An L-1A visa is a great visa for an employee or owner of a company abroad who wants to transfer to a U.S. office or open a new office in the United States.

One of the L-1 visa requirements is that you as the employee “have been working for the foreign company for one continuous year out of the preceding three years.”

Let’s analyze this requirement step by step:

You must have worked for the foreign company

  • The one year employment must be fully outside the U.S. (time that you spent working for the U.S. company on some other visa does not count)
  • Any time that you spent in the U.S. for example on a B-1 visa or B-2 visa do not count toward the 1 year. For example, in 2019 you have been working for Company X in France and you spent a total of 50 days in the U.S. on a B-1 visa. The 50 days would not count towards the 1 year foreign employment requirement.

 One Continuous year

This means that you will have to submit evidence showing that you have been employed continuously for one year within the last 3 years at the foreign company.

The continuous employment must have been full time and cannot be part time. Moreover, if you worked for the company abroad for several years as a part-time employee, this cannot be viewed as meeting the requirement. For example, if you worked for Company X full time from July-December 2019, but part time from January-June 2020, this would not meet the requirement. You would have to wait with applying for an L-1 visa until you can demonstrate the 1 year continuous full time employment.

Please note that any time spent in the U.S. in an authorized capacity on behalf of the foreign company or brief trips to the U.S. as a B-1/B-2 visitor do not interrupt the continuity of one year.

What kind of evidence should I submit to prove the employment?

You should submit your foreign tax returns and paystubs showing that you have been working for the company.

Please click here if you want to find out more about L-1 visa.

Please click here if you want to find out more about the new office L-1 visa.

You can set up a consultation by clicking the link below.

book-your-consultation-button

To find out more about our services and fees contact Scott Legal, P.C


This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising.  Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed.  Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results.  Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.