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L-1A Manager Visa Category

By

Jennifer Behm

Posted

November 26, 2021

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07:53 PM

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The L-1 category is available to individuals who have worked on a full-time basis for at least one year of the past three years for a foreign corporation with a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate in the U.S. To qualify, the individual must have been employed in an executive or managerial (L-1A) or specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B) abroad and be seeking to enter the United States in a managerial position.

L1 Manager Visa Category

It is not required that an applicant for L-1 status transfer to the U.S. in the same position he or she is employed in abroad. This means that individuals employed in an executive or specialized knowledge capacity abroad can still transfer to the U.S. and assume a managerial position.

L-1A Manager Defined

When applying for L-1 status as a manager, it is important to understand what it means to be a manager under U.S. immigration law. According to the regulations, the term “managerial capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily:

  1. Manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  2. Supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
  3. If another employee or other employees are directly supervised, has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization) or, if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
  4. Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

To qualify for TN status as a manager, an applicant must satisfy each of the four prongs identified in the definition of “managerial capacity”.

Personnel Manager v. Function Manager

The definition of managerial capacity allows for both “personnel managers” and “function managers.”

Personnel managers must primarily supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees. The key here is to demonstrate that the employees managed are themselves supervisors, managers, or professionals. A first-line supervisor does not qualify as a “manager” under the L-1 regulations.

Evidence needed for personnel manager applications typically includes:

o A detailed job description.

o Personnel organization chart(s) illustrating the company’s staffing levels in the U.S. and abroad and the applicant’s direct and indirect reports, respectively.

o Personnel organization chart(s) illustrating the applicant’s leadership with respect to the organization itself or to a specific department, subdivision, or component of the organization in the U.S. and abroad.

o Evidence demonstrating that the applicant has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization).

o Evidence proving that the applicant’s direct reports in the U.S. and abroad are either supervisors, managers, or professionals.

o Evidence that the applicant has been employed abroad for at least one full year within the past three years in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge position, such as 12 months of paystubs, most recent annual wage statement, etc.

o Evidence that the applicant is qualified for the prospective managerial position in the U.S., such as a resume, degree certificates, industry certificates, etc.

Function managers must primarily manage an essential function within the organization. The key to a successful function manager application is to identify the essential function and describe in detail the job duties performed in managing that function. It is necessary to articulate how vital both the role of the applicant and function the applicant manages is to the company’s daily operations. In addition, it is also necessary to highlight the personnel responsible for performing the essential function on a day-to-day basis because the government needs to see how the applicant primarily manages, as opposed to performs, the essential function.

Evidence needed for function manager applications typically includes:

o A detailed job description and an explanation of the essential function managed by the applicant.

o Personnel organization chart(s) illustrating the company’s staffing levels in the U.S. and abroad and the applicant’s senior level within the organizational hierarchy.

o Personnel organization chart(s) illustrating the applicant’s senior level with respect to the essential function.

o List of departments, divisions, teams, employees, etc. that the applicant influences, directs, or manages, either directly or indirectly, in the performance of his or her duties.

o Evidence demonstrating that the applicant has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization), if applicable.

o Evidence of major company projects, clients, budgets, etc. that the applicant has been and is responsible for.

o Evidence of awards or accolades the applicant has received due to his or her success with your company.

Learn More About the L-1A Manager Visa Category

Berardi Immigration Law is a full-service business immigration law firm that provides top-notch services to corporate clients and individual business professionals. Founded as a solo-practice in 2005 by Managing Partner Rosanna Berardi, the firm has grown exponentially over the years.

Connect with Jennifer to discuss your immigration options and gain more insight on living in the United States.

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