The L-1A visa can be used by companies abroad to transfer managers or executives to the U.S. to work at an established U.S. company or to form a new office. The U.S. company must have a qualifying relationship with the company abroad and both companies must be doing business.
The L-1A managerial visa is appropriate for someone who manages an organization or manages a particular department or function of an organization. The L-1A manager must supervise and control employees who are considered supervisory, professional or managerial employees or the manager must manage an essential function within the company. L-1A managers should have authority over personnel actions such as hiring, firing, promotions & authorizing leave for the employees they manage and should have authority to manage daily operations in their area of authority.
There is no specific number of employees that will guarantee approval of an L-1A managerial visa application. It is important to show that the applicant will manage other supervisors or managers or that the applicant will manage professional employees, meaning employees whose jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. Applicants who sit high up in the company’s organizational chart and manage several high-level employees will have an easier time making an argument for an L-1A managerial visa.
Although the most common scenario is to obtain an L-1A managerial visa for an applicant who manages several employees, it is also possible for an applicant to qualify for this visa when they do not manage any employees. L-1A managers who do not directly manage employees are known as function managers. A function manager manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization. The function must be clearly defined & essential to the company and the applicant must be a senior level employee within the company’s hierarchy or within the function they manage. Additionally, the function manager must manage the essential function as opposed to performing the essential function.
L-1A managers are able to renew the L-1 visa for up to seven years and are also able to bring their spouse and any children under 21 years of age with them to the U.S. Spouses are able to apply for work authorization and children are permitted to attend school.
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