L1A Visa Overview
There are detailed requirements for the executive and managerial roles for the L1A visa. In order to meet the L1A visa requirements it is not enough to simply supervise or direct lower level staff. However, the requirements for a L1 visa for an US office that has been established for less than one year are less strict. Those coming under the L1A Executive or Manager category must have management responsibility over management, supervisory or professional level employees, and/or must have broad control over major organisational and/or policy decisions within the company, or a department or subdivision thereof.
These managerial or executive duties should be the employee's primary duties in the US, unless the office in the US has been operational for less than one year. For example, an IT company owner who manages employees but who works mainly as an IT professional may not qualify for the L1A visa, while one whose primary duties involve directing the company's operations or managing other supervisory or professional level staff would. If the US business has been operational for less than one year then when applying for an extension at the end of the first year you will need to justify a management or executive level position to continue to justify an L1 visa.
L1A visa duration
L1A visas are initially granted for 3 years if transferring the employee to an US office that has been established for more than one year. If the US office has been established for less than one year, or is not yet fully operational the visa is granted for up to one year. The L1A visa is extendable in 2 year increments to a maximum of 7 years. L1 visa extensions can be a difficult and complicated process. L1A Executive or Manager visa holders much of the time also meet the requirements for the EB-1C international executive or manager Green Card visa category. See our L1 Visa and the EB1C Green Card section for more details
L1A Visa qualifying conditions
Details of qualifying conditions for L1A Managers and L1A executives are provided below.
L1A Visa Executives
In order to qualify as an L1A executive the employee should:
Direct the management of the company, or a major department, subdivision, or function (such as marketing or HR) of the company
Have significant authority over the organisation and/or policy of the company, or major department, subdivision, or function
Receive only general supervision from higher executives, board members, or stockholders
In order to qualify as an L1A manager the employee should:
Manage the company, or a department, subdivision, or function (such as marketing or HR) of the company directly
Directly supervise other managerial, professional, and/or supervisory employees, OR supervise a very large number of lower level staff.
NOTE: This condition is not necessarily a requirement. Employees without supervisory duties may in some circumstances still qualify.
If they supervise other employees, they must have the authority to hire, fire, promote, grant leave, and so on to those employees
If they do not supervise other employees, they must operate at a 'senior level' within the company as a whole, or within the team which oversees their department, subdivision, or function
Have personal discretion and authority over day to day operation and decision making for the company, or their department, subdivision, or function
If you would like to apply for an L1 visa through workpermit.com, please fill out our application form.
Further information, help, and advice
Workpermit.com's team of specialists has thirty years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a US qualified lawyer who is also likely to be a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).