L-1 Visa Basic Information
The L-1 nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager or someone with specialized knowledge from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send their employee from the foreign entity to the United States with the purpose of establishing one.
To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, the employer must:
'Subsidiary' means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity of which a parent owns, directly or indirectly, more than half of the entity and controls the entity; or owns, directly or indirectly, 50% of a 50-50 joint venture and has equal control and veto power; or owns, directly or indirectly, less than half of the entity, but in fact controls the entity.
'Affiliate' means one of two subsidiaries both of which are owned and controlled by the same parent or individual or one of two legal entities owned and controlled by the same group of individuals, each individual owning and controlling approximately the same share or proportion of each entity.
Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad.
To qualify, the employee being transferred must:
For foreign employers who are seeking to send an employee to the United States as an executive or manager in order to establish a new office, it must also be shown that
The United States and foreign business must be legal entities. For purposes of L classification, ownership and control are the factors which establish a qualifying relationship between business entities. “Ownership” means the legal right of possession with full power and authority to control. “Control” means the right and authority to direct the management and operations of the business entity.
In the case of small businesses and marginal operations, a statement of an authorized official regarding ownership and control of each qualifying organization should be submitted, plus other evidence of ownership and control such as records of stock ownership, profit and loss statements or other accountant's reports, tax returns, or articles of incorporation, bylaws, and minutes of board meetings.
To establish who owns and controls a partnership, a copy of the partnership agreement must be submitted. Moreover, other evidence may be necessary to establish what the partnership owns and controls.
The companies must be identified as qualifying organizations as a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary
The term “parent” means a firm, corporation, or other legal entity which has subsidiaries. Any business entity which has subsidiaries is a parent. However, a subsidiary may own other subsidiaries and also be a parent, even though it has an ultimate parent.
The term “branch” means an operating division or office of the same organization housed in a different location, which is not established as a separate business entity
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