The category has two parts:
There is no annual quota for L-1 visas.
- The foreign and U.S. employers of the transferee must be a part of the same "qualifying organization".
- A "qualifying organization" is one wherein the U.S. or a foreign company must be doing business as an employer in the U.S. and at least one another country during the entire period of the transferee's stay in the U.S. on a L1 visa.
- Doing business is defined to cover the regular, systematic and continuous provision of goods or services by a qualifying organization that has employees; It does not include the mere presence of an agent or office in the United States or abroad.
- The business can be carried out directly or through a parent, branch, affiliate or subsidiary.
- The transferee should have worked for one year within the three preceding years of the transfer abroad with the same firm, affiliate or a subsidiary of the firm.
- The one year of employment must be continuous within that three year period.
- The transferee should have worked abroad in a managerial or executive capacity or one involving specialized knowledge, and will work in the United states in one of the these capacities.
Note: The CIS has established a procedure through which large companies and frequent L-1 category users can receive a blanket petition and the company then issues its own certificates of eligibility to the transferee, who takes them to the US Consulate for visa issuance.
The permissible period of stay for a transferee coming to open a new office is one year initially, with extensions possible after the first year if the U.S. business has commenced operations and the company is doing business both in the U.S. and abroad. L-1A is eligible for a total of seven years and L-1B for a total of five years stay.