The L-1 nonimmigrant visa category allows existing employees of a multinational employer abroad to transfer to that employer’s United States operations. The L-1 category has no annual limitation on the number of employees.
The L-1 category requires the employee to have worked for the employer abroad for at least one (1) year within the past three (3) years, and to be assuming temporary U.S. employment in either an executive/managerial (L-1A) or a specialized knowledge (L-1B) capacity. The U.S. entity of the employer must have a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, branch, or 50-50 joint venture relationship with the entity abroad from which the employee is transferring.
L-1 visa is valid typically for three years with two-year extension but are capped at seven years for L-1A managers and executives and five years for L-1B specialized knowledge employees. Spouses and children accompanying the L-1 employee under an L-2 status; L-2 spouses may also apply for separate work authorization.