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All L1A Visa Executive or Manager employees, which includes business owners, or L1B Visa specialized knowledge employees must 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 under the L1 scheme.

Stringent documentation is required to be provided to show ownership and control of the overseas business and the US business, and to show that the businesses are operational. Although for new US offices the documentation requirements are lower for the US based company. The documentation needs to be provided in duplicate for the USCIS, unless it is a very large company with blanket filing.


  • The overseas employment must have been for a consecutive period of at least one year in the last three years.
  • The overseas employment must have been in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge worker role to count towards L1 visa eligibility.
  • Those working abroad as specialized knowledge worker may be able to come to the United States as an L1A Manager or Executive, while those working previously abroad as a manager or executive can come as a L1B specialized knowledge worker.
  • You need to provide detailed documentation that the L1A executives and managers criteria is met – they must generally supervise other professional or managerial staff and/or direct and control the day-to-day operations of a significant function, unit or subdivision of the overseas employer.
  • It can be even more difficult coming under the L1B specialized knowledge worker visa criteria. Under the L1B visa you need to be familiar with the employer's specific products, procedures or methods to qualify for this visa.
  • Offer Letter, ID Card, Business Hierarchy, Proof of Salary, Tax Returns, Employee specialized knowledge proofs, Job Responsibilities & many other documents are needed form the foreign company & US employer.


An L1A status is valid for up to seven years; L1B status is valid for five years.


Family members, including spouses and dependent children, of L1 visa holders can come to the US on an L2 dependent visa. L2 spouses must be legally married to the L1 visa holder, and L2 children must be unmarried and under the age of 21. L2 visa duration is for the same period of time as the spouse’s L1 visa.

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