L Visa Law

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 8 CFR Sec. 214.2(l) Intracompany Transferees

 
(1) Admission of intracompany transferees
    (i) General. Under section 101(a)(15)(L) of the Act, an alien who within the preceding three years has been employed abroad for one continuous year by a qualifying organization may be admitted temporarily to the United States to be employed by a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of that employer in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. An alien transferred to the United States under this nonimmigrant classification is referred to as an intracompany tr ansferee and the organization which seeks the classification of an alien as an intracompany transferee is referred to as the petitioner. The Service has responsibility for determining whether the alien is eligible for admission and whether the petitioner is a qualifying organization. These regulations set forth the standards applicable to these classifications. They also set forth procedures for admission of intracompany transferees and appeal of adverse decisions. Certain petitioners seeking the classi fication of aliens as intracompany transferees may file blanket petitions with the Service. Under the blanket petition process, the Service is responsible for determining whether the petitioner and its parent, branches, affiliates, or subsidiaries specified are qualifying organizations. The Department of State or, in certain cases, the Service is responsible for determining the classification of the alien.  
    (ii) Definitions.  
        (A) Intracompany transferee means an alien who, within three years preceding the time of his or her application for admission into the United States, has been employed abroad continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof, and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to render his or her services to a branch of the same employer or a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive , or involves specialized knowledge. Periods spent in the United States in lawful status for a branch of the same employer or a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary thereof and brief trips to the United States for business or pleasure shall not be interruptive of the one year of continuous employment abroad but such periods shall not be counted towards fulfillment of that requirement.  
        (B) Managerial capacity means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:  
            (1) Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;  
            (2) Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;  
            (3) Has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization) if another employee or other employees are directly supervised; if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and  
            (4) Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority. A first-line supervisor is not considered to be acting in a managerial capacity merely by virtue of the supervisor's supervisory duties unless the employees supervised are professional.  
        (C) Executive capacity means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:  
            (1) Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;  
            (2) Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;  
            (3) Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and  
            (4) Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.  
        (D) Specialized knowledge means special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organization's processes and procedures.  
        (E) "Specialized knowledge professional" means an individual who has specialized knowledge as defined in paragraph (l)(1)(ii)(D) of this section and is a member of the professions as defined in section 101(a)(32) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  
        (F) New office means an organization which has been doing business in the United States through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for less than one year.          

(G) Qualifying organization means a United States or foreign firm, corporation, or other legal entity which:  
            (1) Meets exactly one of the qualifying relationships specified in the definitions of a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary specified in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) of this section;  
            (2) Is or will be doing business (engaging in international trade is not required) as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a parent, branch, affiliate, or subsidiary for the duration of the alien's stay in the United States as an intracompany transferee; and  
            (3) Otherwise meets the requirements of section 101(a)(15)(L) of the Act.  
        (H) 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.  
        (I) "Parent" means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity which has subsidiaries.  
        (J) "Branch" means an operating division or office of the same organization housed in a different location.  
        (K) 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 controls 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.  
        (L) Affiliate means  
            (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 the case of a partnership that is organized in the United States to provide accounting services along with managerial and/or consulting services and that markets its accounting services under an internationally recognized name under an agreement with a worldwide coordinating organization that is owned and controlled by the member accounting firms, a partnership (or similar organization) that is organized outside the United States to provide accounting services shall be considered to be an affiliate o f the United States partnership if it markets its accounting services under the same internationally recognized name under the agreement with the worldwide coordinating organization of which the United States partnership is also a member.  
        (M) "Director" means a Service Center director with delegated authority at 8 CFR 103.1 .  

(2) Filing of petitions
    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (l)(2)(ii) and (l)(17) of this section, a petitioner seeking to classify an alien as an intracompany transferee shall file a petition on Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, only at the Service Center which has jurisdiction over the area where the alien will be employed, even in emergent situations. The petitioner shall advise the Service whether it has filed a petition for the same beneficiary with another office, and certify that it will not file a petition fo r the same beneficiary with another office, unless the circumstances and conditions in the initial petition have changed. Failure to make a full disclosure of previous petitions filed may result in a denial of the petition.  
    (ii) A United States petitioner which meets the requirements of paragraph (l)(4) of this section and seeks continuing approval of itself and its parent, branches, specified subsidiaries and affiliates as qualifying organizations and, later, classification under section 101(a)(15)(L) of multiple numbers of aliens employed by itself, its parent, or those branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates may file a blanket petition on Form I - 129 with the director having jurisdiction over the area where the petitioner is loc ated. The blanket petition shall be adjudicated and maintained at the appropriate Service Center. Approved blanket petition files shall be maintained indefinitely by that Service Center. The petitioner shall be the single representative for the qualifying organizations with which the Service will deal regarding the blanket petition.  
 

