L-1 Visa Intracompany Transferee Visa 2023


What is L-1 Visa?

L-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant Visa which allows foreign company’s executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge, to transfer to an office located in the United States, which is considered a parent, affiliate, subsidiary, or branch of the foreign company.

Additionally, L-1 Visa category requires for the person being transferred to have worked for the foreign company, for at least one continuous year within the preceding three years.

The U.S. entity may be an existing company (i.e., a “parent” of the foreign company) with prior relationship with the foreign company, or it may be a “new office” in the United States.

If forming a “new office,” it is critical for your U.S. Attorney to properly structure the U.S. entity, and to determine, early-on, the relationship between the foreign company and its U.S. entity; depending on the existing structure of your foreign entity, and the percentages of ownership at both the foreign and U.S. entities, your U.S. Attorney will determine as to whether the U.S. Offices are considered an affiliate, subsidiary, or branch of the foreign Company. 

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Do I qualify for L-1 Visa?

Submit our 3 minute and straight forward L-1 questioner and we will evaluate your potential L-1 case.

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Who is considered an Executive for L-1 purposes?

An executive is an employee who primarily:

  • Does not perform day-to-day activities of the Company; rather, an executive directs other managers in an organization on major decisions concerning the organization;
  • An Executive sets policies and mandates goals of the organization;
  • Executives have discretionary powers concerning what direction the organization will take, and they are afforded wide-latitude in the decision-making process of an organization.  Executives are often members of the board of directors, owners, and / or senior executives of the organization abroad.

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Who is considered a Manager for an L-1A Visa?

A manager is an employee who primarily:

  • A “manager” for L-1 purposes has discretionary power over the day-to-day function of the foreign organization, its department or sub-division (in a larger organization);
  • Is directly supervising and monitoring the work of other professional employees / supervisors.  A manager is considered to have an essential function within the foreign company;
  • A manager generally has the power to hire or fire other employees, and makes decisions on essential employee matters such as promotions, or granting permission for a leave of absence;
  • For L-1 purposes, it is critical for a “manager” to manage an essential function, rather than supervising other employees.  For an individual to be qualified under the “manager” category, said applicant must have operated at a senior level of the foreign entity.
  • A “manager” is an individual who spends most of his or her time in performing managerial or executive duties, and not performing actual services or products. 6. Supervises professionals if a first-line supervisor.

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Which employees would qualify under the “Specialized Knowledge” category?

An employee would be considered to have “specialized knowledge” of the organization if he or she:

  • Possesses specialized knowledge (which is noteworthy and uncommon) about the foreign company’s product, special techniques, specific products, research, etc. which would prove critical to its application at the U.S. entity;
  • Has knowledge or expertise which is superior to other employees, concerning the foreign company’s specialized techniques, processes or procedures;
  • His or her specialized or advanced knowledge must be noteworthy and different from others generally found in that particular industry, making them “essential” to the U.S. entity’s performance. 
  • The applicant with “specialized knowledge” does not need to have unique or proprietary knowledge; while it is better to have such unique or proprietary knowledge, it is sufficient for most applicants in this category to have an advanced understanding and knowledge of the foreign company’s work and procedures.

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What is the application process for L-1 status?

The U.S. Entity (i.e., the “employer”) must file the I-129 Petition along with all supporting documentation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the Upon approval, the transferee (i.e., the Executive, Manager, or an employee with Specialized Knowledge as described above). 

Once we have an approval from USCIS, if you are outside the United States, we will send you to the U.S. Consulate which has jurisdiction over your case, for an interview and processing of your L-1 Visa.  If you are already in the U.S., we will seek a “change of status” for you to the L-1 category.  Certain large employers may obtain a “Blanket” L-1 petition.

If you are granted a “Blanket” status, this qualifies your company to transfer multiple executives, managers, and specialized knowledge professionals to the US without having to file multiple applications with USCIS; a “Blanket” petition bypasses USCIS and enables employees to apply directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate from their designated U.S. post abroad.  Generally, the L visas filed under a “Blanket” petition are issued with allot less scrutiny and more expedited basis.

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What Visa designation do I expect after an approved L-1 petition?

There are two types of L1 Visas depending on the type of work the visa holder performs:

1. L-1A Visa
L-1A Visas are designated for managers and executives who meet criteria specifically defined by USCIS.

2. L-1B Visa
Those with L1B Visas perform work requiring specialized knowledge.

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Our Lawyers

Our lawyers have helped many foreign nationals successfully moved to the United States and established their branch, subsidiary, or sister company under L-1 Visa program. The legal services we offer help investors reach each milestone.

