Technology Visas

Who Actually Qualifies for the L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa for Managers & Executives?

Immigration Attorney Zeenat Phophalia delves into which staff members are eligible for the L-1A Visa and what constitutes a personnel manager and a function manager.

The L-1 visa classification for intracompany transferees comes in two categories: L-1A (managers and executives) and L-1B (special knowledge workers).  The L-1A allows a foreign company to transfer managers and executives to its related U.S. parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch office. 

An L-1A manager is generally someone who supervises and manages professional, managerial or supervisory employees, as evidenced by a clear chain of workers reporting up to such manager. 

In addition to this “personnel” manager role, the L-1A classification allows for what is known as a Function Manager – someone who manages an essential function within the organization. 

While the standard applicable to a personnel manager who manages employees is well established, there had been lack of guidance and clarity on what needed to be proven to qualify as a function manager. 

In 2017, the USCIS, provided guidance by adopting the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of G- Inc., that sets forth a five-prong analysis to determine L-1A function manager qualification.

Matter of G- Inc. clarifies that, to establish that a beneficiary/employee will be employed in a managerial capacity as a “function manager,” the petitioner must demonstrate that:

  • (1) the function is a clearly defined activity;
  • (2) the function is “essential,” i.e., core to the organization;
  • (3) the beneficiary will primarily manage, as opposed to perform, the function;
  • (4) the beneficiary will act at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed;
  • (5) the beneficiary will exercise discretion over the function’s day-to-day operations.

An essential function, as noted by the AAO, in the above decision, is a function that is “fundamental,”core” or “necessary” to the company’s business and one that the manager will manage versus performing. 

An organization could have more than one core activity “such as the manufacture or provision of an end product or service, and research and development into other products or services,” as was noted by the AAO.  

While assessing the essential function prong and the other criteria, USCIS will typically evaluate the entire record: overall organizational structure and hierarchy; description of the manager’s duties – products, services or component that he will manage; seniority within the organization; nature of administrative support if any; and so on. 

Often times, it can be harder for smaller organizations to establish that a function is a clearly defined activity and fundamental to the business.  That said, the best approach would be to explain the function with as much specificity as possible while emphasizing the core and essential nature of the activity/function vis-à-vis the organization and its impact on business, and justify how the employee will manage the function at a senior level within the organization.

The adopted decision in Matter of G- Inc establishes policy guidance that USCIS adjudicators are bound by and obligated to follow; it does not apply to the Department of State and so consular posts abroad are not bound by the decision, often times leading to conflicting and different interpretations of the scope of a function manager by consular officers.

To learn more about the L-1 Visa, please click here to contact us and request and appointment.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Immigration in Food Industry

O-1 Talent Visa Petition Approved for Chef of Michelin-Guide Recommended Italian Restaurant in NYC

By Verdie Atienza, Senior Immigration Attorney, Davies & Associates

I am delighted to announce that my team has secured the approval of an O-1 Petition for an Italian Executive Chef.

The Petitioner is an award-winning and Michelin Guide-recommended authentic Tuscan Italian restaurant in New York City. The restaurant is one of the most highly rated and recommended Italian restaurants in the city, which happens to be one of the most competitive gastronomy markets in the world. It has achieved one of the highest distinctions in the international gastronomy industry: a Michelin Guide Recommendation as a top restaurant in New York City.

The Beneficiary will be working as the Executive Chef. He is a Top Chef and Culinary Artist who has worked in a leading and critical role for some of the most prestigious restaurants in the culinary world in the Italian cuisine industry.

The O-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for people with exceptional talent in the fields of business, arts, entertainment, sciences, education and more. The chef received an O-1B Visa for people with extraordinary ability in the arts.

My team also welcome another L-1A Visa approval for an Executive from India. The new office petition was approved with no RFE (Request for Evidence). 

The beneficiary works for a company in India which specializes in providing medical transcription services, medical scribing services, medical billing services, and IT-enabled services. It offers a variety of related services with the goal of enhancing its clients’ operations by minimizing  avoidable losses and expenses, as well as increasing revenues.

It primarily offers its services to clients in the United States. Consequently, it has established and grown a strong client base in this country. The company offers its services to healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, private medical practices and clinics, and physicians within the United States. The company furnishes medical practice supporting services that include remote realtime medical scribing, medical transcription, and revenue cycle management solutions. By offering a full range of professional medical services,  it has excelled in helping healthcare institutions and companies focus on minimizing preventable expenses and substantively improving their revenue as a result. Now, that they have established presence in the US, they aim to reach more customers and provide better services.

The L-1A Visa is a non-immigrant option for managers and executives to relocate to the existing or newly established US branch of their overseas company. The visa is valid for up to seven years, after which time it is possible to transition to a Green Card under the EB-1C Visa.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.