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L-1 Managers Q&A

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the L-1 category.

Q: What does it mean to be “doing business”?

A: Doing business means the regular, systematic, and continuous provision of goods and/or services by a qualifying organization and does not include the mere presence of an agent or office of the qualifying organization in the United States and abroad. 

Q: How can a company prove that it is doing business?

A: The type of evidence that can be used to prove that a company is doing business includes, but is not limited to, tax returns, audited financial statements, payroll summaries, invoices, purchase orders, office leases, etc.

Q: Can an employee that is an executive or specialized knowledge employee abroad transfer to the U.S. in a managerial position?

A: Yes. 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.

Q: How does a petitioner prove that an employee manages other managers, supervisors, or professionals?

A: Personnel organization charts are typically used to illustrate the fact that an applicant manages other managers, supervisors, or professionals. In addition, a petitioner can also provide a letter from HR to supplement the organization charts and confirm that the applicant’s directs reports are either managers, supervisors, or professionals.

Q: What type of evidence is typically included with function manager applications?

A: Types of evidence that can be used with function manager applications includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • A detailed job description and an explanation of the essential function.
  • Personnel organization chart(s).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Evidence of major company projects, clients, budgets, etc. that the applicant has been and is responsible for.
  • Evidence of awards or accolades the applicant has received due to his or her success with your company.

Q: Can Canadians still apply for L-1 status now that the U.S.-Canada border is closed to non-essential travel?

A: Yes, Canadians can still apply for L-1 status at the border and travel to the U.S. for work.

Q: Has the application process changed at the border due to COVID-19?

A: The application process at the border remains largely unchanged. Petitions are still being reviewed, and decisions are still being issued on the spot. Applicants are, however, required to wear masks, and many individuals are being instructed to wait in their car while their application is reviewed by CBP.

Contact Berardi Immigration Law today if you need help with your L-1 visa!