International Business Law and U.S. Immigration
In our increasingly global economy, it's not unusual for companies to maintain offices in multiple countries. The L-1A intracompany transferee executive or manager visa allows U.S. employers to transfer an executive or manager from one of its offices abroad to an office in the United States. Under this same classification, foreign companies which do not have a United States office may send a manager or executive to the United States in order to establish an office.
There are criteria that both an employer and an employee must meet to qualify for an L-1A intracompany transferee visa. An employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company, such as being a parent company, branch, or affiliate of the foreign company. The employer must also be doing business in the U.S. and in at least one other country for the duration of the employee's stay in the U.S. under the L-1A classification.
The beneficiary employee must have been working for a qualifying organization in a foreign country for one continuous year out of the three years immediately prior to admission to the United States. His or her purpose in coming to the United States must be to serve in an executive or managerial capacity for either a branch of the same foreign employer, or for one of its qualifying organizations.
The employer must file USCIS Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) on behalf of the beneficiary executive or manager. For employees who are coming to the United States to establish a new office for their employer, the initial maximum period of stay is one year. Other employees have an initial maximum period of stay of two years. All employees under this classification have a maximum total stay of seven years, and may apply for extensions of stay in two-year increments until that limit is reached.
Employees entering the United States under an L-1A classification are eligible to have spouses and children under the age of 21 accompany them; those family members would seek admission to the country under L-2 nonimmigrant classification and would have the same period of stay as the employee with L-1A classification.
One advantage of an L-1A transferee visa is that a dependent spouse who accompanies the transferee can work in the United States. This is not true for certain other types of visas. Also, the transferee need not have a specific educational degree to qualify for this classification. From an employer's viewpoint, the L-1A visa has the advantage of not requiring the submission of a labor condition application demonstrating a lack of domestic workers suitable for the role the transferee will be filling.
One definite disadvantage of the L-1A visa for transferees is that if they wish to change employers once in the United States, they will need to petition to convert to a different classification. If they are unable to obtain a new classification, they may have to return to their country of origin.
Spartan International Law Group's primary office is located in Dearborn, Michigan, home to the largest Arab community in the United States. The firm has a satellite office in Cairo, Egypt, and has cultivated working relationships with law firms throughout the Middle East for our clients' benefit. In addition to our U.S. immigration practice, we have an active International Business practice to serve our clients' needs.
Experience speaks for itself; so do our results. We invite you to contact Spartan International Law Group to learn more about our practice areas, including L-1A intracompany transferee executive or manager visas, and our attorneys or to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you.
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