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L1A & L1B Visas

Intra-company Transfer & Multinational Visas/Status

The L1A/B visa is available for companies that wish to expand operations into the United States by opening an affiliate, branch or subsidiary office. This visa is one of the most popular since it can lead to permanent residency.  In order for an individual to qualify, they must have been employed by the foreign company that is related to the canadian or american company for at least one continuous year in the past three years.

To qualify as a Manager (L1A visa), you must :

  • Primarily manage the organisation, or department, subdivision, function or component of the organisation;

  • Primarily supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manage an essential function within the organisation, or a department or subdivision of the organisation;

  • Has the authority to hire and fire or recommend staff for promotion; if no other employees are supervised, functions at a senior level within the organisational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and

  • Exercises discretion over the daily operations of which the employee has authority.

To qualify as an Executive (L1A visa), you must :

  • Direct the management of the organisation or a major component or function;

  • Establish the goals and policies of the organisation, component, or function;

  • Exercise wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and

  • Receive only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors or stockholders of the organisation

The L1A is initially granted for one year for new companies and three years for existing companies.  The L1A can be renewed in two year increments up to seven years.
Managers or Executives have the privilege to apply for Permanent Residency.

To qualify as a person of Specialized Knowledge (L1B visa), you must :

  • Have special or unique knowledge of the petitioning organisation's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or an advanced level of knowledge or expertise in the organisation's processes and procedures.

The L1B visa is initially granted for one year for new companies and three years for existing companies.  The L1B visas can be renewed in two year increments up to five years.

L2 visas for Spouses and Children under the age of 21 :

Your spouse and children under the age of 21 will be able to apply for status (L2 visa)to enter and stay in the United States or Canada.  Your dependents will be allowed to attend school and your spouse will be able to apply for work authorization.

Multinational/Blanket Petition for L1 visas

The Blanket petition was developed for very large companies that can pre-qualify to transfer its L1 employees. Once the Blanket is approved, the company may transfer people to the U.S. or Canada on L1 very quickly and on short notice without having to file a separate petition for each employee. As a qualifying organization, it must meet the following:

  • The company and each of those entities are engaged in commercial trade or service;

  • The company has an office in the country that has been doing business for one year or less; and

  • The company has three or more domestic and foreign affiliates, branches subsidiaries.


  • The company has obtained approval of at least ten L-1s.

  • The company and qualifying entities have annual sales of at least $25 million.

  • The company and qualifying entities have at least 1,000 employees.

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