(3) Evidence for individual petitions.
An individual petition filed on Form I - 129 shall be accompanied by:  
    (i) Evidence that the petitioner and the organization which employed or will employ the alien are qualifying organizations as defined in paragraph (l)(1)(ii)(G) of this section.  
    (ii) Evidence that the alien will be employed in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity, including a detailed description of the services to be performed.  
    (iii) Evidence that the alien has at least one continuous year of full-time employment abroad with a qualifying organization within the three years preceding the filing of the petition.  
    (iv) Evidence that the alien's prior year of employment abroad was in a position that was managerial, executive, or involved specialized knowledge and that the alien's prior education, training, and employment qualifies him/her to perform the intended services in the United States; however, the work in the United States need not be the same work which the alien performed abroad.  
    (v) If the petition indicates that the beneficiary is coming to the United States as a manager or executive to open or to be employed in a new office in the United States, the petitioner shall submit evidence that:  
        (A) Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured;  
        (B) The beneficiary has been employed for one continuous year in the three year period preceding the filing of the petition in an executive or managerial capacity and that the proposed employment involved executive or managerial authority over the new operation; and  
        (C) The intended United States operation, within one year of the approval of the petition, will support an executive or managerial position as defined in paragraphs (l)(1)(ii)(B) or (C) of this section, supported by information regarding:  
            (1) The proposed nature of the office describing the scope of the entity, its organizational structure, and its financial goals;  
            (2) The size of the United States investment and the financial ability of the foreign entity to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the United States; and  
            (3) The organizational structure of the foreign entity.  
    (vi) If the petition indicates that the beneficiary is coming to the United States in a specialized knowledge capacity to open or to be employed in a new office, the petitioner shall submit evidence that:  
        (A) Sufficient physical premises to house the new office have been secured;  
        (B) The business entity in the United States is or will be a qualifying organization as defined in paragraph (l)(1)(ii)(G) of this section; and  
        (C) The petitioner has the financial ability to remunerate the beneficiary and to commence doing business in the United States.  
    (vii) If the beneficiary is an owner or major stockholder of the company, the petition must be accompanied by evidence that the beneficiary's services are to be used for a temporary period and evidence that the beneficiary will be transferred to an assignment abroad upon the completion of the temporary services in the United States.  
    (viii) Such other evidence as the director, in his or her discretion, may deem necessary.  

(4) Blanket petitions
    (i) A petitioner which meets the following requirements may file a blanket petition seeking continuing approval of itself and some or all of its parent, branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates as qualifying organizations if:  
        (A) The petitioner and each of those entities are engaged in commercial trade or services;  
        (B) The petitioner has an office in the United States that has been doing business for one year or more;  
        (C) The petitioner has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates; and  
        (D) The petitioner and the other qualifying organizations have obtained approval of petitions for at least ten "L" managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals during the previous 12 months; or have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with combined annual sales of at least $25 million; or have a United States work force of at least 1,000 employees.  
    (ii) Managers, executives, and specialized knowledge professionals employed by firms, corporations, or other entities which have been found to be qualifying organizations pursuant to an approved blanket petition may be classified as intracompany transferees and admitted to the United States as provided in paragraphs (l) (5) and (11) of this section.  
    (iii) When applying for a blanket petition, the petitioner shall include in the blanket petition all of its branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates which plan to seek to transfer aliens to the United States under the blanket petition. An individual petition may be filed by the petitioner or organizations in lieu of using the blanket petition procedure. However, the petitioner and other qualifying organizations may not seek L classification for the same alien under both procedures, unless a consular officer f irst denies eligibility. Whenever a petitioner which has blanket L approval files an individual petition to seek L classification for a manager, executive, or specialized knowledge professional, the petitioner shall advise the Service that it has blanket L approval and certify that the beneficiary has not and will not apply to a consular officer for L classification under the approved blanket petition.  
    (iv) Evidence. A blanket petition filed on Form I - 129 shall be accompanied by:  
        (A) Evidence that the petitioner meets the requirements of paragraph (l)(4)(i) of this section.  
        (B) Evidence that all entities for which approval is sought are qualifying organizations as defined in subparagraph (l)(1)(ii)(G) of this section.  
        (C) Such other evidence as the director, in his or her discretion, deems necessary in a particular case.  

This information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Nonimmigrant Visas: 

Comments

Rajiv ji, I own a small business in Australia employing 7 people in retail. Can I hope for an L-1 visa if I open a business in USA? Does it have to be a retail business or can I do real estate investments?

The easy answer first: the business in Australia and the one in the USA can be completely different. L-1 laws do NOT require them to be the same type of business. As to whether or not a small business can possibly qualify for an L-1A is impossible to answer. Typically, managing a 7-people retail business may not qualify for an L-1A, but managing a semi-conductor research operation might. It depends upon what type of sophistication may be needed to manage the business.

Note: Not intended to create attorney-client relationship.  Answers could be incomplete, incorrect or outdated.  Use caution.