Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa

A basic overview of the visa is provided here. If you have further inquiries as to the application process or whether or not this is the correct route for your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us.


The L-1 intracompany transfer visa is available to employees of international companies who are to undergo transfer to a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary within the United States.


Criteria For Determining Employer’s Eligibility

For an employer to be eligible in sponsoring an L-1 visa, the following must be demonstrated:

  • A qualified relationship - such as that of a parent company, branch, subsidiary or affiliate - between the U.S. company and its foreign counterpart must exist.
  • Both the U.S company and its foreign counterpart must remain active in doing business and viable for the entire duration of the employee's employment in the U.S. If either of the entities fail to maintain these required levels of operation, their L-1 status will be revoked.

Blanket Petitions

Qualified organizations may file an action known as a blanket petition in advance of filing individual L-1 petitions. This establishes the required intracompany relationship beforehand and, while it does not guarantee an employee's acceptance, provides the organization enhanced flexibility in its ability to transfer eligible employees more quickly into the U.S. A blanket L certification may be obtained if:

  • The petitioning organization and each of the qualifying affiliate organizations are engaged in commercial trade or services.
  • The organization has an office in the U.S. which has been doing business for one year or more.
  • The organization has three or more domestic and foreign branches, subsidiaries and affiliates.
  • The petitioner and the other qualifying organizations meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Have obtained at least ten L-1 approvals in the last twelve months.  
    • Have U.S. subsidiaries or affiliates with a combined annual sales of at least $25 million.
    • Have a U.S. work force consisting of at least 1,000 employees.

Criteria For Determining Employee’s Eligibility

In order for an employee to qualify for the L-1 visa, it must be shown that:

  • The employee has been employed abroad by the transferring organization for at least one year within the past three years and he or she will continue employment in the U.S. for the same employer or its affiliate.
  • The applicant is a manager or executive (L-1A), or an employee with specialized knowledge (L-1B).


In particular, there are two types of L-1 visas:


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