United States visas

Intra-Company Transferee visa L-1

The Intra-Company Visa is available to individuals who have been employed from a company outside of the United States for at least one full-time and continuous year of the prior three years.

This foreign corporation must have a U.S. affiliate.

Pursuant to the Immigration Act of 1990, Intra-Company Visa holders are exempted from the requirement of having to establish their continued non-immigrant intent, greatly facilitating the transition to an immigrant employment-based visa, leading to a "green card" in the U.S.

Intra-Company Visas are available to transfer owners, executives, managers under the designation A, or employees with specialized knowledge under the designation B, and their families.

THE INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE ARE: OWNERS, EXECUTIVES, MANAGERIAL STAFF AND SKILLED WORKERS

The individual eligible is the employee essential to the smooth running of the American company. In order to qualify as an Intra-Company Visa, the employee must have been employed either at the Executive, Managerial or Specialized Knowledge level. 

IT IS ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES IN THESE TYPES OF WORKERS:

• EXECUTIVES

According to INS rules, an executive employee is an employee whose primary duties are to conduct the management of an organization or major component thereof. The rules also allow an employee to occupy a major function within the organisation. The duties performed aim at establishing goals and policies, exercising a wide degree of discretionary authority and decision-making as well as getting general supervision and direction exclusively from higher level executives, the Board of Directors and Shareholders.

Generally speaking, the executive must supervise the work of other individuals. However, modifications to the Immigration and Naturalisation Act in 1990 now allow employees to qualify as executives even though they may have few subordinate staff

 • MANAGERS

According to INS rules, an individual is considered a Manager when his primary duties include:

  1. Directing the organisation or a department or subdivision thereof;

  2. Controlling the work of other professionals, supervisory or managerial employees (or managing a function of the company);

  3. Has authority to hire and fire personnel or recommend that these actions be taken;

  4. Has discretionary authority over day-to-day operations.

 • SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE

According to INS rules, an employee serves in a capacity involving specialized knowledge if the worker:

  1. Has special knowledge of the product and its application in international markets;

  2. Has an advanced level of knowledge of the processes and procedures of the company.