L-1 Intracompany transferees
Intracompany transferees have been employed outside the U.S. for at least one year in the preceding three years with a company that can transfer the employee to a U.S. parent, subsidiary, or affiliate or a branch office. There are two subcategories, L-1A for executives and managers and L-1B for occupations involving specialized knowledge. Both the foreign and U.S. positions must satisfy USCIS criteria for the executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity of employment. Canadians may submit their petition at the port of entry en route to the U.S., without waiting for prior approval by a USCIS service center.
L-1 status may be valid for 3 years and is extendable in 2-year increments, up to a maximum of 7 years for L-1A status and 5 years for L-1B status. The following definitions of the required capacity of employment are strictly applied:
Managerial capacity means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
- Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
- 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;
- 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
- 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.
Executive capacity means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
- Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
- Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
- Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
- Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
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.
Specialized knowledge professional means an individual who has specialized knowledge and is a member of the professions as defined in section 101(a)(32) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
8 C.F.R. § 214.2(l)(1)(ii)