What authorization should I ask for when moving to the USA?

What authorization should I ask for when moving to the USA?

Called the "Intracompany Transferee Visa", the L1 Visa is a non-immigrant work Visa that allows a multinational company to transfer an employee from its country to the United States. Known as particularly easy to obtain, this type of authorization would also make it easier for the Green Card holder to access the Green Card. Here's all you need to know before you accept your transfer to the U. S.

What are the qualification requirements for obtaining the L1 Visa?

In order to transfer an employee from a foreign country to a U. S. subsidiary, a company must meet the following conditions:

  • The company must be the parent company and must demonstrate a partnership and common good with the American branch.
  • The parent undertaking must hold at least 51 % of the shares in the subsidiary, otherwise the principal executive must hold majority shares in both the company and the subsidiary.
  • The transferred employee must have been employed by the parent company for at least one full year and must have been employed by the parent company without interruption during the last three years.
  • The transferred employee must have the necessary skills to supervise other collaborators, in the event of the renewal of his or her Visa.
  • The deployed employee shall hold the same position he/she has held at the parent company within the subsidiary in the United States.

Who is eligible for an L-1 Visa?

To obtain the L1 Visa, the employee must hold a specific position and hold one of the following specific status:


The Manager will hold an executive position and will be eligible for the L-1A Visa. He will need to have the following skills:

  • Ability to manage and organize a department.
  • Ability to supervise, control and supervise his subordinates within the American subsidiary.
  • Ability to recruit new employees on several levels within the new branch.
  • Ability to make important decisions within the department.


The executive will be able to benefit from the L-1A status. But for this to happen, it will need to be given the following competencies:

  • Ability to lead and manage the majority of the organization.
  • Ability to set objectives and define organizational policy.
  • Agility to make important decisions for the benefit of the organization.

It should be noted that a manager coming to work in the United States as part of a transfer to a subsidiary is entitled to apply for and receive a Green Card as a "priority worker" after one year.


Any employee transferred because of "specialized knowledge or skills" relating to the parent company may be granted an L-1B Visa. They must have the ability to teach their "know-how" to branch employees.

How long is the L1 Visa valid?

The L-1 status entitles the holder to reside in the United States for a period of:

  • 1 year for an employee of a new American subsidiary, renewable if it shows real economic activity, has a significant turnover and subsequently, its ability to pay his clerk.
  • 3 years for an employee transferred to an existing and operating US subsidiary.
  • 5 years maximum for an L-1A employee, i. e. one who holds an executive or executive position in the US-based branch.
  • 7 years maximum for an employee with L-1B status, i. e., employed in an employee's position, but with specialized knowledge and skills within the U. S. subsidiary.

What documents are required to obtain the L1 Visa?

To maximize your chances of obtaining L-1 status, when you are interviewed at the embassy, bring the following documents with you:

  • 3 signed copies of Form I-129S.
  • 3 signed copies of Form I-797.
  • 1 letter on paper from the employer, specifying the date of hiring, the position held, the basic salary and the duration of the assignment.
  • The receipt for the anti-fraud fee, which is $500.00, payable before the interview.
  • Evidence that you have actually worked for the parent company for at least 1 full year in the last three years.

Practical questions concerning the L1 Visa:

Here are the answers to the questions you often ask yourself before applying for your L-1 Visa.

Q: What type of activity can I do under the L-1 Visa?

A: In reality, there are no restrictions. A foreign company is not required to carry on the same business activities in its home country when it establishes a subsidiary in the United States. It is even free to start a completely different activity if it meets all the requirements.

Q: Does a subsidiary company have to employ a certain number of employees?

A: No. It is not necessary for the company to employ a large number of employees, nor is the number of employees limited. In the same vein, the executive or manager does not have to manage a whole team of collaborators in order to obtain his or her Visa.
In practice, however, it is difficult to obtain L-1 status, except in the case of start-up, if the foreign company and the U. S. company do not have employees.

Normally, to be considered a director or manager, the candidate must be in the position of director of another professional or managerial staff.

Q. What authorization for the family in case of a transfer to the USA?
A. When you qualify for an L-1 Visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age can obtain L-2 Visas simply by providing proof of their relationship to you.

Spouses with an L-2 Visa can also obtain a work permit while in the United States. They can also go to school.

Spouses of L1 Visa holders are allowed to work in the United States. But, they must apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for prior authorization.

L1 authorization, the shortest way to the Green Card

If you are entitled to an L-1 Visa or if you now have one either as a manager or an executive, you may also be entitled to a Green Card through your employment. In addition to being eligible, you will also have the advantage of being able to obtain the Green Card without going through the rigorous Workplace Certification procedures, which is usually the first step for those who are looking to obtain Green Cards through your employment.

The purpose of the Labor Certification procedure is to show that there are no American workers available to take up the work that has been offered to you in the United States. However, if you qualify for status L-1 as a manager or manager, you also enter a Green Card preferential category called priority workers. This category is exempt from Occupational Certification requirements.

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