Babak Hojjat J.D.

Babak Hojjat, J.D. is the Director of Global Operations at the Law Offices of Marjan Kasra, LLC. Mr. Hojjat specializes in Investment Visa Category, and has proven himself to be resourceful and a “go-to” member of our team. He provides strategic direction and oversight to our law firm’s marketing team. 

Dubai, UAE
Office: +971 4 518 2500
WhatsApp: +971 50 732 0905
[email protected]

Marjan Kasra, Esq.

Marjan Kasra, Esquire is the founder and Managing Attorney of the Law Offices of Marjan Kasra, LLC. Attorney Kasra provides legal counsel to clients at U.S. Consular posts worldwide. She has extensive experience regarding the Middle Eastern-specific issues as they relate to EB-5, L-1 and E-2 Visas.

New York
Office: +1 212 500 0905
WhatsApp: +1 203 400 7060
[email protected]

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Why Lawmaks?

Unlike traditional US law firms, Lawmaks has offices in US, UAE, and partner in UKRAINE to conveniently assist L-1 clients throughout the Middle East, North America and around the world.

L-1 program advantages

  • It allows for certain managers and owners with L-1 Visa to apply for U.S. Green Card (under different Immigrant category) soon after entry (1-2 years after entry);
  • The spouses and dependents of L-1 visa holders are eligible to receive an L-2 Visa (L-2 Visa allows the dependent spouse and unmarried children under 21 of qualified L-1 Visa holders to enter into the US). L-2 Visa holders are allowed to work or study in the United States during their period of stay.
  • L-1 Visa benefits is the fact that you do not need a degree to qualify.
  • Although full-time work is required, the individual does not need to spend all their time in the U.S. and will have flexibility to work in both the U.S. and the foreign branch;
  • L-1 Visa works very well for Executives, Owners, and High Level Managers of existing companies abroad, and allows for eventual Green Card for the principal L-1 Visa holder, his / her spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21;
  • A larger company can readily obtain L-1 Visas for their employees to freely travel, once the first L-1 Visa is established;
  • No minimum investment amount is required, the Business Plan has to make sense, and the investment amount is very much dependent on the type of business;
  • If the L-1 Visa is structured properly, it can potentially provide Visas and possibly Green Cards for multiple executive and managerial people, their spouses, as well as their unmarried children under the age of 21;
  • No country restrictions (except for couple of countries);

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Is L-1 for me?

  • Business owner having existing business outside the U.S. who is looking for more productivity and growth and expansion into the U.S. markets.
  • Existing business owners looking for more business opportunity and tools.
  • People looking for higher standards of living and businesses.
  • Ideal for nationals whose country does not have the Treaty Trade Agreement with the US, allowing them the option for E-1/ E-2.
  • Ideal for business savvy entrepreneurs looking for more opportunities.
  • Expats whose present country of residence does not offer them long-term Citizenship options.
  • Individuals looking to become US Citizens (Managers and Directors may qualify for LPR after 1-yr of entry under EB-1C, but must consult with U.S. lawyer first).
  • Parents looking for a better future for their children. Those who are looking for better schools and universities where their children may thrive.

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L-1 vs EB-5 & E-2 Visa

Side by side comparison of Investment options in U.S.

