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What's required to apply for a L-1A manager or executive visa?

In the increasingly globalized society in which we live, it's common for companies to want to source either managerial or executive staff from abroad. Relocating upper level staff to another country may be necessary if a company intends to take their business to the next level, increase brand awareness or gain a competitive edge.

Whether you're looking to bring in a member of the leadership team from one of your company's offices abroad or to have someone come to the United States to set up a base of operations, there's a visa for both. The L-1A Intracompany Transferee Executive or Manager visa can be applied for in either of the aforementioned cases.

In order to qualify for this visa under the first scenario mentioned, it's necessary for your company to already have a base of operations set up in the U.S. at which you want to place a member of management. If your company doesn't yet have a base of operations in the U.S., a foreign manager or executive may be brought over on this type of visa to set up one.

As for the employer, they must be able to demonstrate that they operate as a branch, parent company or otherwise in conjunction with the foreign company. The member of the company's leadership applying for the L-1A visa must have been with the company for 12 consecutive months during the prior three years before the application is filed.

While it's not required that the company transferring the employee be engaged in international trade, they do have to have a base of operations in both the U.S. and abroad. The employee brought in must continue to work in an upper management role for the same company once they arrive in the U.S.

When a U.S. base of operations hasn't yet been set up for the company, the foreign company must prove that office space has been either rented or purchased prior to their employee's arrival. They'll need have a succinct plan for getting things up and going in the U.S. within a year as well.

If you're at the helm of a company that's planning to transfer a company manager or executive to the U.S., a Norcross employment immigration attorney can advise you as to how to go about doing that.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "L-1A intracompany transferee executive or manager," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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