A US employer may transfer/ bring an executive or manager of a foreign affiliated company and obtain an L-1A visa for such an employee. A foreign company may also open a new office as a subsidiary or affiliate in the United States and secure an L-1A visa for its executive or manager.
The Qualifying Corporate Relationship
In order to qualify for an L visa the foreign and US companies must have a specific - qualifying- relationship. The two companies must be either in a parent-subsidiary relationship (most common) or they must be affiliates -as in a majority stock ownership in both companies is sufficient to qualify. The two companies may also be in a joint venture setup where the two parent companies -at 50% each- own the company and it is then a subsidiary of both parent companies.
How do I Qualify to be a Beneficiary of an L-1A petition?
In order to qualify for an L-1A visa, you must be an employee of the foreign company for at least 12 months in the three years preceding the application- assuming there is a qualifying relationship as discussed above. You must be employed in a position of a manager or an executive to qualify for the L-1A visa at both the foreign company and the affiliated US company as well- in the case of a new office you will be the one operating and setting up the new business.
What is the Process of the L-1A Petition?
The US company must file a petition in the United States at the appropriate Service Center having jurisdiction over the proposed work location. The petition is filed on Form I-129. Once approved, the beneficiary generally will need to appear at an interview at the US Consulate of his country and then seek admission at the US port of entry in L-1A visa status. The L-1A visa is approved for an initial period of three years- or one year in the case of a "new office" petition. The maximum stay is seven years. Final note: wishing you good luck on your new adventure!