Intracompany Transfer (L-1)

Transfering key employees to the United States

The L-1 intracompany transfer visa is a non-immigrant visa category available to employees of multinational companies who are being transferred from a foreign branch to a US-based branch of the same company. This visa allows companies to bring their foreign employees to the United States temporarily to work in managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge positions.


To qualify for an L-1 visa, both the employee and the employer must meet specific requirements. The employee must have been working for the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the last three years. The employee can work in the US company as a manager, executive, or in a position that requires specialized knowledge. The foreign company and the US employer must be related to each other in the organizational structure, such parent, subsidiary, or affiliate relationship.

Subcategories: L-1A and L-1B

The L-1 visa is divided into two subcategories: L-1A for executives and managers, and L-1B for employees with specialized knowledge. L-1A visa holders can stay in the United States for up to seven years, while L1-B visa holders can stay for up to five years.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may also accompany L-1 visa holders to the U.S. under the L-2 visa category. L-2 spouses are allowed to work in the US.


One advantage of the L-1 visa is that it does not require the employer to obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, unlike for example the H-1B work visa.

Additionally, L-1 visa holders can pursue permanent residency through the employment-based immigrant visa process, if desired.

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