L-1: One Year Employment Requirement

The L-1 non-immigrant visa is an often overlooked method for foreign companies to bring experienced managers and skilled employees to the United States to open a subsidiary entity. It is also a wonderful opportunity for employees to come to work in the United States and bring their families.

However, there are restrictions on who would be considered an employee of the foreign company. The regulations state that the employee must have worked for a year abroad with the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate of the U.S. Company. The meaning of one year is very complex.

Overseas Employment for One Year in the Preceding Three Year Period

The employee must have completed one continuous year of employment outside the United States within the preceding three years before he can be transferred to the related U.S. Company. However during that one year period, every day that the employee spent inside the United States will add an additional day to the total time that the employee has to be employed by the company.

The employee does not have to have been employed by the related foreign company in the year preceding their transfer to the U.S. related company. The employment only has to occur for a one year period in the past three years. So if the employee was employed for a full year over two years ago then left the company before returning prior to the L-1 visa application, the employee would still be eligible.

The employee must have been employed on a full time basis for one continuous year. Part time employment will be not counted toward the one year continuous year. Breaks in the employment will not be counted also. If the employee worked full time for six months then worked part time for one month then worked full time for the following six months, the employee would not qualify. The employee did not work for a continuous year.

The employee must have been an actual employee and not an independent contractor. The employee must have been paid directly by the company for services rendered and not a third party. The company must also have continuous control over the individual to be considered an employee such as regulated working times and issuing instructions.

If you have any questions on what is considered employment for L-1 visa, please contact our office. To start your L-1 visa application, please visit this page.

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Category: US Business Visa

Robert Virasin

About the Author (Author Profile)

Mr. Robert R. Virasin is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, Mr. Virasin completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston and a Masters of Laws (Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Mr. Virasin is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a licensed U.S. attorney with over 15 years of legal experience. Robert is a regular contributor and author of a number of immigration related articles.

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