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.
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