Business Option

WHAT IS L1 to EB1?

The L1-A temporary nonimmigrant visa is for managers and executives of an international company and can be used to apply for an EB-1C immigrant visa or Green Card under the doctrine of Dual Intent.  It is important to complete both processes if leading to a green card (permanent residence) is the ultimate goal.


L-1 visas are available to employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad. The visas allow such foreign workers to relocate to the corporation’s U.S. office after having worked abroad for the company for at least one continuous year within the previous three prior to admission in the U.S.

The U.S. and non-U.S. employers must be related in one of four ways:
Parent and subsidiary;
Branch and headquarters;
Sister companies owned by a mutual parent; or
'Affiliates' owned by the same or people in approximately the same percentages.

The L-1 classification also enables a foreign company which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an employee to the United States to help establish one, with additional requirements.


  • tick L-1A for Executives and Managers, and
  • tick L-1B for Workers with Specialized Knowledge.

L-1A status is valid for up to 7 years, L-1B for 5. After the expiration of the 7 or 5 years respectively, the foreign national can generally only qualify for L-1 status again by working abroad for at least 1 year for the parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch office of the U.S. company.

Spouses of L-1 visa holders are allowed to work without restriction in the U.S. and the L-1 visa may be used as a stepping stone to a green card under the doctrine of dual intent.

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Managers and Executives

The legal definition of manager and executive role must be strictly followed and a detailed description of duties must be enclosed along with the petition. An executive or managerial capacity requires a certain level of authority and an appropriate mix of job duties. Managers and executives plan, organize, direct, and control an organizations’ major functions and work through other employees to achieve the organization’s goals.

An executive or manager may manage or direct a function within an organization. However, individuals who primarily perform the tasks necessary to produce the product(s) or provide the service(s) of an organization are not employed in an executive or managerial capacity but they should be viewed as a staff officer or specialist. The majority of the manager or executive duties should be related to operational or policy management, not to the supervision of lower level employees, performance of the duties of another type of position, or other involvement in the operational activities of the company, such as doing sales work, operating machines, writing computer programming code or supervising those that do.

Yet, the manager or executive is not barred from applying their professional or technical expertise to solve a particular problem. It is not enough to just have a title position that indicates a manager or executive, duties should be performed accordingly.

Supervisors who plan, schedule and supervise the day-to-day work of nonprofessional employees are not employed in an executive or managerial capacity, even though they may be referred to as a manager in their particular organization.

If a small or medium-sized business can support a position where the primary duties are executive or managerial, they can qualify for L-1A. However, merely having the title of a position or ownership of the business are not indicators of managerial or executive capacity on its own.


EB-1C is an employment-based immigration option for multinational executives or manager who have been employed abroad in the same corporation. The applicant, during the three years preceding the application, must have been employed for at least one year by the same multinational firm or other business entity (affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or ranch of the U.S. employer) that employs them in the U.S.

Under the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) rules, the U.S. employer has to file the petition for the manager or executive transferee. The petition must be accompanied by a statement from the U.S. employer affirming all of the pertinent requirements, including a description of the job duties to be performed by the foreign beneficiary in the U.S, the job duties performed by the foreign beneficiary abroad, and the periods of employment by the foreign beneficiary abroad.

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