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Eligible job titles for the L-1 visa 

 

Question:

What kinds of job capacities satisfy the L visa?


Answer:

There are two basic job capacities that an L-1 can work in, as a manager/executive or as a "specialty worker". 

Managerial or executive capacity 


The discussion of managerial and executive capacity that follows provides guidance for applying the definition of these terms to specific case situations:  

(1)        An executive or managerial capacity requires a certain level of authority and an appropriate mix of job duties. Managers and executives plan, organize, direct, and control an organization's major functions and work through other employees to achieve the organization's goals. Supervisors who plan, schedule, and supervise the day-to-day work of nonprofessional employees are not employed in an executive or managerial capacity, even though they may be referred to as managers in their particular organization. In addition, individuals who primarily perform the tasks necessary to produce the product(s) or provide the service(s) of an organization are not employed in an executive or managerial capacity. 

(2)        Eligibility requires that the duties of a position be primarily of an executive or managerial nature. The test is basic to ensure that a person not only has requisite authority, but that a majority of his or her duties relate to operational or policy management, not to the supervision of lower level employees, performance of the duties of another type of position, or other involvement in the operational activities of the company, such as doing sales work or operating machines or supervising those that do. This does not mean that the executive or manager cannot regularly apply his or her technical or professional expertise to a particular problem. The definitions are not intended to exclude from the duties of a manager or executive activities that are not strictly managerial, but are common to those positions, such as customer and public relations and lobbying and contracting. 

(3)        An executive may manage a function within an organization. It must be clearly demonstrated, however, that the function is not directly performed by the executive. If the function itself is performed by the intended executive, the position should be  viewed as a staff officer or specialist, not as an executive. In general, classification in a specialized knowledge capacity is more appropriate for individuals who control and perform a function within an organization, but do not have subordinate staff, except perhaps a personal staff. 

(4)        If a small or medium-sized business supports a position wherein the duties are primarily executive or managerial, it can qualify under the L category. However, neither the title of a position nor ownership of the business are, by themselves, indicators of managerial or executive capacity. For example, a physician may incorporate his or her practice for business purposes and may hire a receptionist, bookkeeper, and a nurse to assist in that medical practice. For L purposes, the physician is not a manager, but a person who primarily practices his or her professional skills as a physician. 

(5)        The L beneficiary who is coming to the United States to open a new office may be classified as a manager or executive during the one year required to reach the ``doing business'' standard if the factors surrounding the establishment of the proposed organization are such that it can be expected that the organization will, within one year, support a managerial or executive position. The factors to be considered include amount of investment, intended personnel structure, product or service to be provided, physical premises, and viability of the foreign operation. It is expected that a manager or executive who is required to open a new business or office will be more actively involved in day-to-day operations during the initial phases of the business, but must also have authority and plans to hire staff and have wide latitude in making decisions about the goals and management of the organization.  


Specialized knowledge capacity. 


The term ``specialized knowledge'' implies that eligibility is dependent upon a showing that a person possesses a type of knowledge and advanced level of expertise that are different from the ordinary or usual in a particular field, process, or function. Knowledge which is widely held or related to common practices or techniques and which is readily available in the United States job market is not specialized for purposes of L classification. The level of knowledge required and the employment of the specific alien must directly relate to the proprietary interest of the petitioner. To be proprietary, the knowledge must relate to something which relates exclusively to the petitioner's business. 

Fo
r example, knowledge which is essential to a special research program, or expert knowledge regarding a firm's materially different product or manufacturing process may be deemed specialized. Further, the employment of the beneficiary or a person with equivalent knowledge must be critical to the petitioner's proprietary interests. Eligibility under section 101(a)(15)(L) does not extend to persons whose general knowledge and expertise enable them to merely produce a product or provide a service. For example, chefs and specialty cooks are not considered to have specialized knowledge, even though they may have knowledge of a restaurant's special recipes.

 

   
   

 

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