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What kinds of companies qualify for L1A or L1B visas? 


According to 8 CFR § 214.2(l)(1)(ii)(G), companies seeking to obtain L-1 visas for their employees must be “qualifying organizations”. A qualifying organization is a U.S. or foreign corporation, firm, or other legal entity which can include sole proprietorships and partnerships. If a company is incorporated, the corporation may actually petition for one of its owners to receive a L-1. However, these owners will have to include as part of their petition proof that upon the completion of their temporary service in the U.S., they will leave the U.S. and be transferred abroad. 

During the duration of the L-1 visa, the petitioning company must be doing business in the U.S. and in a country abroad. The INS considers a company to be doing business when the company, on a regular and continuous basis, provide goods and/or services. However, it is not necessary that international trade be taking place. Therefore, it is acceptable if the company produces goods or services in the U.S. that will be used entirely within the U.S. The U.S. company must have a proper relationship with the foreign entity for it to petition for L-1 transferees. 

The U.S. company can be either a parent or a subsidiary of the foreign company. It could also be a branch office for the foreign company, operating as a separate division in the U.S. It could also serve as an affiliate to a foreign company, both of which are owned by a third parent company.  The key issues the INS will look at are control and ownership. The INS will want to see that one company has the legal right of possession of the assets of another whether it be directly or indirectly.  Furthermore, the L-1 petition will need to show that one entity has the legal authority to dictate the establishment, operations, and management of the day to day activities of the other entity.





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