L-1 Visas

The Dallas, Frisco, and North Texas lawyers of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. represent multinational businesses in the strategic planning process to allow the greatest flexibility for moving necessary personnel to the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis.

The L-1 intracompany transferee classification can be an exceptionally useful tool for qualifying multinational business entities. Qualifying entities are those bearing a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate relationship to each other, as specifically defined under U.S. immigration law.

In contrast to the H-1B nonimmigrant visa classification, the L-1 nonimmigrant visa classification is not subject to an annual numerical cap on petition approvals. This accords qualifying entities the flexibility to petition for and move international personnel when needed.

In lieu of filing individual L-1 petitions in the U.S., some multinational businesses qualify to file “blanket” L-1 petitions, which upon their approval and subsequent use can shorten the period of time it would otherwise take to process eligible employees to the point of L-1 visa application and issuance.

Predicated on the existence of qualifying relationships between the foreign and U.S. business entities, certain executive, managerial and specialized knowledge employees may be admitted to the U.S. in L-1 status to work for either new or existing U.S. businesses. Executive, managerial and specialized knowledge positions are specifically defined under U.S. immigration law. L-1 visa petitions for individuals who will staff new U.S. businesses are subject to greater scrutiny and higher adjudication standards than L-1 petitions for those who will staff well-established businesses.

International businesses which either do not meet the qualifying business relationship requirements, or whose employees do not meet the requirements for classification as an executive, manager or specialized knowledge employee, are not without recourse for transferring needed employees to the United States. There is nothing that precludes such employers from considering filings for H-1B specialty worker; E-1 treaty trader or E-2 treaty investor; O-1 extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; TN under NAFTA; or B-1 business visitor visa status in appropriate cases.

For executive and managerial employees, the nonimmigrant intracompany transferee benefit has its parallel in the immigrant visa context, allowing certain individuals to obtain lawful permanent resident status based on a history of qualifying employment with qualifying entities. This oftentimes enables a smoother and more predictable path to permanent resident status than does the standard labor certification process underlying most employment-based immigrant visas.