A qualifying U.S. employer may file an L-1A Visa Petition or a Priority Worker Immigrant visa petition on behalf of an alien who meets the definition of a multinational executive or manager under INA ‘ 203(b)(1)(C).
In order to qualify as an L-1A executive or manager or a Multinational Priority Worker the following conditions must be met:
1. A qualifying organization is one which is doing business in the United States and at least one other country throughout the entire period in which the transferee is working in the United States.
2. A qualifying relationship must be established between a foreign and a U.S. company; the foreign company must be an affiliate, subsidiary, parent or branch of a U.S. corporation. for example, the companies may be branch offices of the same organization; the U.S. company may own over 50% of the foreign company or vice versa; both companies may be majority owned (over 50%) by the same individual or group of individuals; both companies may be involved in a joint venture. NOTE: although it is usually presumed that the entities involved in the transfer will be incorporated in each location, this is not actually a strict requirement, and qualifying organizations may be role proprietorships, partnerships, or branch offices.
3. The foreign company must have employed the foreign national (transferee) in a managerial or executive capacity for at least one year within the three years prior to entry into the United States. Under recent changes, the qualifying experience requirement has been reduced to six months of experience with the foreign company if the individual is transferred to the U.S. under a blanket L-1 petition.
“Executive capacity” is defined as an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
a. Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
b. Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component or function;
c. Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making;
d. Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
“Managerial capacity” is defined as an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:
a. Manages a department, component or function of an organization
b. Supervises and controls other supervisory, managerial or professional personnel or manages an essential function of the organization:
c. Has authority to make personnel decisions (hire/fire) or functions at a senior level if a function is managed;
d. Exercises discretion over a function within the organization.
4. The employee must continue to render managerial or executive services to the employer, subsidiary or affiliate after entry. An employee may remain in the United States for a total of seven years in L-1A status.
Please note: Family members who derive nonimmigrant status from an L-1A visa holder will be classified as L-2 nonimmigrants. L-2 spouses (not children) are allowed to apply for work authorization after they arrive in the U.S. L-2 nonimmigrants are allowed to attend school while in the U.S.