L-1 Visa

The "Intracompany Transferee" category is available to individuals who either own or are employees of a foreign corporation in which they have worked for at least one of the prior three years, in an executive, managerial, or specialized-knowledge capacity. The employer must be a U.S. corporation related directly, in any one of a variety of ways, to the foreign company. The L-1 visa carries a maximum approval of seven years, but is perhaps the most direct conduit to permanent residency in the United States.   L-1 VISA REQUIREMENTS AND CHECKLIST


DESCRIPTION: The L-1 Visa is available to Intracompany Transferees who have been employed outside of the United States for at least one of the prior three years. This foreign corporation must have a U.S. affiliate; the affiliate petitions for the transfer of the employee through L-1 visa status. Pursuant to the Immigration Act of 1990, "L" visa holders are exempted from the requirement of having to establish their continued non-immigrant intent, greatly facilitating the transition to an immigrant employment based visa, leading to a "green card". L-1 visas are available to transfer executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge and their families.


  • business plan outlining future investment scheme
  • all Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and share certificates pertaining to both the U.S. and foreign corporation
  • proof of the aliens qualifications as an executive, managerial, or specialized-knowledge employee
  • proof of the financial ability of the U.S. corporation to fund the employment of the proposed employee and the solvency of the foreign corporation
  • in the cases of newly formed U.S. corporations (less than one year), evidence of a lease, permits, and other supporting proof of the viability of the U.S. business
  • I-129L petition approved by INS
  • evidence, in the form of payroll records, that the employee has been employed abroad for at least one of the prior three years

(NOTE: For owner-operators of small foreign businesses, the usual scenario involves the formation of a U.S. corporation and establishment of the requisite corporate situation in the United States to warrant L-1 approval.)


Important Details
Please note that since January 19, 1994, the Immigration Service has only accepted full and complete translations of foreign documents. Summary or extract translations are no longer acceptable. If you do not have a qualified translator, please contact us and we will attempt to refer you to someone in your area.