By Ronnie Jared Evans and Kisshia Simmons, Esq.
The L Visa allows U.S. companies to employ non-immigrant foreign nationals inside of the U.S. for a specified period of time. The maximum amount of time for an initial petition is three years, although you may file for an extension. The most important determination that you have to make when applying for an L Visa is the category of the visa. If the employee will be a manager, either over personnel or over a specific function of the company, then you should apply for the managerial L Visa.
As mentioned previously, there are two types of managers, the personnel and function manager:
The personnel manager L Visa is for those employees who will be supervising other professionals within the company. The key word here is professional. The employees, who are being supervised, cannot be entry-level, minimum wage, or base-line employees. The supervised employees must engage in work as a professional with a Bachelor degree or higher, licensure or certification from a board. The employee must be a professional as well. In other words, the employee must be a professional who is supervising other professionals. Documentation of the underlying licenses, training certificates, diplomas, and degrees for each employee is also required.
The function manager L Visa is for those employees, who will be managing an essential function of the company. For example, if the manager oversees the sales of the company, then an argument can be made that he manages the sales function. You must show that the function that the employee is managing is essential to the economic benefit of the overall company. You must also demonstrate that the function manager actually manages the overall function and does not merely carry out the duties related to the function. In our example, the sales manager cannot solely conduct sales with clients. He must manage other individuals who are conducting sales. The function manager must also be an individual who has an elevated position in the company hierarchy. Some of the ways that you can provide evidence is by collecting documentation of direct reports being sent to the client and meetings between the client and other directors and executives within the company.
The L Visa petition process is about documentation to prove the claims. The evidence should be tailored to whether the argument is for an L visa as a personnel or function manager. It is important to make sound arguments for an L visa submission to be granted by Immigration Services.