If you intend to come to the US to work on an L Visa, you will need to determine if you will need a L-1A or L-1B visa. For both visas, you will need to work for an organization or company for at least one year. This year must be within three years of your admission into the United States.
One of the differences between L visas and the more widely-known H1-B visa is that there is no cap on how many individuals a company can grant an L visa to. There are also no labor certification requirements. Spouses are able to apply for L-2 visas and are able to use this to obtain employment.
If you are an executive or manager within an overseas company, you may need to be transferred to a subsidiary in the US. You must be entering the United States with the goal of providing an executive or managerial function within that subsidiary.
You are considered an executive if you are able to make decisions without oversight. If you are in a managerial capacity, you have the ability to supervise and control the work of professionals. You may also have the ability to manage an essential function without oversight and make independent decisions.
Your company must prove that they have room on their premises to house a new office for you and then room on their staff to support the executive function of you, the visa-holder.
However, if you are looking to be transferred on an intra-company basis because of your specialized knowledge, you will need a L-1B visa. To qualify, you must have specialized knowledge that you will use in the service of your employer for at least one year. For example, you must have specialized knowledge of your company's product, a unique process that your company engages in, or the market your company is involved in.
Why You Need an Attorney
The US government is concerned about occasional abuses of L visas and wants to verify whether individuals actually qualify for an L visa. For this reason, you should consider getting in contact with an immigration attorney who has experience with these types of visas and can help you to prove your qualification.
Also, the length at which you are allowed to stay working in the US is often restricted to one to three years. You may then extend your stay in two year increments, but you may need the assistance of an attorney to help you with this process.