification. However, it does provide employers with the flexibility to quickly transfer eligible employees to the United States on short notice without having to submit an individual petition to USCIS.

        When is an L-1A visa required with a Blanket L Petition?

        In most cases, once the blanket petition is approved, the employer simply completes Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on the Blanket L Petition and sends it to the employee along with a copy of the blanket petition approval notice and other required evidence, so that the employee can submit it to the consular officer when applying for an L-1 visa.

        7

        SCHEDULE A SESSION

        Call or email us to schedule your 1-hour consultation. Pay your $250 consultation fee easily over the phone or through our email link. If you’d like a quick chat with our team before setting up a consultation, feel free to book your 10-minute call using the calendar to the right.

        7