Companies in the US who also have an affiliate, subsidiary or other related company abroad, is allowed to transfer certain employees to the US company. The foreign company can even send certain employees to the US to establish a new office.

The employee coming to the US must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year in the previous three years.

There are two types of employees that qualify for an L-1, either multinational managers or executives, or specialized knowledge employees. The latter are limited to 5 years of L-1 time, whereas the former can remain in L-1 status for up to 7 years.

L-1A (Multinational manager or executive)

Employees who qualify for the L-1A must be coming to the US to serve in either an executive or managerial capacity.

  • Executives should be high up on the company’s hierarchy and be able to make decisions on behalf of the company with little oversight
  • Managers can be second tier supervisors, meaning supervising employees who in turn supervise others, or supervise professionals. Managers can also solely manager an essential function of an organization at a high level and not necessarily directly supervise other employees.

L-1B – (Specialized knowledge)

Employees with special knowledge of the company’s product, services, techniques, management, processes or procedures qualify for an L-1B.

Radu C. Vasilescu

June 2021

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