 E-2L-1EB-5 (Regional Center)EB-5 (Direct)
Investment Amount (USD)No minimum.
Any amount
sufficient to buy
or create a business
No minimum.  Any amount
sufficient to buy
or create a business
$800,000 at TEA* zone
$1,050,000 outside TEA
$800,000 at TEA* zone
outside TEA
Gifted InvestmentYesYesYesYes
Borrowed Investment (Loan)Yes (certain rules apply)Yes (certain rules apply)Yes (certain rules apply)Yes (certain rules apply)
Investment LocationAnyAnyTEA (Targeted Employment Areas) or outside TEATEA (Targeted Employment Areas) or outside TEA
Job Creation RequirementsNot required. However,
investor must
follow the Business Plan closely
Yes. Investor
must follow the Business Plan closely
10 direct or indirect jobs10 direct jobs (more difficult to make direct jobs
Investor’s RoleInvestor has the option to hire a manager.
Otherwise must be involved in day to day operations
Management/ Executive/ Key EmployeeNo active role requirementInvestor has the option to hire a manager.
Otherwise must be involved in day to day operations
Option to purchase an existing companyYesYesN/AYes, must add 10 full-time jobs
Investor’s Overseas Employment RequiredPrefer to have similar business as with E-2 entityYes, 1 year out of the last 3-yearsNoPrefer to have managerial experience (option to hire a manager)
Country (Passport Specific)Yes. Must be from a Treaty CountryAny (if foreign business is
in certain countries like Iran there are restrictions)
All countries qualifyAll countries qualify
Required to have company outside United StatesNoYesNoNo
Timeline**Usually 2-4 months4-6 months.
Expedited, 15 business
days is available
Avg. 2-Years
Nationality Specific
Avg. 2-Years
Nationality Specific
U.S. Green Card (LPR)May convert to EB-5
only if investment grows.
May also qualify under EB-1C (consult U.S. lawyer)
Managers & Directors
may qualify for LPR
after 1-yr of entry under EB-1C (consult U.S. lawyer)
Yes, upon entryYes, upon entry
Fast TrackYes, if change status in US;
No if filing from abroad
Yes (optional) for USCIS approval,
followed by regular Consular processing (if abroad);
if changing status inside US,
expedited (15-days) is an option
1st Visa Issuance2-years (most nationals)Depends on the type of L-1
(consult U.S. lawyer)
Starts with 2-years conditional LPRStarts with 2-years conditional LPR
Maximum LengthRenewable as long as the business is running.
Children over 21 do not qualify for renewal
5- 7 years (consult U.S. lawyer).
Children over 21 do not qualify for renewal
Permanent, upon approved I-829Permanent, upon approved I-829
Who is considered Investor’s Family (Derivative)Spouse & Unmarried Children under 21Spouse & Unmarried Children under 21Spouse & Unmarried Children under 21Spouse & Unmarried Children under 21
Can Your Derivative work?YesYesYesYes
Can Your Derivative Attend School/University?YesYesYesYes
Employment for investorImmediately upon entryImmediately upon entryImmediately upon entryImmediately upon entry
*TEA: Targeted Employment Area refers to “rural area” or an area which has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate; TEA zones are determined by USCIS, beginning Nov/22/2019

**Average processing time from the receipt dates. Subject to change without further notification.

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L-1 Visa FAQ

  1. Who’s eligible to apply for L-1 investment Visa?
  2. How long is L-1 Visa good for?
  3. Is L-1 an Immigrant Visa?
  4. What is the minimum capital investment amount?
  5. Does the amount of investment effect the speed of the process?
  6. Is it possible to expedite the process of L-1 Visa?
  7. Are there any other charges and costs apart from the investment amount?
  8. What type of Company should I work for in order for my L-1 Visa application to be successful?
  9. What Visa status is given to the dependents of L-1 Visa holder?
  10. Does L-1 Visa can get me a Green Card/Permanent residence?
  11. Do I need to have a Business Plan?
  12. What’s my first step?
  13. What’s my tax obligation?

1-Who’s eligible to apply for L-1 investment Visa?

Executive or Manager employees, which includes business owners, or a person with specialized knowledge who have been employed outside of the USA for one year in the last three years by a company that has common ownership with the (new or existing) US company they plan to work for.
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2-How long is L-1 Visa good for?

L-1 Visa is typically valid for up to 7 years (depends on your credentials). However, employees in this category will initially be granted an L-1 Visa for up to 3 years.
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3-Is L-1 an Immigrant Visa?

L-1 is non-immigrant “dual intent” Visa.
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4-What is the minimum capital investment amount?

The L-1 Visa does not have a minimum for business capital. The investment amount varies widely depending on the size and nature of each business.
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5-Does the amount of investment effect the speed of the process?

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6-Is it possible to expedite the process of L-1 Visa?

Yes, which can bring your processing tie to average of 15 days.
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7-Are there any other charges and costs apart from the investment amount?

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8-What type of Company should I work for in order for my L-1 Visa application to be successful?

As long as there exists and international relationship between the U.S. company and the one abroad, then any company is eligible for L-1 Visas.
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9-What Visa status is given to the dependents of L-1 Visa holder?

Dependents of an L-1 holder include a spouse and children under the age of 21. These dependents are given an L-2 Visa.
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10-Does L-1 Visa can get me a Green Card/Permanent residence?

Yes, by change of status to an immigrant Visa category.
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11-Do I need to have a Business Plan?

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12-What’s my first step?

Pick your attorney.
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13-What’s my tax obligation?

It’s based on your income. Please consult a Tax Attorney or a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
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Our latest L-1 Visa approvals


Call our Dubai office now for free consultation:
+971 4 518 2500

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