Skip to main content

L1A Category – How to Prove your Role is Managerial?

By January 27, 2023Immigration, L-1 Visa
A group of executives in a meeting

The L1A category is a visa available for executives and managers of a foreign company who wishes to enter the US to work in an executive or managerial capacity at a U.S. affiliate of the foreign company.

An executive or manager can apply for an L1A visa to work at an already established U.S. affiliate company, or to enter the US to establish and manage a new U.S. branch. In such “new office” cases, the initial stay is granted for 1 year, as opposed 3 years for an established office. One advantage for Canadian nationals is that they can apply for an L1A visa at the border (port-of-entry), where they can receive the approval on-the-spot.

The L1A could be an attractive option for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to expand their business to the U.S. The L1A is open to all nationalities, which could be an advantage for nationals of China, India, Russia, and other countries that are not eligible for the E-2 Investor visa. Spouses of L1 visa holders can be given L2 status allowed to work in the US if they accompany the principal applicant.

One of the requirements of an L1A petition is to prove that the applicant’s role is, and will be, executive or managerial.  The applicant must provide evidence they have worked for at least 1 year (within the past 3 years) in an executive or managerial capacity in the foreign corporation, and also prove they will work in an executive or managerial capacity in the U.S. corporation.  Here are some information you will need to provide to prove this.

1. Provide a properly descriptive organizational chart

An organizational chart is an important piece of evidence that shows an applicant’s managerial or executive role in both the foreign and U.S. organization. To be persuasive, organizational charts should include employees’ names, description of positions, education levels of each employee, and salaries of these subordinate employees.

If insufficient information is provided regarding the applicant’s subordinate employees in the U.S., USCIS could deny the petition because they believe the applicant would end up performing  “operational” duties (meaning on-the-ground, actual service-providing work), not “managerial” (meaning supervisory and executive work) as required by the regulations.

2. Provide a detailed description of job duties with a breakdown of percentage

It is also important to show that the job duties of the applicant and his or her subordinates correspond to the organization’s hierarchy and structure. Detailed explanation, with a breakdown of the percentage of each category of duties, is needed on how the applicant would make decisions on specific functions under his or her authority; and exercise his or her authority to make important decisions, such as regarding hiring, promotion, or operations. Evidence can be submitted supporting how the applicant will be responsible for managing an essential function, department, or subdivision of the organization at the required senior level.

It is important to provide the right level of detail regarding your business and responsibilities to maximize the likelihood that your L1A petition will be approved.

FREE L-1 Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free L-1 Visa Guide, sign up for our free L-1 Visa Webinar, or watch our L-1 Visa videos.

Download Our L-1 Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our L-1 Visa Webinar
Watch Our L-1 Visa Videos

Set up L-1 Visa Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one L-1 Visa consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

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.

Leave a Reply