In the global economy, the barriers of national borders and citizenship are increasingly blurred. Currently, even many smaller companies have offices in different countries, depending on labor needs, operation costs and the citizenship of its executives. As bestselling author Thomas Friedman details in his book The World Is Flat, multinational corporations rely on foreign accountants, back office support workers and call center operators, among others, to facilitate their global supply chains. In this environment, CEOs at industry leaders such as AT&T, Cisco, eBay and Google have championed America’s skilled-immigration system and called on Washington to develop strategies to bring the world’s best and brightest to America.
Keeping the U.S. Competitive
According to a recent report, close to half of U.S.-based middle market companies surveyed have employees outside the United States, and close to 30 percent of these companies have at least a quarter of their employees based abroad. Entities do not only export jobs through outsourcing, many companies also import employees into the U.S. for their specific business needs. These inbound employees do not only help satisfy specific labor needs, but are also instrumental in growing the economy: A recent study noted that each foreign-born graduate of a U.S. university who works in science, technology, engineering or mathematics will end up creating over two and half jobs for American workers.
The Ideal Solution for Executives and Managers: L-1 visas
In addition to skilled workers, such as computer programmers and scientific researchers, companies may also need to bring in executives and managers with the requisite skills and experience to manage their American operations. Fortunately, there is a unique visa (L-1) available to U.S. employers seeking to transfer executives or managers from foreign offices to a U.S. branch. This visa also permits foreign companies without existing U.S. offices to send an executive or manager to the U.S. to establish an office.
How Do Visas for Executives and Managers Work?
The primary requirements for this visa are the following:
- A parent company or affiliatedoing business in the United States. This includes companies that currently have offices in the States, as well as companies that will have offices in the United States in the near future. The company also needs to have an office in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization.
- A foreign employee who has worked for the company abroad for one continuous year within the three years directly prior to admission to the United States. This employee must serve as an executive or manager for a branch of the parent company.
To determine whether you or your company qualifies for the L-1 visa classification, contact, the Law Office of Maud Poudat, P.A.